There’s been a lot of talk in the media this week, about the need for a shake-up in the healthcare sector, particularly when it comes to consultations.
The UK’s top doctor Professor Stephen Powis was mentioned in article after article, with his opinion that the current outpatient service is not fit for purpose – a bold statement that we, at Vapour, unfortunately have to agree with.
That’s the exact reason why we’ve ploughed thousands of pounds of investment and development hours, into the launch of TeleDOC (but onto that shortly!)
There are reportedly 118 million outpatient appointments a year at NHS hospitals in England, but a Royal College of Physicians report estimates that a fifth of face-to-face consultations are not necessary. When considering that the cost of each appointment is allegedly £200 a time, these are big numbers – and that’s before the cost of missed appointments is calculated, as well as the lost-time to British businesses when people leave work to attend them, not to mention the cost to the environment for journeys that could be avoided.
The use of apps and online tools was therefore encouraged in these articles, in a shake-up that would see patients “…using technology in new and exciting ways.”
But some journalists were quick to cite the worries that have already been aired, surrounding the danger of some symptoms being missed or the extent to which Skype calls could alienate less tech-savvy patients who cannot get online.
Believe us, this is a world we’ve explored extensively over the past couple of years, and in the embryonic stages of TeleDOC we also shared these fears. We know that the majority of over 75s, for example, are offline.
That’s why we developed a solution that activates a video call, via nothing more than a link in a simple SMS. The patient doesn’t need to be at a computer, they don’t have to download an app, and they don’t have to go through a complex log-in procedure.
They also don’t have to be seen by a doctor they do not know – their consultation is with their own GP. They don’t have to pay anything for the service – as why should this type of care only be accessible to those who can afford it? And they don’t have to fear a data loss or breach, as the call is recorded, fully-encrypted, and can be stored securely in their patient files for maximum peace of mind.
This is all about leveraging the benefits that savvy tech can bring – without any of the headaches – whilst overcoming some of the shackling obstacles that our brilliant NHS constantly faces.
Want to know more? Why not let us demo TeleDOC in ‘real terms’ – we can pretend you’re a patient so you can see how easily it works! Or, if you’re keen for even further information, we can pencil in a meeting. Either way, please contact us – we’d love to talk!
(TeleDOC is a product within our suite of Gaze video communication products.)