In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing challenges faced by GPs across the country, Irish med-tech, Full Health Medical, has developed a new clinically-driven patient empowerment solution, “Flow”, to create a safer and more efficient manner for GPs to treat patients and to free up procedural and administration time by up to 75%
Full Health Medical is a software platform designed and driven by doctors to streamline patient care, freeing up doctor’s time and resources and facilitating preventative medicine. Over the past three weeks, the company’s technology has been repurposed to help specifically with the COVID-19 pandemic. Flow now has a triage element that enables doctors and other healthcare professionals to complete COVID-19 screening before they proceed in assessing patients coming to them with other conditions.
Flow – How it works in brief:
- Flow is set up on the GPs IT system
- Prior to consultation, the GP will send a password & login to the patient, with a link which will direct them to the relevant section of the platform
- For example, the COVID-19 section will assist the GP in asking the patient a series of questions
- Based on the answers, the GP can make a determination on whether or not a face to face consultation is safe or if it should take place by video, or over the phone
- Following the consultation, a personalised report is automatically generated by the software and communicates the GP’s assessment to the patient, along with next steps and other health guidance
Dr Ann Shortt, Emergency Medicine consultant, GP and Co-founder of Full Health Medical, who is currently working with COVID-19 patients in Mayo General Hospital, spoke of their innovation,
“We’ve accelerated our own telehealth capabilities since the pandemic started and now more than ever Full Health Medical’s comprehensive patient-centric tool kit can bring real and quantifiable benefits to both patients and doctors in primary care.
While GPs around the country have increased their use of video calls in order to service their patients, the volume of work involved and the challenges brought about by social distancing to every day practice has highlighted an obvious need for a more extensive patient communications tool that goes beyond just video calls.
We have already had expressions of interest from over 100 GPs and while the new product is free to GPs for April, the ongoing cost is being kept at just €22 per month per physician for the duration of the pandemic”.
Flow uses smart data analytics to enable GPs to deliver streamlined medical services to patients. The consultation system enables instant generation of personalised, evidence-based medical reports which explain, in easily understandable language, which tests were performed and what actions the patient needs to undertake with minimal clerical input from the GP at the point of care. In a nutshell, Flow process satisfies the modern medical patient’s need for information whilst drastically reducing medical professional resource time, activities and costs.
Dr Anne Marie McGinley of the Weir Family Practice in Bandon Cork, will be using the system for most GP consultations for the remainder of the pandemic and sees a long-term role for the software also,
“The COVID-19 component of the product allows patients to list their symptoms and risk factors prior to a virtual consultation via the platform with their GP. A personalised report is automatically generated by the software and communicates the GP’s assessment to the patient along with next steps. Using Full Health Medical’s platform, GPs can screen patients digitally before conducting face-to-face assessments, both saving them time and reducing the spread of COVID-19.”
Dr Brian Higgins, a Galway-based GP, says that while the whole world is rightly focused on COVID-19, GPs still have patients with serious health conditions to manage,
“In our practice, we have been using Full Health Medical’s existing technology successfully for the past three years and see its obvious potential for expansion to manage a broader patient population”.
Dr Shortt went on to say,
“The Irish health system is overburdened and under resourced. Accessing healthcare is difficult and understanding it is even more of a challenge, but some of these challenges can be solved with efficient smart technology.
We believe that many of healthcare’s issues are rooted in communication, not medicine. Too often, patients leave the surgery with incomplete or poorly understood knowledge. With our system, each patient is given a unique login and password to the GP portal we provide for each practice when the report is ready, they are automatically mailed a link to access
This new software mitigates against the COVID-19 risk. It will also make it much easier for people to understand the medical data presented which increases the likelihood of behavioural change to ultimately, help avoid chronic diseases in the long run.”