A number of health tech suppliers have been helping the NHS respond to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
accuRx, Modality Systems, Refero and X-on have pitched in to ensure doctors have the tools to support patients who may have symptoms of the virus or are in self-isolation, to limit the spread of coronavirus.
This includes accuRx, the UK start-up behind the Chain SMS service, which lets GP practices send text messages to patients, asking them to book tests, send follow-up information after an appointment, and lets them know when a prescription is ready to collect.
In response to growing concerns about Covid-19, accuRx announced it developed two new products; video consultation and pre-appointment screening.
Jacob Haddad, co-founder of accuRx, tweeted to say the company was also “developing a version for hospital staff to conduct outpatient appointments”.
We're currently developing a version for hospital staff to conduct outpatient appointments. Same simple workflow. Any hospital staff looking to do this, please email email@example.com
— Jacob Haddad (@jacobnhaddad) March 10, 2020
Modality Systems has also offered NHS Trusts a no-obligation license to use its remote consultation solution for free for one month.
OneConsultation integrates with Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. Patients can use their own mobile devices and laptops to use the service without having to download or install any software.
Refero. has also stepped in to offer its services for free.
The video consultation firm is offering its platform to NHS trusts and GP surgeries.
Dan Worman, CEO of Refero, said: “It’s very important that the public have access to medical professionals in the safest way possible for all of us, and video consultation is absolutely the best way to provide that.
“We feel very strongly that access to this should be immediate and free of charge to public services that are facing increased pressures currently. This is a social and moral decision by Refero, not a business one. Please get in touch if you need our help.”
Refero has advised interested teams to email firstname.lastname@example.org for an immediate response.
Finnish-based company, Klinik Healthcare Solutions, has updated its algorithm in just 24 hours, to detect symptoms of coronavirus and signpost patients to the official NHS guidance.
Its Access solution, which is live in GP providers across the north of England, can now now identify COVID-19 in the UK, meaning GPs can provide appropriate care for patients with coronavirus symptoms, whilst keeping health professionals safe.
Ben Wood, director of operations and Sales for Klinik, said: “In these worrying times, where patient access is essential but physical contact could put the healthcare professional at risk, we have acted quickly to help the NHS tackle the spread of coronavirus.
“By updating the algorithm for our online triage service, we have increased patient access to healthcare professionals, while keeping everyone as safe as possible. It is clear that digital solutions will play an important part in containing the outbreak.”
Cloud software company, X-on is working with hundreds of practices to keep automated telephone messages on its Surgery Connect digital telephone system up to date with the latest NHS information on coronavirus.
The system is already being used for telephone triage, and telephone and video consultations, enabling GP surgeries to respond to requests that they utilise technology to manage such unprecedented demand.
In addition, it is developing a new service called Surgery Connect GP@Home, to enable GPs to take and receive calls at home, helping to minimise the spread of the infection. X-on is also providing free teleconferencing to help those at CCG and PCN level who are coordinating the local and regional response.
Paul Bensley, managing director of X-on, said: “Coronavirus is a worldwide crisis that is presenting primary care with a huge challenge, and technology can play its part in helping those at the frontline tackle the outbreak.
“One thing that is becoming clear is that digital technology can provide excellent support to practices when it is needed most. It is one positive out of a hugely worrying situation for all.”
Concerns surrounding Covid-19 have been growing in recent weeks, with more than one million people accessing the NHS 111 online support service.
GP practices across the country have also been advised to assess patients online or via telephone and video appointments to mitigate the potential spread of coronavirus.