DrDoctor, the UK’s leading patient engagement platform (PEP) supplier, has secured £10 million of investment to advance its plans for delivering patient-initiated models of care to integrated care systems (ICSs).

The plans include making integration enhancements to the platform to meet the needs of all providers and implementing a new artificial intelligence (AI) tool to help the NHS predict and prevent missed appointments.

DrDoctor will be focusing on extensive product development to provide the latest patient-engagement tools and remote data collection to help its customers improve productivity, clinical outcomes and patient experiences.

The company, which has been helping numerous NHS trusts reduce administration burdens on staff, such as at Chelsea and Westminster, will also be enhancing its integration abilities and developing key industry partnerships to widen its capabilities for backlog management. This will include working with virtual wards and remote monitoring of suppliers.

Tom Whicher, co-founder and chief executive of DrDoctor, said: “The NHS backlog includes more than seven million appointments. We need to see a wholesale shift in the way we approach healthcare if we are going to tackle this number and relieve the pressure on stretched NHS services.

“This latest investment means we can move faster on our journey to digital-first, personalised care, which will help release clinical capacity and improve productivity across regional footprints rather than just individual acute trusts.

“We can plug and play with other suppliers. We can streamline pathway workflows and ensure patients receive a personalised and seamless interaction with the health service, irrespective of where they are on the pathway, and at home where possible.”

The company will also use the investment to help roll out a new predictive AI tool to identify and respond to patients who are likely to miss their outpatient appointment. DrDoctor are already helping trusts to reduce Did Not Attends (DNAs) by up to 30%, and this new tool is expected to increase this by a further 18%.

The fundraising is led by YFM Equity Partners, and supported by existing DrDoctor investors Ananda Impact Ventures and 24 Haymarket.

Helen Villiers, investment director at YFM Equity Partners, said: “Today the NHS is under supreme amounts of pressure. Coming off the back of a global pandemic, health inequalities have been exacerbated and major system inefficiencies revealed, meaning patients and clinicians alike are in need of solutions such as DrDoctor’s more than ever.

“The company has demonstrated exciting growth and we have been really impressed with the team and their deep understanding of the NHS, knowing how to meet new system demands without sacrificing patient care quality.”