Technology

Irish GPs begin virtual consultations with patients amid Coronavirus crisis

Technology which allows Irish doctors throughout the country to provide virtual consultations is being rolled out in a bid to combat the spread of Covid-19.

The innovative technology, developed by NuaHealth, will allow doctors and clinicians to provide a virtual clinic and offer online consultations to their patients via smartphone, tablet and computer.

Members of the public who believe they have coronavirus symptoms will be able to see their GP from the comfort of their home.

NuaHealth chief executive Oisin Kim said Ireland’s health service is facing challenges unthinkable just a few months ago, and things will only get worse with government predicting 15,000 Covid-19 infections by month’s end.

“Everyone is coming together to help slow the spread of Covid-19. The agility shown by both Apple and Google in fast-tracking the app through the app stores review process with help from local Apple and Google people was astounding”.

He said more than 360 clinicians nationwide had already signed up to use the service.

Dr Nick Flynn of MyCorkGP.ie said: “The Covid crisis has seen my practice change beyond recognition in the last 10 days. Central to facilitating that change has been the addition of a video consultation solution from NuaHealth. User friendly, secure and provided at cost price, it has proven popular with our GPs but more importantly with our patients.”

Available in App Stores, including iOS and Android, the NuaHealth service can be used on any laptop or desktop computer with a camera, speaker and microphone.

The online doctor service comes following consultation with the Department of Health and HSE.

HSE Digital Transformation Director Prof. Martin Curley said: “We are pleased to partner with NuaHealth to produce a HSE branded video consultation tool for GPs and other healthcare providers in a matter of days. Their agility and the willingness to offer the service at cost price is a great exemplar of how the digital health ecosystem in Ireland is responding to the Covid 19 crisis.”

NuaHealth is the sister company of Webdoctor, which already supports the needs of over 750,000 patients throughout Europe. Using a comprehensive suite of modular technologies including secure video, secure in app messaging, clinical screening questionnaires, clinical decision support and laboratory and device integrations, it optimises clinical communication, reduces the time to treat and improves health outcomes.

Founded by Dr Sylvester Mooney, Oisin Kim, Howard Kim, Martin Commins, Krzysztof Adamski and Gerard Kelly in 2013, Webdoctor has been delivering telemedicine software and services for over 6 years.

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