“mHealth Will Save the NHS”

Now Healthcare Group has been chosen to be part of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator Programme


About the programme

Mobile healthcare (mHealth) organisation Now Healthcare Group is one step closer to easing the burden on the NHS after being chosen to be part of the new “DigitalHealth.London Accelerator” programme.

The company behind the innovative Dr Now and Now GP smartphone apps joins an elite list of businesses looking to benefit from better engagement with the NHS and the wider health sector.

The year-long Accelerator scheme accepts only the highest potential digital health startups and businesses onto the programme. It provides tailored support to the specific needs of each business to allow them to develop their products and create real solutions to some of the most pressing challenges faced by the NHS.

You can read the full story in this article on the Now Healthcare Group website.

https://www.nowhealthcaregroup.com/2016/09/13/mhealth-will-save-nhs-digital-health-accelerator/

 

 


NHS Expo 2016: Hunt Announces mHealth Integration

The Now GP/Dr Now team are at today’s annual NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester, where Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is set to announce the arrival of mHealth and app-based online health services into the NHS.

This marks a significant breakthrough for mHealth companies such as ourselves, who have long since championed the benefits that embracing technology can bring to the health service and to its patients.

Hunt will announce later today “a multi-million pound package” to expand digital services across the NHS, which will including a new online triage service to enhance the current 111 service and out of hours care.

Hunt said:

“We live in the age of the smartphone, and we want the NHS to reflect that. Our new plans will make it easier for patients to get the medical support and information they need, and should encourage more of us to use the growing range of online NHS services.”

Services such as our Now GP/Dr Now mHealth can be white-labelled and custom-built for NHS CCGs and surgeries, helping them to combat the problem of waiting times and reduce the strain on the healthcare system and out of hours services. By embracing mHealth apps, the NHS will also be more able to deliver its goal of seven day access by pooling qualified GPs, nurses and specialists into a convenient and accessible healthcare app.

Our app connects patients with independent NHS doctors who deliver advice and diagnosis via remote video consultations. We also have an NHS-registered pharmacy which is able to deliver medicines directly to a patient’s home and serve repeat NHS prescriptions.

As the mHealth industry continues to expand, we’re turning our attention to the power of artificial intelligence, wearable technology and “big data” analytics to direct patients to the care and treatment they need. Early intervention is a key aspect of delivering effective primary care, and we want to allow patients to get the care they need at the earliest opportunity – in some cases, before they even realise they are ill themselves.

We’re delighted with the direction that the NHS is heading and its desire to utilise such innovative technology is very pleasing to see. Look out for more exciting news from Now GP/Dr Now in the near future.

If you would like a white-labelled mobile health app for your surgery or CCG, contact us at partnerships@nowhealthcaregroup.com


For the latest in healthcare and innovation, follow @NowGP and @DrNow on Twitter. 

 


US Employers Turn to Telehealth

CEO & Founder of Now GP’s parent company Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, discusses encouraging findings concerning telehealth as an employee benefit in the United States.

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As the UK’s National Health Service continues to creak under ever-increasing pressure and strain, across the pond in the United States there are encouraging signs that the long-awaited telehealth revolution is beginning to gather significant pace.

A new study compiled by the National Business Group on Health (NBG) surveyed 133 large American businesses, who between them employ over 15 million Americans. The results were incredibly encouraging for our industry, indicating that nine out of ten large employers are intending to make telehealth services available to their employees next year.

This is up 20% on last year’s figures, and is a significant indication that telehealth availability is well and truly on the rise as a high priority employee benefit.


“Employers’ focus in 2017 is shifting away from plan design to optimising how healthcare is accessed and delivered. That translates into expanded telehealth services, more Centers of Excellence options and optional selective network choices that focus on providing higher quality healthcare.”

Brian Marcotte, President & CEO of National Business Group on Health


I’ve recently been based in the States on business, and I can confirm that telehealth and mHealth solutions are very much high on the agenda for a number of major organisations. This shift is undoubtedly motivated by an attempt to offset a rise in overall healthcare costs for employers, and provide workers with cost-effective, convenient and accessible care.

NBG states that, should this current trend continue, over 97% of large employers will offer telehealth and remote healthcare services to their employees by 2019. Bear in mind that in 2014 this figure was at just 22%, it shows just how beneficial this technology is proving for both employers and employees.

In the UK employee sickness absence continues to be an ongoing problem. It’s something that collectively costs UK businesses £29 billion each year, with over 130 million working days lost to sickness annually. Poor access to services and lengthy waiting times are of course significant contributing factors to these alarming figures.

We’re starting to see companies begin to embrace mobile healthcare solutions on a similar level to that in the United States, allowing organisations such as ours to provide employers with a cost-effective employee benefit service, and employees with convenient and reliable healthcare access. Now Healthcare Group‘s aim is to eliminate sickness days through early intervention, giving people access to a professional medical opinion when they need one and preventing illness from getting worse by tackling it in its earliest stages.

We’ve already teamed up with a number of businesses to provide our services to their staff, with great results. It’s an exciting time to be involved in this ever-growing industry, and we’re confident that mHealth is well on its way to becoming the must-have employee benefit right here in the UK.


You can read more of my thoughts on LinkedIn, and you can also follow me on Twitter.


50m Won’t Get Appointments by 2020, 100m Will Wait Over a Week

CEO & Founder of our parent company Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, discusses the RCGP’s new warnings on waiting times for doctor appointments over the coming years.

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Pulse Today has reported yet more worrying news for the NHS this week, and it’ll come as little surprise to many of you that it involves a rise in GP appointment waiting times.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has warned that, should current trends continue, there will be almost one hundred million instances where patients are forced to wait for over a week to see a GP at an NHS surgery by 2020.

The estimated rise of waiting times is nothing new, and unfortunately has become a spiralling problem for the NHS. What is particularly concerning, though, is that this new analysis also reveals that on 50 million occasions patients will not be able to get a GP appointment at all in four years’ time. That’s 50 million patients who will simply not have access to healthcare when they need it. This is unacceptable and simply cannot be allowed to become a reality.

To put the severity of this predicted rise into context – last year there were 9.4m occasions when patients could not get a GP appointment and didn’t seek healthcare elsewhere; by 2020/21 it could be approximately 47m.

Chair of the RCGP, Dr Maureen Baker, described the new figures as evidence that general practice in the UK is “in crisis.”


“The fact that, if current trends continue, patients will have to wait to see their GP for more than a week on almost 100 million occasions by 2020 is shocking – and poses a clear risk to the health of thousands and patients.

“We now need a guarantee from the new Prime Minister, the new Chancellor and the health secretary that the GP Forward View will be delivered in full.”

Dr Maureen Baker, RCGP Chair


The aforementioned General Practice Forward View sets out a plan, backed by a multi-billion pound investment, to stabilise and transform general practice in the UK. It commits an extra £2.4 billion per year to support GP services by 2021.

For me, it’s absolutely imperative that the funds being promised in this forward view are not just delivered, but used wisely on actions that will visibly improve the situation for the NHS.

We remain committed to doing out part to ease pressures and strains on the NHS by embracing mHealth technologies and helping patients gain convenient and affordable access to primary healthcare. As these new RCGP figures sure, mHealth is exactly what the health service needs right now and we’re excited to help make a real difference through this innovative and effective technology.

 


You can read more of my thoughts on LinkedIn, and you can also follow me on Twitter.


Choice is Important: 10% of Patients ‘Never’ See Their Preferred GP

CEO and Founder of Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, discusses the importance of doctor choice and being able to see your preferred GP, one of the many benefits available through our Now GP mHealth app.

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At Now Healthcare Group, we’re incredibly proud to be able to give our mHealth app patients a flexible service which offers convenience and – crucially – choice.

The satisfaction of our patients is something we take extremely seriously, and in the early stages of developing our smartphone apps we spent a long time conducting extensive market research and analysing feedback from our beta-testing stages to ensure we were giving customers exactly what they wanted.

One thing which came to light at this stage was just how much patients value the option to select from a large pool of doctors and make a conscious decision about who they wish to have a consultation with. When it comes to discussing sensitive issues such as your personal health and wellbeing, it’s imperative to feel comfortable with who you’re speaking to – rather than it being an automatic decision made by the app, Now GP gives users the chance to choose exactly who they speak to.

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The main benefits of this are obvious when you think about it. Many patients feel more comfortable about discussing particular health concerns with a doctor of their own gender, for example – Now GP allows you to choose between male and female GPs, which is also a popular feature for patients of certain religious beliefs and traditions.

It also brings added convenience and practically for any follow-up consultations that a patient may have – being able to see a doctor which they’ve already had a consultation is beneficial for both the doctor and the patient.


“One in ten patients never or almost never get to see their preferred doctor.”


Sadly, the convenience and doctor choice offered by our mHealth service isn’t mirrored in the National Health Service, with the latest GP Patient Survey revealing that the number of patients who regularly get to see their preferred GP continues to decline. It found that one in ten patients “never or almost never” get to see their preferred doctor.

Other notable findings from the new survey include over a quarter of patients (26%) claiming that they had difficulty getting through to someone at their preferred GP surgery on the phone and that the number of patients who “always” get to see their preferred doctor choice has fallen by over 6% in the last four years.

As healthcare access and flexibility continues to diminish in the NHS, we’re very proud to be offering our patients an alternative that matches their expectations and brings choice and convenience back to the industry.


You can read more of my thoughts on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter.

 


Now Healthcare Expands into Asia, Completing First Hong Kong Consultation

Now Healthcare Group is delighted to announce that it has successfully completed its first remote video consultation in Asia, connecting a patient in Hong Kong to a GP based in the UK through the Now GP mobile app.

This latest significant breakthrough for Now Healthcare Group sees it expand into the Asian market for the first time, meaning it is the world’s first mobile healthcare provider to conduct consultations in Europe, North America and Asia, as well as mid-air on board a Dubai-bound flight from London.

The Hong Kong-based patient was connected to a doctor through the Now GP smartphone app, which uses cloud-based technology to allow users to have a video consultation with a qualified doctor in the palm of their hand, whenever, wherever.

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The patient, a UK citizen based in Hong Kong, made the appointment as they were looking to discuss some minor health concerns, as well as seeking general health advice and tips on how they can improve their wellbeing. The patient enjoyed a clear and helpful consultation, with zero disruption and was extremely satisfied with the advice provided.

The patient, who wishes to remain unnamed, said:

“I had read about the service offered by Now GP online and knew it worked internationally, but I wasn’t expecting the technology to work so smoothly. I had a great chat with a doctor and I’m very grateful for the advice I was given. I’m often based in Hong Kong for business so it can be a real struggle getting access to healthcare but I’ll definitely be using it again. I couldn’t fault it.”

CEO and Founder of Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, said:

“We were thrilled to hear about yet another successful international consultation, and this marks a very historic moment in Now Healthcare Group’s history as we move into Asia for the first time. Our tech team deserve great credit for ensuring our system works flawlessly on an international scale and we’re excited to be able to bring our service to people all over the world.”

This latest development comes at an exciting time for Now Healthcare Group, with further innovative projects and platforms in the pipeline. As the Group expands its service internationally, it edges ever closer to its long-term ambition of being able to provide as many people as possible with an effective and convenient healthcare solution.


For the latest healthcare discussion and Now Healthcare news, follow @NowGP on Twitter.

 


Dr Now Announces Rebrand to Now GP

Now Healthcare Group (NHG) is delighted to announce that its flagship product Dr Now is to be rebranded as Now GP in the United Kingdom.

A new logo accompanies the rebrand, as well as the adoption of tagline “Tomorrow’s healthcare now.” The name and trademark ‘Dr Now’ will be retained and used for the growing international mHealth market, now worth $59bn globally. NHG has ambitions to penetrate several international markets in 2016-17, including Asia and the Middle East.

Extensive customer research was conducted by NHG in preparation for this switchover, with 92% of 2,000 patients agreeing that the name ‘Now GP’ was better suited to the UK market due to its strong links to primary care and general practice.

Dr Now was first launched in the UK in August 2015 as the world’s first app to diagnose and deliver medicines from its own integrated online pharmacy distribution hub, Now Pharmacy. This makes the app a one-stop solution for the majority of primary healthcare issues.

It connects users to a UK-based GP through smartphone video consultation, with appointments usually available within a ten minute window and next day delivery of medicines guaranteed. In central London, medicines are delivered in as little as 2-4 hours.

NHG has recently partnered with a number of high-profile business and insurance clients to supply their customer base with this fantastic medical benefit.

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As part of ongoing strategic planning, NHG has also appointed GP Bullhound – a leading investment banking firm – as corporate advisors. Firm director Nick Horrocks said:

“GP Bullhound is delighted to be working with Lee and his highly professional team at Now Healthcare Group. The business is very much at the forefront of future healthcare and will have a transformational impact on how we all view and use healthcare services.”

CEO and Founder of Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, made the following statement:

“We felt it was the right time to rebrand the product as Now GP in order to keep it in line with our existing brand identity and upcoming future products. Our customers felt that ‘GP’ was more appropriate for the UK market; it’s a title that evokes trust in general practice and ensures our app is recognisable as a primary care platform operated by fully-qualified GPs.”


View the Now GP promotional video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHcdD0YKdbs.

Download the Now GP app from the App Store and Google Play.

***NOTES TO EDITORS: For more information on the industry-changing Now GP product, visit www.nowgp.com or contact Founder Lee Dentith at lee.dentith@nowhealthcaregroup.com or Jon Taylor at jon.taylor@nowhealthcaregroup.com. Lee Dentith is available for all media enquiries including phone/TV/radio and email interviews. Alternatively, contact Now Healthcare Group on 0161 820 4860. 


London to be Hit Hard by Surgery Closures

CEO and Founder of Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, looks at the weekend’s worrying GP surgery news, with one in five practices in London expected to close down within the next three years.


Rising demand for appointments, doctor shortages and unmanageable workloads will play havoc with primary healthcare in the capital in the coming months. New research among 644 surgeries has confirmed the worst for London practices, with one in five facing the prospect of closure within three years.

This survey reflects the worrying state of approximately half of the capital’s surgeries. As a result of this relentless pressure and strain, it was found that an eighth of London practices are considering scaling back the services they offer. With onsite primary healthcare already inaccessible for thousands of London-based patients, many will be unsure of where to turn with fewer services available and no local clinic to rely on.

19 surgeries have already announced that they will definitely be closing by 2019, with a further 17% of all London practices not ruling out doing the same. Research points to a shortage of family doctors and an increasingly difficult and unmanageable workload as two of several reasons for the potential closures.

As London’s population continues to accelerate – there’s now 8.6 million living in the capital – the accessibility of reliable primary care at the same time diminishes. We’re edging dangerously close to the system as we know it reaching breaking point, and it’s time to have a serious look at alternatives.

Jeremy Hunt has recently finalised a package of emergency measures to relieve strain on GP services – but will it be enough? I found this quote from Dr Naureen Bhatti, in an interview with The Guardian, particularly powerful:

“We’ve had very few applicants [for our GP job vacancies]. We were surprised because we’ve never had trouble filling our jobs before. But it’s become very difficult in the last six to nine months…The vacancies mean that our workload, which is already heavy and rising, has become enormous. I’m absolutely exhausted. I worked from 8am to 9pm or 10pm every day this week and now I often see patients on what are supposed to my administration days because so many people want an appointment.”

It’s staggering to me how we can let our health service reach this kind of drastic state without taking action earlier. The potential of mobile health services has been known by those in the industry for a long time, and it’s so evident that it’s needed now more than ever.

We want to work with the health service to assist them in a much-needed transition to a more tech-minded approach to healthcare. At times like these the industry needs to come together and work differently – we need to use mHealth to be smarter about how we provide the nation with the care it deserves and so badly needs. Through our service we are able to provide patients with appointments from the comfort of their own home – waiting times, appointment demand and poor access to a GP can all be solved through integration with our innovative app.


You can read more of my thoughts on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter.


Mental Health in the Workplace: A Worrying Trend

In his latest blog, Founder and CEO of Now Healthcare Group Lee Dentith explores the worrying statistics surrounding mental health in the workplace and how an occupational health solution will be beneficial to tackling such issues.

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Last week I came across some extremely disturbing statistics on mental health in the workplace in the United Kingdom. New research has revealed that 57% of employees in this country have suffered from mental health problems whilst in employment and, worryingly, a third say that their employer approaches such issues in a negative way.

The lack of awareness of mental health issues is a worrying trend, with 13% of employees describing their organisation as “dismissive” when it comes to discussing these issues. For too long there has been this negative stigma associated with mental troubles, and these statistics paint a horrifying picture of employer attitudes in this country.

Only half of sufferers admit to opening up to their employer about their mental health-related problems, with the majority deterred from discussing their conditions due to the unhelpful and negative attitudes held by their organisation.

Mental health issues are affecting millions of UK employees each and every day, and a third of respondents to the Canada Life Group survey have criticised employers for offering little to no support to those who are suffering.


Here’s a look at the mental health statistics uncovered by the Canada Life Group survey:

 

  • 57% of UK employees have suffered from mental health problems while in employment.
  • 33% say their employer approaches such issues in a negative way.
  • 13% describe their organisation as “dismissive” to mental health issues.
  • 12% claim their organisation is uncomfortable and awkward when dealing with the subject.
  • 8% describe their employer as “secretive” by refusing to talk about mental health.
  • Only 5% say their organisation is helpful when dealing with mental health issues.
  • 47% of employees suffering have opened up to their employer.
  • 32% say their employer offers no support for those experiencing problems.
  • 25% are unaware of the support, if there is any, offered by their employer.
  • 51% say UK employers need to do more to encourage positive mental health at work.
  • 24% say sufferers are discriminated against in the workplace.

This lack of understanding around mental health simply cannot continue if employers want to be part of our accepting, forward-thinking society. It is absolutely crucial that employers communicate with employees and encourage them to not feel uneasy about opening up about such issues. In terms of help, though, employees need someone to confide in and need advice from an expert – and this isn’t always possible to provide within the workplace itself.

We’ve spent the last few months developing one of the most innovative new branches of the Now Healthcare Group business, with plans to launch Now Occ Health, an occupational health platform, in the second quarter of this year.

Now Occ Health will assist employees in keeping well both physically and mentally within the workplace, with professional psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and occupational health advisers available on demand to discuss any issues that UK workers may have. Advice on physical problems will also be available to those in need, offering preventative care, diagnosis and workplace health tips.

Part of our overall ambition to ensure that all elements of healthcare are accessible and available to each and every one of us, Now Occ Health is just one of several exciting projects we’re working on as a company over the coming months.


Closures Mean 25,000 Left without a GP – We’re Here to Help

CEO and Founder of Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, shares his thoughts on our nation’s continued healthcare crisis and how the Now GP mHealth platform can help patients and doctors recover from the problem’s created by NHS closures.

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The alarming state of the National Health Service continues to dominate the news of the healthcare industry as we welcome in the New Year, with no signs of let up. Today it’s been revealed that circa 25,000 UK-based patients could be left without access to a GP as a new wave of practice closures see the NHS staggeringly close to breaking point.

It’s a momentous double-blow for the NHS, with a large number of GP surgeries also now unwilling and unable to take on new patients. The majority are citing rising patient demand, a lack of obligatory and imperative resources and a shortage of willing doctors as their main rationale for these harmful closures and patient facilitation restrictions.

At least 100 surgeries in England alone have applied to the health service in a bid to stop accepting new patients, leaving thousands of UK citizens without convenient access to primary health care. The move is the latest in a long line of drastic attempts to alleviate some of the strain on the increasingly-stretched service, with leading figures in the industry describing it as the “only option.”

Whilst some surgeries will be forced to labour on with their plight, as a dynamic and neoteric mHealth company our main perturbations rest with the patients who will unable to see a doctor when they need one the most. We’re at the apotheosis of the winter cold and flu season, and a shortage of primary care access will have detrimental effects on our nation’s functionality, particularly when it comes to employee sickness, unnecessary A&E visits, lengthy waiting times et al.


“Our mHealth solution is now needed more than ever”


Our mission at Now GP is to both decrease the pressures on our country’s health system and provide the nation with easy access to a doctor. Those who are denied access to their local surgery are perhaps unsure of where to turn – through Now GP, we bring a qualified, UK-based GP directly to them through innovative, video-based smartphone consultations.

The NHS’s problems lie with the issue of staff numbers. The pressure that our doctors are being put under has led to stress and depression becoming the third biggest reason for GP absences, behind maternity and bereavement. Working for an increasingly-strained service is taking its toll on our nation’s doctors, so I’m incredibly proud to be part of a company which is able to provide them with an opportunity to continue to do what they love at a time to suit them, in a more relaxed and stress-free setting.

It may be 2016 now but the NHS shows no signs of recovering from its horrifically bleak situation. Just last year a total of 160,000 patients were told they could no longer see a GP at their local surgery and were forced to turn elsewhere. With at least 25,000 already added to this number this year – and we’re only one week into January – more and more patients are set to suffer. Now GP is here to help by bringing access to a doctor back to our nation at a time and a place to suit them – and it would appear that our mHealth solution is now needed more than ever.

 


You can read more of Lee Dentith’s thoughts on both Twitter and LinkedIn.