Buddy: our new remote consultation product

Buddy: our new remote consultation product

As 2021 draws to a close, let’s take a moment to tally the number of healthtech innovations iPLATO has completed from its ambitious checklist: 

Appointment reminders and automatic cancellation via reply SMS?  Check  
Advanced patient engagement campaigns with integrated appointment booking? Check 
Patient questionnaires and SNOMED coding? Check  
Patient follow-up with Friends and Family Test? – Check  
Patient Facing Services including free and secure SMS conversion to data?  Check  
Intelligent Care Navigation? Check 

We’re proud to say that our platform has consistently improved day-to-day functionality for GP practices around the country.  

Now, after two years of solid investment, we are adding a scalable version of remote consultation as a desktop plugin. End-user experience has always been a priority for our developers and in-depth conversations with clinician-users have inspired the final design of this product. Our new remote consultation product – internally nicknamed Buddy and offered free of charge to platform users – is a departure from our online tradition in three major ways: 

First, few clinicians bothered with digital patient services when we began working with NHS primary care over 15 years ago. At that time, patient interaction outside of physical consultations was the sole responsibility of the administration team – including practice managers and receptionists.  All this changed with the pandemic. GPs and other primary care clinicians alike had to adapt to working remotely. With Buddy, we are looking forward to serving a new active user group beyond our traditional core users in practice administration.  

Second, most iPLATO services including patient facing services, appointment management and care navigation are automated and require just one-off set-up to run within a GP practice. But with Buddy we enter a world where clinicians use our platform several times per day. A non-negotiable requirement to run 24/7 myGP App – our patient facing service with 2.4 million active users – has prepared us for more intense usage patterns but we are looking forward to supporting higher usage rates on the healthcare provider side of our platform. 

Finally, in term of technology, we prefer cloud-based technology over desktop plug-ins for reasons of scalability, security, and safety. Compared to others in the British primary care sector, we take these aspects very seriously. While this may have prevented us from moving as quickly as our alternatives, Buddy has now arrived, and we can’t wait to roll it out to our thousands of GP practices within their platform subscriptions (funded by CCGs).  

It is a new era for us here at iPLATO and I am extremely excited to offer the best and the broadest patient engagement platform to our primary care partners.  

As always, we are here to help.  

Tobias Alpsten, CEO of iPLATO Healthcare

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