A group of GPs and NHS healthcare workers have teamed up with scientists to build technology to help doctors offer fully remote consulting to handle the Coronavirus pandemic.
The team, led by Oxford based GP Alexander Finlayson, have been working through the night during recent weeks to get Nye Health up and running. The tech, which is now live and is free for the NHS to use, allows GPs to offer fully secure NHS consultations to patients via video or desktop phone call. The system will help reduce the number of patients attending GP surgeries in person and enable all GPs to work from home if surgeries begin to close due to the virus.
Whilst allowing video calls, the tech also speeds up the process compared to traditional phone appointments, meaning doctors will be able to support more patients during peak periods. It will also offer continuity of care, with patients able to see their own doctor if and when they need.
Founder and CEO, Dr Alexander Finlayson, said: “Given the current crisis and in response to calls from the secretary of state for health to make sure clinical remote working is possible, we’ve rapidly and urgently built technology to help UK GPs cope and ensure they can still care for their patients. This tech has been built for and with the NHS. It is free, it’s completely secure, and it will help GPs process fast, effective appointments via call or video call. We can save each clinician crucial time everyday whilst keeping everyone as safe as possible – this will prove absolutely critical in the weeks to come, especially if GPs are forced to work from home.”
The team is already seeing major demand for the tech, with thousands of consultations already taking place each week via Nye and new surgeries joining each day. The ground floor of Oxford University’s Oxford Foundry has been turned into a Nye Pandemic Response Centre to help cope with demand.
Nye’s phone and video call system is fully encrypted and compliant with NHS Digital standards. It also integrates with existing records and databases, meaning all patients, care, data and insights are kept within the NHS.
One advanced nurse practitioner in Oxford added: “Our clinicians are more relaxed knowing that we are taking positive action towards keeping our clinicians safe and doing what we can to reduce the spread of illness during this testing time.”