NHS Launches Online Video Consultations Service Using Saypage Telemedicine Platform

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United Kingdom’s National Health Service rolls out secure, high definition video consultations between NHS clinicians and patients at home.

NHS Online Appointment

NHS Online Appointment

Saypage supports end-to-end encrypted online video consultations across desktop and mobile

To provide patients and clinicians with more convenience, and reduce the need for in-person visits, the NHS has commissioned the deployment of a secure, made-for-purpose video conferencing solution that connects clinicians to patients at home in scheduled online appointments.

Towards the end of 2012, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) identified Saypage as the most suitable provider able to meet the security and quality needs of the NHFT. The Saypage Telemedicine Platform provides a solution compatible with both the public internet and the secure NHS N3 network, and can be accessed in any web browser without the need for patient or clinician to install additional software or plugins to their computer, eliminating a large number of potential customer service issues.

Saypage enables the creation of easy-to-use, NHS-branded video communication portals on the web that can be accessed just as easily via smart-phone and tablet apps on iOS and Android devices. As such, Saypage presents itself as the best option for being able to support end-to-end encrypted NHS consultations across desktop and mobile, maintaining Information Governance (IG) and routing control throughout.

Saypage has also developed a smart appointments system to cut down on the “Did Not Attend” (DNA) rate that reminds both patient and clinician of upcoming appointments by way of email and SMS. Once logged in, neither clinician nor patient needs to do anything except allow access to their web cam and microphone, as the system then automatically places a simultaneous call to both parties at the scheduled start time.

Integration with patient records' providers and a comprehensive real-time monitoring and statistical reporting suite is included.

The service is seen as complimenting in-person consultations and is not intended as a replacement of traditional forms of treatment. Advantages over existing consultations include elimination of travel time and expense, reduction of time off work, minimising exposure to contagious illnesses and the familiarity of a home setting, which in turn leads to more comfortable, less anxious patients. Usage is never forced upon a patient and is only offered to those considered suitable for remote consulting.

The concept of using video conferencing in telehealth is not new; indeed the use of Skype in healthcare is fairly widespread. However Skype has a number of shortcomings including no control of data, the display of advertising, non-NHS branding, a disconnect between an appointments system and calls carried out, the inability to manage contacts lists, lack of HIPAA and ISO27001 compliance and insufficient reporting tools.

Consultant Clinical Psychologist at NHFT, Kobus Van Rensburg, already an advocate of remote consulting, having introduced the concept of using Skype to the trust in 2011, welcomes the move to Saypage saying, “Being able to work with the Saypage team to customise a fully compliant service to suit our specific needs has been hugely advantageous. Many of my service users have provided invaluable feedback regarding video consultations and we are now able to incorporate this insight when customising bespoke services for our individual teams. One thing I am finding from remote consulting in general is that our clients are often more comfortable in their own homes and that video-consultations tend to be more focused than clinic-based appointments.”

Saypage can be used for one-to-one consulting, but also offers multiparty conferencing and collaboration. This means that more expert clinicians can be conferenced into patient consultations and that the platform is ideal for hosting Multi Disciplinary Group (MDG) meetings, with the potential for patients at home to join the live conference discussing their case.

Head of business development at Saypage, Marek Zwiefka-Sibley says, “We look forward to adapting the service based on feedback over the coming months. We regard this initiative as a win for patients in terms of eliminating the costs and inconvenience of travel, as well as a win for clinicians and the NHS at large, as usage will free up a significant amount of expert time. Good take-up will also reduce the carbon footprint currently left by the NHS, and reduce the wastage caused by DNAs and often unnecessary hospital visits by helping patients to receive a proportion of their treatment or aftercare at home.”

Please visit telemedicine.saypage.com for more information
Please go to http://www.saypage.com/press.jsp for press material.

About Saypage: Saypage is a Video Consultations Platform that enables businesses to rapidly deploy branded communications portals with integrated billing, reporting, recording, whiteboard and scheduling. With expertise in high-definition video conferencing, Saypage services can be accessed seamlessly on smartphones, tablets and in web browsers without the need for additional downloads or plugins. Saypage is headquartered in London, England and with offices around the world the company provides global support and service.

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Marek Zwiefka-Sibley
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