The vast majority of the country's GPs will be able to hold video consultations with their patients following a deal between VideoDoc and Clanwilliam Health. VideoDoc makes it easier for healthcare professionals and patients to link up remotely, using a webcam or smartphone camera. It will be accessible in the Clanwilliam's software by the end of the second quarter of this year.
VideoDoc's CEO and co-founder Mary O'Brien said the system is designed to be as user-friendly as possible for patients and doctors. "Patients can download a mobile app or log on to our web portal, videodoc.ie," she said. "They register for an account, they add in their own personal data and then they can see their own GP online. GPs all around the country can access this software, they can download it in their own practices and they can push to their own patients."
Ms O'Brien said the software was developed in collaboration with clinicians, patients and tech specialists to ensure it is as user-friendly as possible - particularly important for patients who might not consider themselves particularly tech savvy. It is also designed with a high level of privacy in mind, given the sensitive nature of the information users will be providing and the conversations they will be having.
VideoDoc hopes its service will ultimately replace some of the more minor GP visits people may feel the need to make at the moment - or even the follow-up that might currently be conducted over the phone. Ms O'Brien believes it does give users a number of benefits over existing options. "A patient might have a rash or they might want to show the doctor something, so it adds a level in terms of the service more than what a telephone would add," she said, adding that it might also be one of the tools that helps to reduce pressure on the healthcare system, as well as the risk of cross-infection that comes from waiting rooms.
VideoDoc is a relatively young company but this deal gives it the potential to reach doctors in every corner of the country. The next step for the firm is overseas, where it is already beginning to gain some traction. "VideoDoc has launched in the UK market since January and we've got a number of strategic partnerships that we've gone to market with," Ms O'Brien said. "Working with Clanwilliam in Ireland has been a huge stepping stone making it available to all the GP surgeries throughout the Irish market, and that's been a great way to launch into the UK market with them as a launch partner," she added.
MORNING BRIEFS - Markets were little changed overnight as the US Federal Reserve met expectations by maintaining interest rates following its latest meeting. The US Fed said rates would stay in the 0.5-0.75% range. But it was positive about the country's economic prospects as employment and economic activity continued to strengthen. The Fed has pencilled in a number of rate rises next year, the first of which is expected in March or June
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