Digiatrics works to improve the health and outcomes of patients by helping them take control of their medical problems. They put patients right at the heart of a community network of local support organisations. They open up communication channels between patients, NHS, social care, community groups, local businesses, charitable and voluntary providers.
Digiatric’s required a system that would allow GP’s to talk with their patients directly. Currently every communication between a GP and their patient is carried out in an appointment and this is spreading a GP’s time too thin. Thus effects the quality of service they can provide their patients.
This raised the following questions; Who needs to be involved in this process? How will we manage access? What key medical information needs to be included?
Creating a multi-level system that can be used by patients and health care professionals alike was definitely a challenge. By working with Digiatrics in conjunction with Boehringer Ingelheim and with the support of Diabetes UK, Urban Media built a platform that could connect patients with their local health care professionals. The platform aims at providing targeted information to the patient whilst also providing them with tools to proactively manage their condition. The platform primarily focuses on specific conditions such as diabetes, COPD and asthma. For the system to work CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) are signed up by Digiatrics with the appropriate training given. The CCGs then generate accounts for their HCPs (Health Care Professionals). They also manage a library of specific conditions information. During a consultation an HCP will then recommend the system to a patient. There is no public access allowed. The patient will then sign up and has access to a core package of information relevant to their condition. A calendar function reminds them of any appointments they have coming up. There is a medication section allowing for dosage and frequency to be recorded. The HCP can connect directly to the patient’s account to add content, send messages, book appointments and add medication. As the system was being built Digiatrics asked for a ‘My Body’ section to be added which included a learning area. This shows how the condition affects each organ in the body and the effects their medication has on these organs. A nutrition and activity diary was included, plus tools that tracked blood pressure and weight. Currently the whole system is in a trial. We are looking to add a forum for patients to interact with other patients in their local area.