Doctors on demand

New technology brings doctors to your desk and the surgery to smartphones

VideoDoc brings GP consultations to the workplace

A pioneering tech-company is set to shake up the growing telemedicine industry with the UK-launch of its GP video consultation platform and a strategic focus for business leaders, employee benefits providers, and HR managers looking to reduce levels of absenteeism.

New research commissioned by VideoDoc, which already provides a telemedicine consultation service to over 50% of the country’s GP practices, reveals that over half (52%) of people questioned had delayed seeking medical advice as they were worried about taking time off work – a statistic that rose to 70% among those working in London.

Through collaborations with leading healthcare insurance providers in Ireland, VideoDoc offers an on-demand GP service to hundreds of thousands of patients.

This service enables people to consult with a GP face to face via an online platform and without having to leave their workplace or take time off to travel to their local surgery.

According to the new research, more than a quarter of people (27%) admitted that the most likely reason for having to take a day off work would be for a GP appointment - with one in five going on to say they had actually used a full day of annual leave in order to see their GP.

Where there was a fear of having to admit the need to see a GP during ‘office hours’, the national poll showed that excuses started to creep into the workplace with ‘lies about train delays’ or ‘having to work from home to look after a sick child’ – creating an environment that is now starting to give line managers and HR departments a headache!

We know that at least 70% of all health-related issues which a GP might treat during an in-surgery visit can be treated via telemedicine consultations

With VideoDoc currently offering the lowest entry point in the telehealth sector for corporate clients at just £15 per employee for an annual subscription of unlimited GP appointments – many businesses are fast coming to the conclusion that this flexible approach to healthcare could be just the right medicine to ensure their workforce stays well – or gets well sooner rather than later.

Telemedicine entrepreneur and co-founder of VideoDoc, Mary O’Brien, said: “Telemedicine brings the doctor’s housecall into the 21st century, offering timely, safe and effective online healthcare services.

“There are huge advantages for people who work within conventional office hours in a location that’s often some distance from home.

“This smart solution means people will no longer have to take time off for GP appointments or waste hours on the end of a phone waiting for slots to become available.

“We know that at least 70% of all health-related issues which a GP might treat during an in-surgery visit can be treated via telemedicine consultations.

“So why, when the NHS is already over-burdened and access to GPs and primary care services are at an all-time low, is there such an inflexible approach to how and where we ‘see’ our doctors – as well as a continuing culture of clogging up waiting rooms?”

“She added: “Millennials are the mobile, subscription and on-demand generation – taxis, TV and now healthcare.

“They’re simply not used to having to wait for services and not prepared to disrupt their working day for an appointment that could legitimately be accessed from their workstation. VideoDoc is healthcare, anytime, anywhere.”

This smart solution means people will no longer have to take time off for GP appointments or waste hours on the end of a phone waiting for slots to become available

Despite the rapid, global growth in telemedicine, the UK market remains is in its infancy - but this is predicted to change in the next three years.

Last year, PwC suggested the global market for connected healthcare will expand a third every year to reach £37billion by 2020 with the UK set to grab 5%, or £2billion of this share.

So-called sick days cost the UK economy £100billion a year, according to the CIPD’s 2016 absence management report and, a total of 130 million days are lost to absenteeism every year.

On average, employees are absent for six-and-a-half days every year with the main cause of a sick day being a ‘minor’ illness.

So instant access to an online GP, immediate diagnosis, and swift prescribing of necessary medication should play an important and innovative role in bringing these figures down.

O’Brien said: “For employers, investing in the health and wellbeing of their staff will go a long way to promoting a happier, more-engaged and productive workforce – something that should be high on the wish list of every CEO.”

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