Founder and CEO of Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, discusses new research focusing on the effect of staff sickness on UK businesses.
Since founding Now Healthcare Group back in 2014, one of our main areas of focus has been on how digital health services can be utilised to have a positive impact on the ongoing problem of staff sickness and employee absence here in the United Kingdom.
The latest research from Britain’s Healthiest Workplace (BHW) has found that UK employers are losing a staggering 27.5 days of productive work per employee every year as a result of ill health. If you were to put a figure on the monetary value of this loss, you’d find that staff absence and the problem of presenteeism costs the UK economy a huge £73 billion per year.
Entrepreneurship and investment journalist, Jay Kim, recently caught up with our Founder and CEO Lee Dentith in an exclusive interview published for global business magazine Forbes.
Discussing the growing role of health technology and the story behind Lee’s founding of Now Healthcare Group, as well as the company’s plans for the future, the article certainly makes for compelling reading for those with an interest in the digital health sector.
Founder and CEO of Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, discusses a new survey amongst GP practices in the UK which revealed some interesting figures concerning primary care consultation formats.
Amidst the chaos and controversy surrounding last week’s much talked about NHS cyber attack, some other interesting news regarding consultation formats within the health service emerged, and perhaps went somewhat unnoticed by a lot of people in the industry.
A recent survey of GP surgeries in the United Kingdom has found that one in six practices carry out “email consultations” with their patients, while a huge 96% of them offer telephone consultations.
These sort of processes are part of NHS England’s “10 high impact actions”, a set of proposals with the ambition of releasing time within general practice and primary care and reducing strain on NHS services.
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You can continue reading the rest of this article on the Dr Now website.
MoneySuperMarket is providing customers with the chance to see a doctor on their mobile phone whilst they’re abroad on holiday, through a new partnership with Thomas Cook and digital health company Now Healthcare Group.
Holidaymakers who purchase Thomas Cook travel insurance through the price comparison website will be provided with access to the Now GP smartphone app, a ground-breaking digital health service that connects patients to UK-based doctors via video call, for the duration of their holiday.
The mobile health service is staffed by fully-qualified, MRCGP-certified doctors and allows patients to browse through a list of available GPs and schedule an appointment at a time to suit them. This allows holidaymakers to travel safe in the knowledge that in the unfortunate event of illness, face-to-face consultations with a UK-based, English-speaking doctor via video call are easily accessible.
The exciting new partnership aims to boost confidence among travellers and alleviate any potential cause for concern, with medical advice available via the app both in and out of the EU. Furthermore, if treatment is required to combat any prolonged periods of illness, electronic prescriptions and advice notes can be made available to collect from any local pharmacy.
The Now GP app is the first mobile health app to be proven to work on an international scale, hosting successful video consultations in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. This new partnership with MoneySuperMarket and Thomas Cook extends Now Healthcare Group’s current coverage over two million people, and is another key step towards the company’s ultimate goal of covering 25 million people by the end of 2017.
With statistics finding that one in five of us fall ill when holidaying abroad, Now GP is a fantastic travel benefit for Thomas Cook and MoneySuperMarket customers, particularly for families. Consultations are available for the duration of their time abroad, and the app is free to download for iOS and Android devices.
Founder and CEO of Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, said:
“We’re delighted to offer the use of the Now GP app to customers who purchase Thomas Cook travel insurance through MoneySupermarket.com. Falling ill on holiday can be a real worry and a big problem for families, so by providing quick and easy access for people to speak to a doctor back home we’re helping to make holiday healthcare more convenient so people can enjoy their holidays hassle-free.”
Zena Carter, head of travel insurance at MoneySuperMarket, commented:
“We’re really pleased to be partnering with Thomas Cook and Now Healthcare Group on this project. For holidaymakers, having the security of knowing they can reach a UK doctor quickly, in the unforeseen scenario that they or someone within their party do fall ill on holiday, is something that cannot be underestimated.”
What role does digital healthcare have to play in an NHS primary care setting? CEO & Founder of Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, discusses in his latest blog as GP practices are tasked with ensuring that 20% of patients use online health services.
I have long since championed the incredible potential of digital healthcare services, particularly apps, and the hugely important role that they will play in the NHS over the years to come.
At a time when our National Health Service is faced with continuous pressures and placed under ever-increasing strain, it is evidently clear that healthcare apps that connect patients with a doctor remotely could significantly ease the burden on the NHS, both financially and in terms of relieving pressure.
A recent article I read in Pulse carried some very encouraging news for those of us in the digital health industry, concerning new non-contractual terms between NHS Employers and the GPC (General Practitioners Committee).
In his latest blog, CEO & Founder of Now Healthcare Group Lee Dentith discusses the importance of patient safety in digital healthcare, following the closure of two services deemed unsafe by the Care Quality Commission.
In October 2016 I was overwhelmed with pride when my company Now Healthcare Group, just two years into its existence, was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and found to be the first and only digital health provider in the UK meeting all regulations.
Our service, the way we care for our patients and our commitment to providing healthcare of the highest standard were all deemed exemplary. Our performance in the inspection was judged to be so positive that it saw us selected to set the standard for all future digital healthcare inspections – a standard which all other providers must now adhere to if they wish to continue operations in the UK…
Patients in the United Kingdom should be able to choose to see a doctor via digital health platforms as part of NHS Choices, a new survey has found.
The study, conducted by Now Healthcare Group, questioned 100 members of the public and found that 97% agreed that digital health technology – such as mobile app video appointments – should be made available through NHS Choices to make primary healthcare more accessible to patients. Such a move could significantly reduce the unnecessary costs and pressures on an increasingly overstretched NHS.
Founder and CEO of Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, outlined his ambitions to continue working closely with the NHS to help achieve a solution to this problem and relieve strain on our A&E departments. He said:
“With avoidable A&E visits costing the NHS over £1 billion each year, it’s imperative for the future of primary care in this country that new methods are introduced and new technologies are thoroughly embraced. These latest survey figures speak for themselves, and with 97% of patients actively asking for the opportunity to see a doctor via an app, I remain confident that services such as ours are undeniably the future of the UK’s healthcare system. As the only telehealth provider currently authorised to provide NHS repeat prescriptions, we have ambitions to work even more closely with the NHS to solve A&E’s billion pound problem by transforming the way that people in the UK access primary care.”
In his latest blog, CEO & Founder of Now Healthcare Group Lee Dentith discusses a new study from the University of Surrey which has explored the benefits of telehealth and remote care for cancer survivors.
It’s always encouraging to read about more positive developments in the digital health industry, and recently a fascinating study concerning telehealth and cancer survivors caught my eye.
The study, conducted by researchers at The University of Surrey, revealed that the overwhelming majority of cancer survivors find the use of telehealth as a way of communicating with nurses and other healthcare professionals to be “positive and worthwhile.”
CEO & Founder of Now GP’s parent company Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, discusses how digital healthcare can significantly improve employee wellbeing and reduce employer costs.
To some, the link between digital healthcare services and the workplace might not be quite as obvious as the former’s link with the NHS. The National Health Service is crying out for the adoption of tech in order to ease the burden on the system, whereas businesses might not always consider employee healthcare as a top priority. However, the benefits of digital healthcare for both employees and employers cannot be underestimated. Here are several ways that digital healthcare can transform the workplace.
Reduce staff sickness through early intervention
This is where employers start to sit up and take note – you may be surprised to hear that staff sickness costs businesses in the UK a staggering £29 BILLION each year, with over 130 working days lost annually. Unfortunately, there is an overlap here with the NHS’ current problems – when employees start to feel unwell, they are left with lengthy waits to see a doctor (the average waiting time for a GP appointment currently stands at 13 days), in which time their illness has already escalated. This forces them to stay home and take sick days.
Digital health apps, which connect patients to doctors and nurses remotely within minutes, ensure that potential illness is tackled as soon as possible, eliminating the need for numerous sick days and the avoiding hassle of taking time off work to attend appointments.
Medicines delivered to the office
Our health apps (Now GP/Dr Now) include medicine delivery directly to an employee’s home or office address. This allows users to connect to a doctor remotely when they first wake up feeling under the weather, receive a professional diagnosis and – in some locations – have the medicine on their desk by lunchtime. It’s all part of making healthcare quicker and more convenient for people, intervening early and stopping sickness as soon as it begins to strike.
Combat the problem of presenteeism
While some employees may take time off when they are too ill to work, there are others – 68%, to be precise – who will continue to go to work even if they are unwell. While some may read this as a good thing, it’s actually the opposite – presenteeism, as it’s known, is a serious problem for UK businesses and sees sickness spread throughout the office, taking down an entire bank, team or even division in a matter of days.
Again, poor access to NHS appointments is a major cause of this as people simply can’t afford to take weeks off work. By providing employees with digital health access through mHealth service or white-labelled apps, they can be seen quickly and efficiently, and receive fit notes and fit to work certificates on the same day to determine whether they can come into the office risk-free.
Mental health benefits
9 in 10 major US employers are expected to turn to telehealth within the next year, and we need to see a similar uptake in the UK. An area which has incredible potential is mental health – conditions such as stress and workplace anxiety affect 25% of all employees in the UK, with many feeling uncomfortable discussing it with their employer. By providing remote access to counselling services remotely, employees are just a few taps away from chatting to a professional when things get a bit too much.
The sky is the limit when it comes to the adoption of digital healthcare in the workplace. It’s anticipated that 97% of all large US companies will offer telehealth in some form to their employees by 2019, and I’m hopeful that the UK can follow its lead in this field. Whether it’s simply providing employees with better access to appointments, or utilising the latest wearable technology to monitor sickness trends and safeguard against the spread of sickness, digital healthcare no doubt has a major role to play in the future of workplace wellbeing.
You can read more of my thoughts on LinkedIn (Mr Lee Dentith) and you can also follow me on Twitter.