Can technology help care providers deliver appropriate services? An article in e-magazine Digital Health explores where technology can add value to services.

As acute trusts struggle to cope with wider problems facing the NHS and social care, it all comes back to oft-asked question: how can we keep patients out of hospital in the first instance?

The responsibility for this has been borne by general practitioners, NHS 111 and urgent care sector such as out-of-hours service providers.

One of the key benefits of using digital tools is the flexibility they offer. Dr Taz Aldawoud, a GP and clinical board member at Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Group, thinks remote working can help in matching capacity with demand.  Aldawoud is the creator of Doc Abode – a software platform providing quicker and effective healthcare solutions to NHS patients at home by increasing the availability and accessibility of local clinicians.

Working with D4D and supported by the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network, Doc Abode’s aims is to create a safer and more responsive urgent care system by using algorithms to match the skillset of the clinician with the specific needs of the patients.

Dr Aldawoud explains how it works: “When the core service is struggling, the provider pushes out a notification to those GPs who want to flexibly offer their time, and it’s up to the clinicians to set when they are available. If they are available at that time then they are notified of where the patient is, how far they are from the patients, other criteria which matches with their specialty, language etc and it’s up to that clinician whether to accept or reject that notification.”

He says the trial last year showed 15-20 percent of all urgent care activity was picked up by Doc Abode – which was independently evaluated by University of Bradford. In addition, the average time taken was under 30 minutes from the GP accepting the request to being face-to-face with the patient.

You can read the full article online, here.