Dr Jonathan Broomberg, CEO of Discovery Health, announced the launch of DrConnect, the product of a partnership between Discovery Health and HealthTap, based in Palo Alto, California. DrConnect provides a world-leading platform connecting patients, doctors and medical scheme case managers using state-of-the-art technology and artificial intelligence. With DrConnect patients have seamless access to high-quality medical information, and the app-based platform facilitates personal interactions between patients and their doctors.
“Doctors are extremely busy professionals, and facilitating real-time, easy communication with their patients will undoubtedly make doctors’ and patients’ lives easier. With more sophisticated and accessible digital tools, and big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies playing an increasingly prominent role in health systems, we are excited about the potential of DrConnect. This platform combines HealthTap’s technology and extensive database with our own market-leading capabilities. This combination, we foresee, will significantly enhance our service offering to members of medical schemes we administer in South Africa, as well as to the thousands of health professionals who treat them,” explained Broomberg.
This new Discovery Health service simply requires a download of the DrConnect app, which is now available in app stores for Android and iOS. Once medical scheme members have downloaded the DrConnect app, they can access the platform either through the Discovery app for members or through DrConnect directly. There is also an option to access it on www.discovery.co.za.
DrConnect links medical scheme members with curated health information on their phones, tablets or personal computers. Answers to health-related questions are provided by over 108 000 doctors to millions of patients across 174 countries. This global service is generating an extensive library of personalised, doctor-created and peer-reviewed health content, stemming from over 5.5 billion responses to medical questions. This library grows daily, and will grow further locally as medical scheme members and their doctors engage on the platform. With access to this library, Discovery Health will provide members of medical schemes it administers with a credible source of online medical information in an online world that is cluttered by many, often dubious, health information sites. In addition, the platform will also allow for virtual consultations between patients and the doctors who already treat them.
Broomberg said, “This platform will further support the existing functionality of Discovery HealthID, which is the country’s leading Electronic Health Record, currently used in more than 2 000 doctors’ practices. Specifically, doctors will now be able to capture their clinical notes on HealthID and communicate, in a confidential, secure and discreet environment, with colleagues and patients through the DrConnect platform.”
About future developments, he said, “We will also be integrating this technology with our clinical case management systems, allowing for highly personalised care pathways to optimise the management of patients with specific chronic health conditions. These pathways will be extended to include other areas of care, for example, information and healthcare during and after pregnancy.”
The following functionalities of DrConnect will make finding health information and optimising care easier:
- A comprehensive online, curated medical library for instant answers to medical questions
- Seamless communication between participating members of medical schemes, their doctors, and medical scheme case managers
- Convenient access to HealthID for registered doctors to do virtual follow-up consultations using video, voice or text notes
- Integrated clinical data for medical scheme members who have consented to doctors using HealthID, which will optimise care
- Personalised, doctor-created checklists to help patients manage their health and wellness.
Broomberg stated that DrConnect is the next step in Discovery Health’s digital journey, which is aimed at enhancing the care and service experience of medical scheme members and health professionals. “Discovery Health is deeply focused on creating an integrated, value-based healthcare system that provides high-quality care at the lowest possible cost. These ongoing investments in the latest technologies are a key element of our efforts to create this system where everyone benefits from the value that high-quality healthcare service provision creates,” he said.