eConsult gets further £7m to expand NHS digital triage platform

The digital triage platform eConsult that is widely used by NHS GP practices has closed a £7 million funding ($9.6 million) round to expand the service.

This latest funding round led by Calculus Capital follows the £5 million from equity investor Gresham Health in October last year.

Last year eConsult launched a combined platform with two other providers, adding its digital triage tool with a video consultation provided by Q Doctor and Cognitant’s health information service Healthinote.

eConsult works as a digital gateway to a GP practice, allowing clinicians to decide care pathways for patients, which in turn releases capacity and reduces costs.

At its core is a proprietary, clinician-led bank of more than 10,000 questions producing from evidence-based medicine, NICE guidance, clinical knowledge summaries and NHS sources.

The system records patient details, case history and symptoms and provides them to the GP in a concise format where they are processed in two to three minutes.

Research shows around 70% of requests are closed without need for a face-to-face appointment, the company said.

Funding from central government has also helped to hasten the roll-out of eConsult, which has seen increased demand for its service because of the need for remote consultation during the pandemic.

As well as supporting existing services, the extra cash will support the rollout of its urgent and emergency care tool, etTriage and its outpatient triage tool, eSpecialist.

eTriage is designed to automatically check-in and prioritise patients upon arrival to an emergency department, identifying sick patients earlier, reducing the waiting time and ensuring that any red flags are immediately re-directed to the appropriate emergency care.

eConsult is also advancing with its additional product, eSpecialist, which is intended to improve the efficiency of outpatient appointments and allow a joined-up service through primary and secondary care.

Dr Murray Ellender, CEO of eConsult Health, commented: “This funding will help us keep pace with the product development we need to support cutting edge health technology across both primary and secondary care. NHS patients deserve an excellent digital experience when interacting with the health service and we now look forward to delivering the transformation needed.”

The post eConsult gets further £7m to expand NHS digital triage platform appeared first on .

NHS digital triage provider to expand with £5m investment

Equity investor Gresham House has invested £5m into the NHS’s digital triage provider eConsult Health, allowing the service to expand to meet demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

eConsult provides online consultation services to NHS primary care organisations and will use the investment to maintain its position as a provider in GP surgeries.

COVID-19 has showed the need for tools to relieve pressure on surgeries.

The company says it has seen exponential growth of its services over the past year and will use the new funds to continue with the rollout of its digital triage platform.

The £5m investment, made on behalf of the Baronsmead Venture Capitalist Trusts, is in addition to further investment from existing shareholders and will support the expansion of eConsult Health into the secondary care market.

Beyond maintaining its position as the leading digital triage services in GP surgeries, eConsult Health will continue the rollout of its Urgent and Emergency Care triage product, eTriage, and outpatient referral software, eSpecialist.

Digital triage allows patients to be dealt with more effectively and efficiently, moving from a world where 90% of patients have no option other than a face to face appointment to one where the majority of cases are appropriate for remote closing.

This allows healthcare practitioners to prioritise face to face consultations with those patients in greatest and most urgent need.

Earlier this year, eConsult was added to the NHS app, a project launched by NHS Digital in 2018 as part of its push into digital health.

It has features including ordering of repeat prescriptions, appointment management, symptom checking and allowing people to view medical records.

The app offers an alternative to the 24-hour NHS 111 non-emergency helpline, which at the height of the outbreak was struggling to keep up with the volume of information requests.

Before the COVID-19 crisis around 70% to 90% of consultations were face to face, but the company said that has been turned on its head, with roughly the same proportion now conducted through digital means.

The post NHS digital triage provider to expand with £5m investment appeared first on .

Healthcare tech firms team up on consultation tools for GPs

Three UK companies have combined their digital health technologies into a single remote consultation service for GP surgeries combining triage, video calls, patient messaging and treatment information.

The platform combines eConsult’s digital triage tool – which was added to the NHS app a few weeks ago – with video consultation provided by Q Doctor and Cognitant’s health information service Healthinote.

The three partners claim this is the first time that all these elements have been combined into one remote consultation service available to GPs working in the NHS, and should “ensure patients receive support from the right person at the first point of contact.”

There has been an increase in the use of online consultation tools since the start of the coronavirus crisis, which has led to a massive reduction in doctor’s appointments, but also raised concerns that patients may be missing out on necessary health care.

A report published last month found that just 13% of consultations were carried out by phone in 2019, with 1% conducted via a video call or another digital channel. At the height of the pandemic, well over two-thirds (71%) of consultations were delivered remotely.

The new toolbar is available free of charge to any GP practice currently using eConsult – which applies to around 40% of all NHS practices.

It allows GPs and practice staff to manage the entire patient journey from one screen, reducing the number of steps traditionally taken after a patient completes an online consultation, according to its developers.

Using the approach, patients fill out a questionnaire that is sent to practice staff, who can then respond with advice, a prescription or additional follow-up. That can take the form of a video consultation or email, for example, with supporting information provided by Healthinote.

eConsult chief executive Dr Murray Ellender – who is also a practising GP – believes that starting with remote triage is the best way to eliminate unnecessary steps in delivering care to patients, particularly in the midst of a pandemic.

“With between 70% and 95% of patient issues now being resolved remotely, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen unprecedented adoption of new technologies to help manage the crisis through temporary and fast-tracked approval of healthtech solutions to support and improve direct care,” he says.

The post Healthcare tech firms team up on consultation tools for GPs appeared first on .

eConsult Platform AristaMD Raises Additional $6M to Close $24M Series B Round

AristaMD Joins Epic App Orchard Marketplace to Streamline eConsult Process

What You Should Know:

– AristaMD, a digital health company that provides a
platform to connect primary care providers with timely and documented
specialist insights through eConsults, has secured additional $8M in
investments to top off the company’s Series B funding round at $24 million.

– With non-emergency, proactive care and elective
procedures being canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a backlog of
appointments. eConsults will continue to be an effective triage tool now and
moving forward to improve access to specialist insights, reduce healthcare
strain and decrease costs.

– Annually there are around 20 million routine
clinical referrals to specialists that could be addressed by eConsults
and AristaMD is focused on providing more timely access to specialty
care through its innovative eConsult platform.

AristaMD, a
San Diego, CA-based digital health
company that provides proprietary eConsult solutions
that connect primary care providers (PCPs) with timely, documented
specialist insights, today announced additional  $6M in investments from Ascension Ventures,
a strategic healthcare venture firm representing 13 of the nation’s leading
non-for-profit health systems, and .406 Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in
early-stage disruptive enterprise technology and digital health companies. These
investments top off the company’s Series B funding round, which was co-led by
Cigna Ventures and MemorialCare Innovation Fund, at $24 million. The new
capital will be used to accelerate commercial growth as well as continue the
expansion of its proprietary eConsult platform supporting payors and health
systems across the country.

How eConsults Work

Today, millions of patients struggle to get timely access to specialists – resulting in poor outcomes and higher cost of care, impacting everyone across the healthcare spectrum. By utilizing eConsults, primary care providers retain more low-acuity common condition cases that are frequently referred to specialists, clogging waitlists and limiting specialists’ ability to address higher acuity cases in a timely fashion. Empowering PCPs to operate at the top of their license allows patients to have their needs addressed faster, reducing avoidable ED visits and hospitalizations that can occur when patients have to wait too long to be seen by a specialist. This ultimately improves outcomes and overall patient satisfaction.

Transforming Primary Care & Improving Patient Outcomes

Founded in 2014, AristaMD is focused on accelerating
access to specialty care and reducing unnecessary healthcare expense. Designed
by practicing physicians, its eConsult solution empowers primary care providers
(PCPs) to expand their scope of practice and collaborate on patient care with a
highly respected panel of on-demand, board-certified specialists. AristaMD has
over five years of data demonstrating that its eConsult solution reduces the
need for routine clinical specialist referrals by over 70% and has a
significant positive impact on patient care.

Funding Underscores Market Demand for eConsults

The need for eConsults has never been more critical.
According to recently published data, since the COVID-19 pandemic started, outpatient
hospital visits declined
by 31%
. Additionally, preventative screenings for cervix, colon and
breast cancer have dropped
between 86% and 94%
, compared to the last three years. With non-emergency,
proactive care and elective procedures being canceled throughout the pandemic,
there is a backlog of appointments. eConsults will be an effective triage tool
now and moving forward to improve access and reduce healthcare strain.

“Delivering more timely care to patients has become even more crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic and will remain important in the future, as we must reserve precious in-person specialty appointments for those who critically need them,” said Brooke LeVasseur, CEO of AristaMD. “This additional funding will help us accelerate our vision and contribute to shaping a world where all patients have timely, cost-effective access to health care.”