eHealth News, South Africa

Discovery Connects Members with Digital Doctor

Discovery Health, in partnership with California-based, global health practice, HealthTap, has officially launched DrConnect.

DrConnect - EHN

Discovery Health, in partnership with California-based, global health practice, HealthTap, has officially launched DrConnect, an app-based platform that connects patients with doctors via video, text and voice.

The new app connects medical aid scheme members, doctors and medical scheme case managers using state-of-the-art technology and artificial intelligence (Al) powered by HealthTap, giving members access to accurate medical information on their devices.

HealthTap uses AI to translate patient symptoms into personalised, doctor-recommended diagnoses.

“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 AI technologies playing an increasingly prominent role in health systems, we are excited about the potential of DrConnect,” said CEO of Discovery Health, Dr Jonathan Broomberg.

“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,” continued Dr Broomberg.

Using DrConnect, medical scheme members will gain access to curated health information and answers to health-related questions provided by over 108,000 doctors to millions of patients across 174 countries on HealthTap’s network, providing members with credible sources of online medical information unlike some health information sites which may provide dubious information.

According to Discovery, 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.

In addition, the DrConnect will also allow for virtual consultations between patients and the doctors who already treat them.

“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,” said Dr Broomberg.

“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,” continued Dr Broomberg.

Dr Broomberg says 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 on-going 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,” concluded Dr Broomberg.

DrConnect is available for download via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Once downloaded, users can access the platform either through the Discovery app for members or through DrConnect directly. There is also an option to access it on the website.

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