Johannesburg-based eHealth startup, HealthDocs, have officially launched their HealthDocs Plus medical practice platform to the South African market.

The new platform is intended to assist medical practitioners, their staff and their patients in the management and delivery of positive healthcare outcomes.

HealthDocs was cofounded in April 2017 by digital health entrepreneur and former Healthbridge Chief Information Officer (CIO), George Rudman and his business partner, Marc Rausch, with the vision of creating accessible digital solutions to facilitate collaboration and drive efficiencies between all health industry participants. It is positioned as a two-fold offering of clinical practice and medico-legal support company. HealthDocs addresses key issues like mobile and web-based access, security, confidentiality, risk management and the real-time maintenance of the patient’s clinical record.

“Although the company was only officially registered in April this year, the development of the HealthDocs Standard solution was completed in August 2016. So we have since been testing it with Healthbridge at 16 medical practitioners on a beta pilot basis. The solution has been very well adopted and currently over 25,000 patients are being managed on our pilot system,” said Rudman.

“Now with our official product launch we are excited to introduce HealthDocs Plus, a modular app-based platform that has four times the functionally of our standard HealthDocs platform,” continued Rudman.

Rudman explained that HealthDocs Plus can be used by any medical practice irrespective of what practice management system they are using as it is system agnostic and interoperable. “It’s designed to improve efficiencies and facilitate the digitisation processes of day-to-day actives such as messaging, task workflow, documentation management and risk management,” said Rudman.

HealthDocs Plus includes a secure instant messaging platform for doctors and administration staff within a medical practice to communicate with each other. Similar to WhatsApp, there’s a threading system where they can see past correspondence and, because it’s app-based, it can be accessed anywhere via the user’s mobile phone on a network connection.

“When patients phone a practice about renewing their script, for example, it’s often the case that that message gets written down on a piece of paper, which could easily get lost before it reaches the doctor’s desk. We therefore built this messaging system to really facilitate proper tracking and control for those kinds of messages,” said Rudman.

Another module in HealthDocs Plus is a full task workflow system that enables staff to track and manage tasks within the practice. Automatic notifications are sent out to the correct individuals whenever a new task is created or a document is uploaded, and it also allows staff to track and monitor tasks in real-time.

To support the digitisation of documents, Rudman and his team have created a Scan Bin, an A4 container that the user can place their phone or tablet in which allows them to create clean and encrypted A4 photos using their mobile device.

“Our goal here is that they can essentially index and scan multiple pages in a fraction of the time it’ll take using a scanner at a doctor’s office. Also, more importantly, the process facilitates the digitisation of the yellow patient files, but it could also be the digital capture of real-time things like photographs of wounds,” said Rudman.

In the coming month HealthDocs plan to release a supporting patient app that will be free to download on both iOS and Android devices.

“With the pending implementation of the POPI Act it’s now more important than ever for people to be able to have access to their records and have the ability to augment it in real-time,” said Rudman.

“Our vision is for our patient app to facilitate the sharing of clinical information and documentation across the entire platform of doctors and patients, while allowing the patient to remain in control of their data. For example, a patient will be able to use the platform to share radiology reports with referring doctors, or to at least provide consent about who they want to see their information, or even which parts of their information. Our goal is to make sure that there’s transparency in the healthcare market between the patient and provider. We would like to facilitate more patient involvement in their healthcare journey in order to achieve better clinical outcomes,” concluded Rudman.

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