Bureaucracy and inefficient communication channels tend to overwhelm large parts of the healthcare workforce. This creates unnecessary stress on staff and patients. As a result, there is an acute need to improve communication between all stakeholders in the healthcare system. In particular with regard to the content and the temporality of the transmitted information, e.g. patient data, there are still plenty of problems to be solved. In terms of content, this information can suffer from a lack of quality. In addition, the information does not flow fast enough so that it reaches decision makers in time, which in turn can contribute to flawed decision-making.
The following startups have recognized the communication problems in healthcare and invented intelligent, scalable solutions. This not only gives the patient better personalized care. Caregivers, doctors and other healthcare workers are relieved of repetitive, strenuous tasks. This saves valuable time that caregivers can spend with their patients instead of paperwork.
visidoo – Digitized Appointment Management
Failed appointments are frustrating and cause unnecessary stress. The organization around appointments including reminders costs time and money. visidoo has realized that these tasks can largely be automated using digital tools. The business model is a monthly lump sum for small practices and an amount per patient per month for larger practices. Communication between practice and patient takes place via the mobile visidoo app. It includes a messenger for practices, automatically sent out reminders and recalls. Patients benefit from a clear presentation of their appointments and upcoming check-ups, including for their children.
Patientus – Virtual Room instead of Waiting Room
Since April 2017, doctors and patients can be connected via video-conferencing thanks to internet-based communication software. Patientus service enables medical care from a distance and thus represents a complimentary offer. With their service, consultation and follow-up appointments can easily be carried out online. The need for physical contact between the doctor and patient is reduced, at least for aftercare. However, the attending physician may continue to make diagnoses only in an on-site interview with the patient. Patientus was acquired by jameda in early 2017.
eHealth Ventures – Synced Data between all Care Stakeholders
Nowadays, patient data is often shared slowly and on a request basis between care organizations. This leads to long wait times for patients and in the worst case, costly overdiagnosis and therapy. The Berlin-based startup eHealth Ventures GmbH offers POLAVIS CLINIC, a communication portal for hospitals, with which they can securely share relevant case data with resident physicians for follow-up. In addition, the software suite offers functionalities such as a mailbox and scheduling. The platform is connected to the hospital’s internal information system and retains the data on-site.
myo – A Holistic Elderly Care Communication Platform
Often, relatives and friends of people in need of care are curious and worried about their health. myos holistic care communication platform takes residents, relatives, carers and nursing home operators into account. It makes it easier for relatives to be in contact with residents and to be informed about their health. Caregivers gain time with the app by recording activities and preventing confrontational conversations. In an increasingly digitized healthcare environment, myo is a unique selling proposition for nursing home operators to attract more staff.
Examples from abroad
Healthcare systems are diverse across countries. Despite their common goal of returning patients to health, every system is unique. Each has its own regulations, culture, caregivers and patients. This is why every app and solution can’t just be copy-pasted from one system into another. Often, startups have to deal with plenty of bureaucratic hurdles. Nonetheless, below we present three international startups which improve communication within healthcare. They issue an outlook on what is already possible today.
KRY – Successful Telemedicine Model from Sweden
When KRY was founded in 2014 in Sweden, its founders wanted to ease the access to care and work on making waiting rooms a thing of the past. Via the KRY app, you receive care through a digital video doctor consultation, including diagnosis, prescriptions, sick leave and referral. KRY acts as a middle man and tries to get doctors, as well as patients to use their platform. Consultations and payments are handled inside the app, creating little bureaucratic effort. Despite not having an official launch date, KRY is about to be launched in Germany.
Komed Health – Real Time Hospital Communication Platform from Switzerland
An application with a similar structure to WhatsApp is Komed Health’s first software product. The startup wants to revolutionize the communication between all stakeholders inside of a hospital. Their application works synchronous and in real time across a range of mobile devices. It offers the possibility to create group chats specific to a single patient and bundle internal working groups to shorten communication channels. Currently the system is being used in multiple Swiss hospitals.
MUrgency – A Global Emergency Service from India
If you’re living in a developed country, chances are that you take the ability to summon an ambulance with your phone for granted. It is less known that millions of people do not have access to such systems. MUrgency’s vision is to use mobile web technologies to create a global emergency network and make this lifesaving tool accessible to everyone. MUrgency has an especially profound impact in regions with weak infrastructure, where its response times are quicker than comparable systems. 50.000.000 people have received care through MUrgency’s services. The app has integrated a feature that alerts MUrgency users of an emergency happening in their close proximity, to further reduce emergency response times.
Suki – Intelligent Voice Assistant for Doctors
The Redwood startup develops and sells Suki. It is a voice assistant that reduces the amount of time that needs to be spent on medical reporting. Doctors simply dictate their report and Suki transforms the speech into a format that is compatible with common hospital information systems. Suki claims that reporting with their software is up to 76% faster than traditional writing methods. The company has received over 20 million dollars in venture capital.