New virtual healthcare partnership to improve GP access in care homes and prevent hospital admissions
Arc Health has partnered with leading GP supplier EMIS Health to improve GP access in care homes with its remote diagnostic platform.
The collaboration sees GP surgeries undertake virtual ward rounds, minimising care home visits and preventing unnecessary hospitalisation of residents, in addition to reducing transmission of COVID-19.
The partnership will introduce Arc to 57 percent of GP practices across the country using EMIS Web, a leading integrated clinical IT system.
GPs that have been struggling to visit care home residences can now conduct regular appointments via video and remotely examine the patient with Arc.
Arc gives the patient access to a connected stethoscope, pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor, contactless thermometer, and a close inspection camera to check the ear, throat and skin.
With the addition of diagnostics, doctors using Arc can diagnose and treat an additional 75 percent of conditions compared to other solutions, with only six percent of consultations requiring a follow-up face-to-face consultation, Arc Health claims.
The NHS-approved technology saves crucial time spent travelling to and from care homes, as well as offering a convenient and cost-effective way to enhance support for patients and meet obligations for regular monitoring.
Connected Nottinghamshire, a programme set up by Nottingham CCG to create and develop their local digital roadmap, is among the first to adopt the new technology from Arc and EMIS Health in care homes.
Jane Scarborough, Project and Business Change Manager at Connected Nottinghamshire, said the new remote consultation system is proving popular with patients and their carers, giving them a convenient way of accessing their GP remotely.
“The integration of a stethoscope and medical camera is particularly helpful for GPs to support a holistic remote consultation,” she said.
“One dementia patient, a resident in a retirement living complex, needed to see a GP for a suspected chest infection. Previously, their carer would have had to take them into the surgery but with Arc, the patient was able to be seen remotely in surroundings they knew well.”
The partnership comes as remote consultations have become an essential channel to reduce the spread of infectious diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suzy Foster, Chief Executive of EMIS Health, said: “The NHS wants to use digital technology to widen access to healthcare services in the most effective and equitable way possible, and we are responding by providing our customers with the tools to deliver ‘digital-first’ primary care.”
Arc Health, formerly Medicspot digital services, fuses video consultations with clinical examination.
EMIS Health provides leading healthcare software and solutions in the UK, including EMIS Web, which is used by 57 percent of GP practices in the UK.