Saturday, 23 January 2016

MeeDoc highlights how tech solutions could enhance health sector

Telemedicine can play an important role in alleviating the pressures currently faced by the health system. That’s according to MeeDoc, a health-tech company that recently entered the Irish market.

MeeDoc provides an app that enables patients to consult GPs remotely. Using their smartphone, anyone feeling unwell can contact a GP, discuss their symptoms, receive a diagnosis and have a prescription delivered to their local pharmacy.

According to MeeDoc, greater take-up of telemedicine would free up GP time and lead to fewer non-critical cases presenting to Emergency Departments.

Commenting today, Dr. Ronan Flynn, Clinical Director of MeeDoc in Ireland and a GP based in Co. Clare, said: “There are a range of factors contributing to the current crisis in the health system, and tech solutions – such as telemedicine apps – have an important role to play in tackling these.

“At the moment, the default action for most people who feel unwell is to visit their GP or their local A&E. However, if the first port of call for those with non-critical conditions was to consult their doctor via telemedicine, this would result in time and cost savings, and would significantly alleviate the type of pressure the health system is currently facing.

“Research published in Finland – where MeeDoc originated – showed it is possible to conduct 75 per cent of all primary care via telemedicine. There will always be a need for physical examinations and face-to-face consultations in some circumstances. But simple conditions like eye infections, rashes and fevers can be treated satisfactorily by telemedicine.

“If the health service truly embraced the cost and time savings that top-class technologies provide, we could avoid a repeat of what we are witnessing this week, where Emergency Departments are overflowing, and GP surgeries are struggling to cope with the spillover demand.”

Growth of MeeDoc in Ireland

The MeeDoc app was launched in Ireland at the end of November 2015. In the six weeks since its launch, it has attracted 1,200 registered users, with a number of GPs through the country providing online consultations.

The app was originally developed in Finland in 2012 by a team of doctors, designers and engineers. It has attracted over 8,000 registered users in Finland and is currently expanding into the UK, Spain, Switzerland, and other Nordic countries, as well as Ireland.

Further information about MeeDoc is available at: