GP AT HAND: The future of health?
As GP services continue to strain under ever-increasing demand, the NHS prepares to go mobile. The new app is designed to make seeing your GP a hassle-free experience reports Sidney Stanford
Always needing to see your GP but can’t be fit in for an appointment or it is too late at night? Well the NHS have introduced a new service this week called ‘GP AT HAND’ which is powered by Babylon which is a company that has previously worked in online doctor consultations. The app takes minutes to set up and treats a whole plethora of conditions including both mental and physical problems.
The NHS is trialling this new service via this app only in London first but if successful hopes to stretch nationwide. It allows the patient to speak to a professional nurse or doctor within 2 hours via a video call and get a virtual check-up and possible diagnosis.
The new app is being met with extremely positive reviews with some claiming that the service is convenient and hassle-free. The app currently has an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 on the iTunes store, with over a thousand reviews already received.
However, the Chairperson of the Royal College of General Practitioners, has blasted the new online healthcare experience. Professor Helen Stoakes-Lampard said the service is: “luring GPs away from frontline practice”. They also made it clear that: “older patients and those living with more complex needs want continuity of care and the security of their local practises where their GPs know them.
A worker at digital healthcare company Babylon, Mobster Butt told the Times that: “We do everything from grocery shopping to our online banking yet when it comes to our health, it can still take weeks to see a doctor and often means taking time off work.”
There is the argument that this new service will allow busier GP practices to be less busy and balance out the ratio of people but there is the general fear that problems and illness may not be able to be picked up via a video call which could create problems for people in the long run. It will only be clear to see what this service can do for people over the course of their trial period in London. For now, consumers are reacting positively to this new service.