myGP™ improves access for UK carers

iPLATO, has launched an enhancement to the myGP app; offering improved access to healthcare to help support the millions of unpaid carers in the UK.

The ‘Circle of Care’ feature has been expanded from giving parents the ability of booking GP appointments for dependents under 12 years old, to offering any myGP user who is 16 years old and above, the ability to book a GP appointment remotely from their smartphone for a friend or family member in their care, so long as both GP practices use iPLATO. Future iterations of this service will focus on the ability to fully support their friend of family member’s treatment.

Transforming access to primary care offers obvious advantages to patients and their carers, but, it also benefits commissioners and tax payers. An NHS Patient Survey found that 10% of patients who cannot get an urgent appointment at their GP practice go straight to urgent care services including A&E.  As such, there is a nationwide push to ensure that GP appointments are used effectively to help reduce the burden on emergency services at both a primary and secondary level.

Improving and simplifying speedy and easy access to care remotely for those people looking after both children and frail elderly relatives, can significantly reduce both burden and worry, especially for parents juggling work with caring responsibilities. Early adoption of ‘Circle of Care’ has already seen positive uptake. Since November, myGP users have been able to register dependents under 12 years old, so that they can book healthcare appointments for them; this has proved popular with parents, with over 6,000 children registered on myGP in the last three months.

This service expansion comes at the same time as iPLATO launches another pioneering capability on myGP; allowing patients to access their medical records remotely on their smartphone. Both initiatives support the drive to improve access to GP services and medical history, thereby, empowering patients to better-manage and take an increased role in their own care. And, it also fulfils a regulatory requirement by NHS Digital enabling Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to promote the myGP app to all surgeries that reside within their catchment area.

The strength of myGP lies in its simplicity and ease of use, starting with the registration process to access online patient services. Patients register remotely using their date of birth and mobile number registered with the GP practice. Following a quick authentication process, they are ‘ready to go’ with functionality including secure ‘WhatsApp-like’ practice-patient messaging, appointment booking and cancellation, medication reminders and self-care support tools e.g. weight and blood pressure monitoring.

Tobias Alpsten, CEO, iPLATO comments; “Mobile phone penetration crosses both the socio-economic and age divide, with 8 out of 10 people aged between 65-74 years of age owning a mobile device.

We are all incredibly excited about the ability of myGP to really make a difference in giving improved access to GPs, whilst at the same time simplifying and speeding up the GP appointment process for carers and ultimately helping to improve patient outcomes for those living with long-term conditions.”