HTN Now: How to leverage the Microsoft national tenant and technology from OX.DH for virtual consultations

In a recent HTN Now webinar, John Kosobucki, CEO of OX.DH, presented how their cloud-native OX. waiting room component is revolutionising virtual healthcare consultations by leveraging the national Microsoft tenant. These solutions are seamlessly integrated into the Microsoft environment, accessible through the NHS app source, allowing healthcare providers to easily adopt and implement them.

OX.DH’s platform is designed to support a broad range of healthcare pathways. It offers a robust and configurable patient engagement infrastructure for virtual, face-to-face, and telephone consultations, ensuring clinical safety, scalability, and broad ecosystem integration. The platform facilitates efficient management of appointment scheduling, patient follow-ups, and communication via multiple channels such as SMS and email, all within a secure and scalable framework.

Offering a brief introduction, John shared insights into the company’s story, including their status as a Microsoft partner, the development of solutions such as OX. waiting room and OX. assisted reproduction, and current work on OX. general practice.

John started out by setting the scene, that in 2020, “there were 1.3 million NHS users onboarded to Teams and using e-mail through a national environment; followed up in 2023 with an agreement between the NHS and Microsoft to further expand on what’s being used in that centralised environment”.

“The NHS and Microsoft relationship provides a very powerful technology foundation, that can be used for a lot more than e-mail and Teams communications. I’m going to be explaining the benefits of our Azure cloud-native solutions that utilise this asset.”

John added that as ICBs focus on sharing consistent best practices and leveraging technology across different locations, “there is a great opportunity for the ICBs to engage modern and cost-effective cloud solutions using the existing Microsoft relationship.”.

“The University of Oxford is one of our shareholders, we’ve been through ISO and cybersecurity accreditation to underline the strength of our solution and we have live clients in the UK, Australia and Italy with multiple projects running.”

“We differentiate ourselves by providing clinically secure solutions, that scale and subscription based, so you can start small and manage growth organically. We recognise that integration with the broader healthcare ecosystem is vital, and we provide this out of the box.”

One of the major benefits, John continued, is the cost-effectiveness, since the solution works within an existing environment, “so it’s not duplicating things like user logins and doesn’t need distinct hardware”.

Getting feedback from end-users and clinicians, and then incorporating enhancements has been a major focus for OX.DH resulting in a pre configured solution that has clients live in a couple of hours. Users have flexibility to make modifications that reflect their specific use-cases and enable automated feeds from a range of EPRs and integration systems. OX. waiting room orchestrates the patient engagement workflow by sending out confirmations, reminders, follow-ups, surveys, PROMS and custom messages with secure attachments “.

“We use the familiar and modern Teams user interface to make it easy to handle one-to-one or group online sessions. Everything we do is built on the Microsoft Dataverse using graph APIs to meet the needs of healthcare with accessibility and inclusion built in. ”

“Feedback from our clients has been that it makes it easier to tackle backlogs and offer more services virtually, and it also introduces the ability for patient-initiated follow up, so patients can book their own follow-up based on published availability for regular clinics and automate reminders to submit information into the practice.”

“We intelligently integrate using a range of methods from industry standard HL7/FHIR to JSON or CSV files depending on what our clients require. This consolidation of data sources allows clinicians to see any clinics that they’ve been registered for, or their own individual appointments in OX.waiting room. We track KPIs that turns data into meaningful business intelligence.“

John told us “That being able to do this from one place, instead of having cobble together data from multiple sources, is a real time saver for patients, clinicians and coordinators.”

Case studies and future plans 

“We are a huge supporter of Microsoft, and Microsoft provides a great foundation with solutions like Teams for people like us to build healthcare specific applications – they rely on people like us with domain knowledge and experience in healthcare. ”

John went on to share a few details of “recent success stories”, including one published by Microsoft at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where OX.DH’s solution increased the number of virtual outpatient appointments offered, and where some of the feedback received spoke about the “intuitive and familiar” nature of the software, good levels of engagement, improved accessibility and improved clinician experience.

“We also launched in Italy with a private healthcare group called Groupo San Donato, and they’re doing all of their virtual consultations through OX. waiting room. We’ve installed our solution inside the NHS app source, so everyone who has an user ID and can create their own Teams channel and follow these step by step instructions for setting up a free test drive.” 

When working with Barnsley, John went on, “we had them up and running within an hour doing test patient virtual consultations”.

John also talked about other OX.DH NHS integrations, including the company’s status “on the NHS England Technical Innovation Framework, that’s bringing new technology into primary care”, connecting into the primary care ecosystem covering everything from e-referrals to prescribing, the summary care record, GPC; and “patient-facing services is one of the next things on our agenda”.

Live demonstration 

John offered a live demonstration of the solution in action, taking our audience through the steps involved in getting started, through to completing actions for a test patient.

From the clinician’s perspective, John showed us how upcoming appointments were visible from the dashboard, along with functionality enabling SMS and phone contact with patients.

From the test patient’s perspective, John shared his mobile phone to demonstrate how an initial appointment confirmation SMS would be received, and how additional reminders in the run-up to the appointment would be sent, before they receive a link to join the consultation at the time of the appointment.

“When the patient does join, they will be prompted to authenticate using personal information like date of birth, and then they will be admitted into the consultation.”

Going back to the clinician’s view, John highlighted how the consultation is done within Teams along with features including screen sharing, scheduling follow-up appointments, viewing previous communications, sending follow-up messages from templates, viewing test results and patient history, and attaching files.

“We’ll soon be introducing the Microsoft live translation capabilities, so that patients can choose a language that they want to have appointments dynamically transcribed to, and they can also upload images if we’re doing a dermatological consultation, as well. When the consultation ends, it triggers another workflow with a template message, saying that the appointment has ended.”

Finally, John moved on to take some questions from our live webinar audience.

To learn more about OX.DH, please visit their website, here.