According to NHS ‘technologies such as telehealth, telecare, telemedicine, telecoaching and self-care apps have the potential to transform the way people engage in and control their own healthcare, empowering them to manage it in a way that is right for them.’
The team has first-hand experience of how many ethnic minorities fail to interact effectively with the NHS to get the care they need. Language, cultural, practical, economic and lack of understanding often result in ethnic minorities failing to get the care they need and in many cases, they either fail to receive appropriate care and some travel back to their home states to access care services. The pandemic has accelerated the use and acceptance of web conferencing (i.e. facetime) in medical consultation. Doctoria believe the same approach can be used to provide ethnic minorities with improved access to healthcare.
Doctoria has developed a web conferencing solution that is tailored for use by doctors and patients. The solution enables seamless and secure remote two-way communication between the doctor and patient. However, this only addresses part of the access to healthcare challenges. Doctoria has access to technologies that would make it possible to support the patient-doctor conversation with:
* A real-time live on-screen speech-to-text translation to the respective user.
* Automated and interactive graphical/image content to support the conversation (i.e. automatic images of body parts, symptom signs) to aid dialogue.
* Two-way augmented controls to enable the remote user to describe locations, directions and subtle aspects of their symptoms.
Doctoria is seeking Fast Start Innovation funding to enable the team to investigate the feasibility of these features with a volunteer group of ethnic minority patients/users. This pilot project will enable the team to understand the needs of two specific patient groups. They will then develop the above-mentioned add-ons to their existing platform and, through a small study, assess how beneficial and easy to use the solution will be for the remote patient user. If proven to be successful, the team will then be in a position to sure large-scale investment needed to fund the full development and testing of the application in clinical practice (i.e. GP surgeries).