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Swedish digi-health pioneer targets UK

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Digital technology which helped to radically improve access to healthcare in Sweden is coming to the UK; initially at three pilot sites before a planned rollout across CCGs, NHS Trusts and the private sector.

Scandinavian health tech firm Doctrin believes the similarities between healthcare sectors in the UK and its home market, Sweden, make Britain a prime target for its digital platform.

Its new UK division, headed up by country manager Craig Oates, will begin piloting its technology here from early 2021.

Doctrin is designed to enable healthcare providers to “intelligently digitalise” the patient journey to create a more accessible, efficient, and integrated healthcare system. In Sweden a quarter of the population, 2.3 million people, have access to the technology via healthcare providers. Research suggests that it can reduce waiting lists from around a month to a couple of days.

Craig Oates, who has held senior roles in the NHS and within the digital health sector, will run the UK operation from Leeds, Yorkshire. He tells Health Tech World: “We believe the UK and Sweden are as close as two healthcare systems can be, in terms of structure, incentives and challenges, particularly so in primary and acute care.

“In Sweden we face the same challenges in terms of increasing demand for healthcare, speedy response and intervention and improved patient experience and outcomes and we believe we have a solution that is proven to  address these challenges, particularly in the post-COVID19 world.

“The NHS is renowned as a highly professional purchaser that values evidence. We have solid evidence from Sweden such as productivity increase of 33 per cent, reduction in frequent attenders by 39 per cent, improved access from four weeks to two days, we know that we can be successful.”

Doctrin has raised around £20m in capital to support its expansion since its launch in 2016, with the UK following Sweden, Czech Republic and Norway as part of its global target to reach a billion patients.

Oates says: “Digital health is always difficult to ”export” as there are so many national differences, however our solution is already well developed to enter the UK market and deliver early  benefits for our UK clients, and we have a focused development programme to further enhance and develop our solution for the UK market.

“Initially we are targeting CCGs and primary care, but have been working with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm to develop our acute solution and we will have this available to the UK market after Christmas.

“The UK is one of the most advanced and challenging healthcare ecosystems and is investing in digital health and innovation, we therefore believe it represents a significant opportunity for us to deliver patient and clinician benefits and to be commercially successful going forward.”

Doctrin aims to build up a UK team over the next three years to both support the firms UK business and assist with wider international growth.

“The UK is a key part of our growth strategy and we believe will represent a significant part of our business in the future,” Oates says.

“We see great potential with the market to grow our UK footprint significantly in the next three years, initially with three pilot sites during the next 12 months, the first in early 2021 and then a rapid rollout to CCG, NHS Trusts and ICS clients. Our target across Doctrin is to reach a billion patients globally and we believe the UK will play a significant role in our achieving that goal.”

In a statement on Doctrin’s UK expansion, CEO Anna-Karin Edstedt Bonamy said: “Our mission is to radically improve healthcare, which we believe is done by smart digitalisation that positively affects every part of the healthcare system and everyone in it.

“Now we have clear results showing that we are on the right path and the readiness to present the digi-physical method at a bigger scale. We see huge synergies with healthcare in Sweden and the UK, which is why this is a natural step in our growth. Doctrin is a value driven company, which makes Craig the perfect person to present our product to the UK market. His shared passion for the field together with his thorough experience and insights, makes us very excited to finally present him as a team member of Doctrin.”

Doctrin currently handles a million patient cases per year and was founded by Magnus Liungman and Ashkan Labaf. It has 52 employees in Stockholm and Poland. Among its strategic advisors is Mikael Krantz, previously a chief architect at the music streaming app Spotify.

How it works

The platform allows the patient to start their healthcare contact at any time and from anywhere. The patient logs in securely on their smartphone, tablet or computer, then lists their symptoms and medical history in a digital form.

It has an intelligent medical history tool with questions automatically adapted to each patient.

Questions are based on the reason for the encounter, gender, age and symptoms, and all potential contacts with a healthcare centre are covered.

A medical report is compiled automatically based on the patient’s medical history and healthcare encounter takes place through an asynchronous chat, without the patient or healthcare provider needing to communicate at the same time or place.

If necessary, the patient can send pictures or enable video. This increases flexibility and saves time for both healthcare providers and patients. The text-based dialogue also provides a basis for quality control and internal follow-up.

It then provides a clear summary of why the patient contacted the healthcare provider, their symptoms and medical history. The report can help determine the level of care, diagnosis, treatment, and to facilitate documentation.

The healthcare provider decides on which types of cases they want to handle in the platform, which patient groups can be treated digitally and which should be treated in a physical setting. Based on established rules, it handles the referral of patient cases for more efficient triage, resulting in time savings for the healthcare provider. It can be configured to adapt to the healthcare provider’s needs and patient flows.

The healthcare encounter takes place through an asynchronous chat, without the patient or healthcare provider needing to communicate at the same time or place. If necessary, the patient can send pictures or enable video. This increases flexibility and saves time for both healthcare providers and patients. The text-based dialogue also provides a basis for quality control and internal follow-up.

The healthcare provider can easily hand over patients to colleagues or other professionals, as well as consult on cases within the platform. The medical history follows the patient in the healthcare system. For the healthcare provider, this results in more efficient cooperation and more secure handover. The patient obtains a better insight into and control of their healthcare contacts.

The platform gathers and presents live data to generate insights and support organisational development and quality improvements.

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  1. Pingback: Doctrin plans further expansion following investment - Health Tech World

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