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The app giving doctors a second opinion

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Working from home has become the new normal for many people since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. But what about healthcare professionals who need certain technologies to do their jobs remotely?

Among the new solutions emerging out of necessity is Bleepa, an app which gives clinicians access to industry standard imaging on any device.

The app is part of Feedback Medical – a specialist medical imaging company. Health Tech World spoke to its chief executive Dr Tom Oakley.

“We’ve enabled clinicians to be able to use Bleepa remotely,” he said. “So in the first wave of the pandemic when individuals had to shield or self-isolate, they were able to continue to deliver care through Bleepa by being connected with the rest of their clinical team.”

 The app allows for remote patient management, while also speeding up the process of securing a second opinion on a medical scan and eventually making a diagnosis.

This is something Tom believes desperately needs improving in the NHS.

“I’m a radiologist by clinical background and I’ve always been concerned by how long it’s taken us to be able to connect through to a clinical colleague and how long it actually takes to share patient information within different teams..”

“One of the biggest examples is a stroke. If you’re having a stroke in one hospital and you need to be referred through a specialist unit, it can take two and a half hours to move your CT scan from one hospital to another.

“That’s the difference between being able to walk or being completely disabled or dying. Bleepa takes the decision process from two and a half hours to two minutes.”

Bleepa uses a secure networking system to connect doctors, helping to protect patient data.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the medical industry has changed dramatically with more demand for apps like this which allow professionals to connect digitally.

“COVID has been a real driver for change in this digital landscape,” Tom said. “It’s highlighted that we really do need new tools that are fit for the modern era.

“Most of the NHS communication is done through pages and fax machines, mostly paper based systems even now. That ultimately is frustrating the efforts of clinicians to deliver care and leading to patient harm. So we really need 21st century technology now.”

Dr Oakley thinks technology like this needs to be implemented in the NHS as soon as possible.

Bleepa was recently accepted onto DigitalHealth.London’s prestigious accelerator programme.

The scheme aims to help 20 small and medium sized health technology companies implement its innovations into the NHS, particularly in London.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, the accelerator programme has helped over 105 companies so far, creating over 500 jobs in the process.

Dr Oakley is excited at the potential opportunities it could bring to his organisation.

“We are really excited for the Accelerator Programme,” Tom said. “Bleepa has a lot to offer London hospitals.

“There’s a lot of very complex care delivery that happens in London and that involves a lot of teams speaking and connecting with each other, therefore Bleepa really will make a huge impact across the capital.”

Dr Oakley not only wants to see this technology used in London, but across the world and he is confident the Feedback Medical’s innovation can help all medical professionals,

“I think every doctor, nurse and physio in the world should be using Bleepa. I think it will transform the way communication happens.”

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