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Coronavirus digital support offers continue


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Offers continue to emerge from digital technology companies to help the NHS respond to the coronavirus crisis.

There have been offers of free usage of solutions for periods of different lengths for a number of functions.

Operations management software provider Checkit has donated its medical monitoring technology to the NHS Nightingale hospitals being set up to deal with the crisis. The first installation has been completed at the London facility and the company has been discussing similar deployments in Manchester and Birmingham.

It said the system will help protect critical assets from temperature variations, reduce the manual burden on staff and maintain the storage standards in accordance with Care Quality Commission and Human Tissue Authority requirements. A team of Checkit engineers was mobilised in a matter of hours to design and install the system.   

Working on a global basis, IBM has made its Watson Assistant for Citizens on its public cloud available at no charge for at least 90 days. It said this can help government agencies, healthcare organisations and academic institutions provide critical data for citizens.

It uses data from currently available sources and applies natural language processing and AI search capabilities to understand and respond to common questions about Covid-19. The company said that Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board is planning to go live soon with an English and Welsh speaking virtual assistant.

Online consultations

Focused on Scotland, Emis Health is making its Online Consult system freely available to GPs for 12 weeks. It makes it possible to triage patients online, helping to reduce the numbers attending surgery and deal more quickly with those who do.

The company said it has enabled St Luke’s Medical Practice at Carluke in Lanarkshire to develop a dedicated coronavirus form and reduce the number of patients needing face-to-face assessments.

Vodafone has informed customers that if they are registered as working in the NHS it will upgrade those with personal pay monthly contracts to receive 30-day free access to unlimited mobile data. It has already done this for customers flagged as being vulnerable.

Healthcare Communications has offered its eClinic software free for a year. This enables clinicians to run online consultations with payments, enabling regular health checks and medical reporting even if either are self-isolating.

It said the solution makes it possible to convert entire clinic lists to virtual appointments and does not subject patients to lengthy periods in virtual waiting rooms.

Image by Felipe Esquivel Reed, CC BY-SA 4.0

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