Everyone has felt the frustration of trying to see a GP.
From interminable phone queues to week-long waits for an appointment, the system is in dire need of an overhaul.
Lee Dentith, CEO of Now Healthcare Group, based in Salford Quays, is taking advantage of the high quality of modern video calling technology to change the model.
He told a BusinessCloud ‘Meet the disrupters’ business breakfast that of 370 million annual GP appointments in the UK, 50m are scheduled more than a week from the time of the booking and an astonishing 150m more than three days ahead.
Having experienced trouble getting his four children in to see a doctor, he was motivated to leave his position as CEO of the Media Agency Group 16 months ago to focus on setting up his medical app.
“I started to think about how I could change a system that had become archaic and barely changed over the last 30 to 40 years,” he said.
“One of the problems I had with my young workforce in my previous company was presenteeism – they couldn’t get an appointment with a GP so they’d come into the office and spread germs.”
Rebranded in the UK as Now GP, Doctor Now – as it is known worldwide – covers around a million people and has more than 1,000 GPs on its books. Dentith expects to grow its user base to an incredible 20m in the next 12 months.
Now GP provides cover for 750,000 annual customers of travel agent Thomas Cook.
If a holidaymaker were to fall ill within the European Union, Now GP could not only provide a consultation with a GP but also fulfil a prescription for them with its in-house Now Pharmacy.
“It’s about the complete endgame: if you’re in London and you’ve spoken to a GP, we can deliver your medicines in one to four hours,” he continued.
“We had a businessman mid-flight on an A380 who’d forgotten his medicine: we had them delivered to his hotel before he arrived.”
With a typical delay of just 15 minutes to see a GP, some would see the average price of £37.50 for a consultation as money well spent.
They can also choose whether they want a male or female doctor, while the launch of consultations in 12 different languages was imminent at the time of writing.
Now GP could even become the next 111 after being accepted on to the NHS digital accelerator programme, which aims to assist entrepreneurs in building apps which could revolutionise the delivery of healthcare.
It was recently accepted for NHS use by the Care quality Commission.