Online Health Consultations in UK and Spain

NHS Health “Chatbot”

The National Health Service in the UK is trialing a health service online as an alternative to its non-emergency helpline. This is a virtual app made by a company called Babylon. The reason for this is to free up the NHS for issues which are not an emergency. The test area is London and will cover more than 1.2 million residents.

The NHS does have a non-emergency telephone helpline, 111, and this is different to the app since it is staffed by people. The call has a cost of approximately 15 pounds and takes 10 minutes to complete. The end result being calls were frequently abandoned and the service was not offering any quality.

The app on the other hand is not maned by people but by a “chatbot” that can give answers quickly on basic issues by the patient answering 12 back-and-fourth exchanges.

UK Babylon: Consultation service

The company behind this Babylon, also currently offers a subscription service for 25 pounds for a one-off consultation or a 5 pound monthly subscription. They have 21,500 people who use the service.

The major benefit of the subscription service is the time saved by having an online consultation, via voice or video. In theory it can be done during the persons lunch break or while traveling.

Spain Sanitas: App and online consultation service

In Spain there is an equivalent to the above service that Babylon offer. Sanitas for example are giving the service for free to their clients for 1 year. They also have a subscription service for non-clients for 10 euros per month or 20 euros per month for 2 or more people.

Sanitas are calling the service Blua. The service also includes delivery of your diagnostic test results to your home and delivery of medication to your home from the pharmacy.

The online consultations are for the following: Allergy’s, digestive, dermatology, endocrinology, gynecology, hematology, general medicine, internal medicine, oncology, pediatrics, rheumatology and urology


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