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With telemedicine, there’s no waiting room

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Patients no longer have to wait in line to be seen at a doctor’s office or receive a prescription. They don’t even have to leave the house with telemedicine.

If a child has a fever in the middle of the night, a prescription runs out just as someone is about to leave for vacation, or it’s uncertain whether a situation is an emergency, people can now get answers and reassurance.

Doctome offers professional telemedicine services that patients can use to consult a caregiver by video calls and chat anytime and anywhere, at the moment of need and in their own language. There is no waiting room.

Saving time for the whole system

The groups that typically need the most ongoing medical care are families with children, senior citizens and patients with chronic conditions. People who don’t fit into these categories consume the majority of the time they spend at a hospital or clinic with issues that don’t necessarily require a visit.

Those people can now have telemedicine consultations with their doctors, get e-prescriptions and, in case they do need to go to a hospital, get referrals over the phone, freeing professionDoctome telemedicineal caregivers’ office hours for more critical patients.

Rapid growth

Doctome was founded as a subsidiary of MedTrix, medical services firm. MedTrix developed an online doctor solution for the largest health maintenance organization (HMO) in Israel, which is responsible for the care of more than four million people.

The platform combines a CRM component with an integrated electronic health record (EHR) system and generates documents such as clinical summaries, emergency room referrals, digitally signed prescriptions and more. The caregiver sends that information to the patient at the end of a consultation.

In the first 60 months, the HMO conducted more than 600,000 consulting calls with patients. To extend its online doctor solution globally, MedTrix created Doctome, whose target audience is healthcare providers, insurance companies, communications providers that want to sell additional services to their customer base and other large enterprises seeking to provide the service to employees.

Going global

To open up services worldwide, Doctome needed a scalable solution that would not only reuse services, but also help it meet regulations in every country.

Working with IBM, Doctome developed a hybrid solution. In every country where Doctome uses the system, it runs a local database in an IBM Cloud Data Center for its customer relationship management (CRM) application, which holds all patient information and consultation recordings.

Shared services such as mobile services, push notifications, the email system, queue management and the e-prescription portal are delivered through the IBM Bluemix platform. These features are system functionalities and do not hold any patient data requiring privacy protection.

Doctome participated in the IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator program in Israel and achieved its business goal of extending global reach while reducing costs and delivering value to patients more quickly. The solution uses the IBM Watson Question and Answer Service to automatically answer some of the questions that come from patients or from parents, such as how to calm a crying baby, before the patient speaks to a caregiver.

The company trained the IBM Watson interface with protocols, medical data and guidelines. Doctome will also train IBM Watson using medical articles about medications to help answer questions from doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners.

Substantial benefits

Doctome is providing good answers in times of need.

When, in the middle of the night, you don’t know what to do — your child has a high fever or you have another medical issue and you need someone available in 5 to 10 minutes — patients can have a professional consultation, receive a well-documented summary and, if needed, a referral to the emergency room. They can also receive sick notes to give to an employer.

The Israeli HMO found that it reduced the need for emergency room referrals by 40 percent through its telemedicine service. Doctome performed a satisfaction survey among 30,000 customers, and the approval rate was 9.8 out of 10.

Find out more about IBM Cloud healthcare solutions. Read the Doctome cast study.

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