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Imagine being on vacation in a foreign country when you begin having some unsettling medical symptoms. You don’t know the local language, so how would you be able to explain what is going on to a medical professional?
If you have the TeleClinic app on your smart phone, it’s like having a doctor in your pocket. (The application is also available via a web interface.)
Patients contact a doctor or a nurse through the app, describe their symptoms in their own language and get advice regarding whether they should see a doctor, as well as which doctor to see. TeleClinic doctors submit an electronic, signed referral to the patient and insurance company, streamlining the process and saving time.
Making healthcare more digital
TeleClinic started as an online doctor’s office in Germany, with a vision to provide easy and fast access to patients and doctors using different communication channels including chat, telephone and video.
It wasn’t long before the company evolved from a telemedicine service connecting patients and doctors to a digital hospital, providing digital treatments for patients such as the chronically ill who need to track their heath data. TeleClinic acts as a gatekeeper to help these patients know when to contact a doctor.
Making healthcare more digital means patients and doctors have full transparency. The app can store health history that can be shared with online and offline doctors.
Searching for the right cloud provider
As the vision for TeleClinic grew, the company was looking for cloud infrastructure services to manage the solution. It would have to be highly secure, due to strict data protection laws in Germany. TeleClinic reviewed several providers, and ultimately applied and was accepted to the IBM Global Entrepreneur program, which helped with go-to-market support, business mentorship, services, discounts, technical guidance and networking opportunities.
Now the TeleClinic solution is implemented on the IBM Bluemix infrastructure in the Frankfurt, Germany, data center and includes the IBM Cloudant NoSQL database component.
IBM is one of the few providers that can provide an infrastructure that is allowed to host German healthcare data.
Giving doctors a helping hand
The Bluemix platform provides the scalability and flexibility that TeleClinic needs to add more capacity or services. The company is currently considering employing Watson to determine if patients may be at risk for diseases. For example, if someone has high blood pressure, they’re smoking and have gained weight, Watson would predict the likelihood of diabetes. Watson could also act as a doctor’s helping hand in analyzing symptoms, but would not replace a doctor.
Today, 400,000 patients have access to the platform and TeleClinic gets an average of 150 calls a day. One of the features that is most used is the health profile. Patients love the convenience of having all their information in one place.
Read the case study to learn more.