Groupe santé CHC, a leading hospital in Liège, Belgium, collaborates with IBM to launch patient app powered by IBM public cloud

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The app will connect over 1000 doctors with their patients enabling healthcare continuity following a period of postponed medical procedures.

Mid-June 2020, Groupe santé CHC and IBM introduced the CHC mobile app to help patients of the hospital connect seamlessly with their doctor or medical professional. Designed by IBM iX, CHC’s newest app runs on IBM public cloud and is available on both iPhone and Android devices. The new MontLégia campus houses the facilities of all preexisting CHC campuses, merged into one new location. Given the size and multitude of departments present at the MontLégia building, the CHC team wanted to make sure patients can easily book an appointment with their doctor or medical professional.

In addition, numerous non-urgent medical procedures have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An estimated 37,000 patients need to reschedule their appointments with their doctor or medical professional. The app enables patients to reach out their doctor more easily. The CHC app allows patients to search for doctors by specialization, department or by name. To help patients find their way around the new building, an intuitive indoor navigation capability was added. Once a patient has booked an appointment, he or she receives directions to the closest parking area, the right admission desk and department, including visual cues allowing a smooth navigation. The mobile solution is available for all patients of Groupe santé CHC as a free download from the App Store or Android Store.

The CHC app is currently used by more than 6000 patients; and about several thousands medical appointments have already been booked through it. Besides the two initial main capabilities, fast and simple appointment booking and indoor navigation in the hospital, new releases of the app now offer several other functionalities both patients and Groupe santé CHC can benefit from. New features include ItsMe sign-in and biometric authentication; multiple accounts management, allowing appointments for children or parents, for example; calendar integration with Google Calendar or iCloud calendar; push notifications to remind the user of upcoming appointments; and improved indoor navigation with QR code scanning.

Groupe santé CHC set out to build an intuitive app, always keeping the patient front and center. To achieve this, IBM iX hosted a Design Thinking workshops with the CHC team. Design Thinking workshops are part of the IBM Garage Methodology. IBM’s signature co-creation experience brings together diverse teams of experts – allowing clients to access the best of IBM expertise across Research, Strategy, Process, Application, Infrastructure and Technology — to deliver agile innovation. Running on the IBM public cloud, the mobile app can easily be scaled to accommodate an increase in users. The IBM public cloud is the most secure and open public for the enterprise, making it suited for use in highly regulated industries such as healthcare.

“With the anticipated surge of tens of thousands of patients who put their elective or non-urgent medical procedures on pause, renewed institutions such as Groupe santé CHC are planning for the post-pandemic world by embracing digital technologies and patient-friendly investments. Innovation in healthcare during and after the pandemic must focus on enhanced resilience. Through this mobile app, Groupe santé CHC provides user-friendly patient services and accessibility in record time, “says Boudewijn de Bliek, Executive Partner Healthcare, Global Business Services IBM Belgium.

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