Birmingham CrossCity Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is to be the first to launch a new mobile phone application (app) that will provide thousands of patients with a convenient way to manage their appointments, be alerted about services and receive reminders from their GP practice.
The myGP app allows patients to receive information about their practice at their fingertips – literally. By signing up to the service, patients will receive an SMS (text) message with a link to download the app free on their smartphone. The innovative service has been procured by Birmingham CrossCity CCG to improve health equalities across the area.
One of the benefits of the service is people can cancel appointments if they can’t attend by simply sending a text message to the surgery. This will allow the practice to offer the slot to someone else.
The technology allows patients to interact with their doctor about health related subjects, such as periodic reviews, smoking status, immunisation and invitations to specialist clinics.
Dr Masood Nazir, a Birmingham GP and the Information Lead for Birmingham CrossCity CCG, said: “This is a new convenient way for patients to get the information they need whenever they need it. To register for the service patients should contact their GP practice and make sure their telephone contact details are up-to-date, so they can receive the full benefits of the service.
“The app will also help GP surgeries to build better relationships with their patients by sending them relevant information. The service also has a multi-lingual function, which allows patients from minority groups to be contacted in languages other than English.”
The app has been developed by one of the leading companies in mobile health solutions - iPlato Healthcare Limited. Mike Lewis, Chair of iPlato, said: “Many other services have made the move online, and we are pleased that Birmingham CrossCity CCG is now pioneering our patient centred app to have many more interactions online in the NHS”.
For security, the system will not allow access to a mobile device without the patient’s consent. It will also ensure that the person’s mobile number is valid before information can be sent.
Text messages are free to receive. To respond is charged at standard operator rates depending on the contract. Those without a smartphone can receive the service by text message.