HEALTH AND SCI­ENCE: SWIFTMED

Idealog - - IDEALOG MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES -

SwiftMed is the Kiwi com­pany on a mis­sion is to change the way peo­ple see doc­tors by pro­vid­ing a New Zealand-wide on­line doc­tor con­sul­ta­tion and pre­scrip­tion ser­vice.

Dubbed ‘a doc­tor on de­mand’, SwiftMed let users book an ap­point­ment to video chat with a qual­i­fied New Zealand GP in sec­onds. SwiftMed also pro­vides im­me­di­ate pre­scrip­tions to phar­ma­cies or home de­liv­ery of med­i­ca­tions eleven hours a day, seven days a week – the first and only ser­vice of its kind in New Zealand.

“We are a com­pany that prides it­self in of­fer­ing a true work-from-home so­lu­tion for doc­tors and of­fers the ul­ti­mate in con­ve­nience for pa­tients,” says Sa­man­tha Bai­ley, di­rec­tor and co-founder of the com­pany.

“SwiftMed has halved the cost of GP con­sul­ta­tions for tourists and peo­ple on work­ing hol­i­day visas, with­out com­pro­mis­ing the qual­ity of health­care or ef­fi­ciency.”

The com­pany also de­liv­ers other ser­vices such as med­i­cal cer­tifi­cates and high-qual­ity lab­o­ra­tory tests to peo­ple’s homes for pri­vacy, con­ve­nience and ex­pe­di­ency.

“Our ethos is truly pa­tient­fo­cused with a de­sire to change the sta­tus quo of health­care de­liv­ery in New Zealand,” says Bai­ley.

“We can­not ac­cept that peo­ple should wait for treat­ment for sim­ple prob­lems, when tech­nol­ogy holds the an­swer.”

Bai­ley first iden­ti­fied the op­por­tu­nity in 2016 while work­ing as a doc­tor and wit­ness­ing first­hand the long wait times peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence to get treat­ment af­ter hours even for sim­ple prob­lems. Af­ter two years of de­vel­op­ment and mul­ti­ple iterations, SwiftMed of­fi­cially launched in De­cem­ber 2017.

“Ev­ery­body needs to see a doc­tor from time to time for numer­ous med­i­cal prob­lems, how­ever, it is usu­ally ex­pected that peo­ple wait to see the doc­tor. In al­most all other con­tem­po­rary in­dus­tries, cus­tomers de­mand im­me­di­ate ser­vice and ef­fi­cient res­o­lu­tion,” says Bai­ley.

“Med­i­cal ser­vices have been left be­hind. We re­alised that peo­ple want to ac­cess doc­tors from any­where, at any time with­out wait­ing. Most cus­tomers are com­fort­able with tech­nol­ogy and are used to us­ing their phone as their own com­puter, so it made sense to con­nect these two ideas for a very con­ve­nient so­lu­tion.”

By see­ing pa­tients vir­tu­ally, doc­tors can con­nect with clients from any­where in the world with an in­ter­net connection – not a queue in sight.

“SwiftMed has es­tab­lished a new mar­ket and is prov­ing that ac­cess­ing med­i­cal ser­vices can be done more ef­fi­ciently at com­pa­ra­ble pa­tient costs to GPs. In fact, I be­lieve SwiftMed is the only gen­eral pri­mary care plat­form that op­er­ates with­out any gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies.”

The tourism sec­tor is a sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket for the com­pany. Since launch­ing in De­cem­ber 2017 SWiftMed has formed al­liances with back­packer com­pa­nies such as YHA, Haka Lodge and sev­eral well-known Ho­tel Chains that would like to of­fer their guests a con­ve­nient al­ter­na­tive to af­ter­hours med­i­cal care at a frac­tion of the cost. Fur­ther al­liances have been forged with 12 phar­ma­cies across New Zealand.

“SwiftMed of­fers vir­tual doc­tor clin­ics, where a pa­tient can book to see a doc­tor on their de­vice at a phar­macy, have a con­sul­ta­tion and re­ceive their pre­scrip­tion within 20 min­utes,” says Bai­ley. “Sub­se­quently, we have been ap­proached by the South­ern In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy and Green Cross Health who have both pro­posed ex­cit­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ner­ships. We’ve gained many cus­tomer re­fer­rals through these re­la­tion­ships, which of­fer the ad­van­tage of quick ap­point­ment times and su­pe­rior op­er­at­ing hours.”

“Phar­ma­cies that work with SwiftMed have the added bonus of not los­ing busi­ness to other phar­ma­cies and be­ing a on­estop-shop for their cus­tomers with no ad­di­tional ex­pense for the phar­macy.”

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