Now Healthcare becomes first U.K.-based telehealth company to win perfect safety scores from CQC

By Jeff Lagasse
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Now Healthcare Group has become the first --  and to date, the only -- telehealth GP service provider in the United Kingdom to be declared “safe,” by the UK's Care Quality Commission, meeting all regulations put forth by the commission's new digital health reporting guidelines.
 
Following a recent inspection on June 14, Now Healthcare Group was found to be meeting all necessary criteria across five categories, and was deemed to be providing services that are safe, effective, caring, well-led, and responsive to people’s needs.
 
This makes NHG the first provider in its field to achieve a “five out of five” score under the CQC’s new digital methodology and guidelines for digital health providers, which were newly established earlier this year.
 
The news comes at a time when online health services are under high levels of scrutiny, with other high-profile providers recently deemed to be offering unsafe and ineffective care by the CQC.
 
“CQC are working tirelessly to stay ahead of digital innovation, which is fantastic news to assure patient safety,” said Now Healthcare CEO Lee Dentith. “We’ve been working with the National Health Service very closely to make sure that what we offer to our clients is of the highest quality.”
 
Now Healthcare Group is well-known for its Dr. Now and Now GP international mobile apps, which connect users to qualified NHS doctors remotely via video call, and also deliver medicine directly to the patient’s door. The services currently service two million users, and is projected to grow to up to 20 million by the end of 2017.
 
It is also the only provider in its field to be part of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator program, aimed at utilizing technology to drive innovation in the National Health Service.
 
Now Healthcare Group also recently received a $5.2 million (£4 million) minority investment from health cash plan provider Medicash.
 
“We still believe we need physical interaction,” said Dentith. “Our clients always seek the highest quality (general practitioners) in this country. Where we see AI and machine learning in this element is when a doctor prescribes medicine, by finding the correct medicine and working closely with each GP practice to build a chronic care management pathway. That’s what we believe is the answer.”
 
Head of Operations at Now Healthcare Group, Janet Smith, said in a statement that the accolade “demonstrates Now Healthcare Group’s continued hard work and commitment and shows what can be achieved when you put the patient at the forefront of everything that you do.”