A Swedish digital health firm is launching its doctor-patient video app in the UK this week after signing two partnerships with NHS GP federations that will see it become available to patients registered with GP practices in North West Surrey and the North West of England - the NICS GP Federation and SSP Health.
The Livi app, known as Kry in the Nordic markets, can be used by patients aged 16 and over to book video appointments and obtain prescriptions and referrals to specialist doctors or for further tests without having to register again with a new practice. The firm is also part of the DigitalHealth, London accelerator's third cohort, which aims to speed up adoption of technology in the NHS.
“GPs in NW Surrey, just like GPs all around the country, are struggling with an increased work load from a growing and ageing population, tight budgets and a workforce crisis," said Dr Caroline Baker, NICS GP Federation CEO.
"The GP federation for NW Surrey (NICS) is running extended access clinics to help relieve this pressure. As part of this we are partnering with LIVI to offer our patients a high quality video GP service that is a true collaboration between NICS and 40 practices in the area. LIVI offers a fast, safe and effective alternative for our NHS patients, which will benefit many patients of all ages, whilst helping to support and relieve pressure on our local GP practices."
The firm raised $66m in Series B funding back in June
A paid for, on-demand service is also being introduced in areas where patients are unable to use the app through the NHS, with a first video consultation offered for free until November 30 (after that, an appointment costs £49). The company says that it is now the largest provider of online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatments in Sweden, and its mental health offering is expected to soon be expanded to the UK.
“Our ambition is that, by using LIVI, we can work in partnership with the NHS to help improve access for patients whilst reducing pressure on local healthcare services and help deliver on Matt Hancock’s [UK Health and Social Care Secretary] call for the UK [NHS] to become the most advanced health system in the world,” said Luke Buhl-Nielsen, LIVI UK Managing Director.
The telemedicine app, currently available in Sweden, Norway, and Spain, was launched in France back in September after Kry raised $66m (around £52m) in Series B funding to accelerate its expansion into new markets.
A number of online GP consultation providers have partnered with the NHS, including Babylon and Push Doctor.