Digital triaging service eConsult has closed a new funding round of £7m which will support the growth of the platform, both in its existing services and into new areas. Currently used to triage primary and secondary care patients, the service will expand into urgent care with a triaging service for Emergency Departments.
The funding was led by Gresham House Venture and Calculus Capital, a leading EIS and VCT institutional investor, with further investment coming from existing shareholders.
WHAT IT DOES
Developed in 2013 by four NHS GPs, eConsult has become the most widely used remote-consultation tool in the NHS. Installed in more than 3,200 GP practices across the UK, it provides millions of patients access to their GPs online.
The triaging service is programmed with a bank of over 10,000 questions from a number of clinical sources. This acts as a digital gateway to GP surgeries, directing patients to the most appropriate care pathway and prioritising the most urgent cases. Research has shown that 70% GP enquiries can be closed without face-to-face consultation. As such, eConsult minimises pressure on burdened healthcare providers whilst also reducing costs.
WHAT IT’S FOR
As well as supporting the vast growth of the service, which has become central to the NHS’s care provision during the COVID-19 outbreak, the funding will enable eConsult to expand its triaging service for emergency departments, eTriage, which identifies, checks in and prioritises sick patients. It will also support the roll-out of eSpecialist, a newly developed solution to help manage outpatient care.
As the pandemic overwhelmed the NHS, remote-consultation and triaging platforms stepped in to streamline and support primary care services. In August of last year, UK-based services eConsult, Cognitant Group and Q doctor collaborated to create a digital triage toolbar to support NHS GP practices. They later collaborated with HCI to provide patients with a follow-up medical video library.
In December 2020, Babylon secured $100m to increase its outreach.
ON THE RECORD
Dr Murray Ellender, CEO of eConsult Health, commented: “This funding will help us keep pace with the product development we need to support cutting edge health technology across both primary and secondary care. NHS patients deserve an excellent digital experience when interacting with the health service and we now look forward to delivering the transformation needed.”
Richard Moore from Calculus Capital said: “eConsult are revolutionising healthcare provision in GP practices, and we are excited by their potential to expand into secondary care. Calculus are delighted to be supporting this impressive management team who are passionate about improving the service provided to NHS patients.”