US-based startup GoGoHealth enables patients suffering from minor ailments to obtain a diagnosis without going through a doctor, thus saving time and money.
Going to see the doctor takes time and the trip sometimes proves less than useful. This was the starting point that prompted Kwaku Ampromfi and Natasha Alexeeva to found GoGoHealth, whose purpose is to provide diagnoses to patients suffering from minor ailments or light wounds. The web and mobile software can be personalised and enables medical caregivers to set up their own virtual clinics and create a decision-making algorithm which is easy to design from a range of options available. The healthcare providers can also make a predictive analysis using current facts as a basis for assessing what might be just around the corner and if necessary write a pharmacy prescription without the patient having to go through a doctor.
Gaining time and money
You can use GoGoHealth either via a mobile app or a PC – in both cases patients are asked to have a digital camera ready, so that if the healthcare worker needs pictures they can be taken quickly. This is clearly not a replacement for a visit to the doctor if the patient is in a lot of pain, but when it’s a matter of minor ailments such as an infection, flu or a cold, the app enables patients to report their condition and obtain treatment quickly, without having to go to see the doctor. To use the GoGoHealth application, the patient just has to register, enter some personal data – gender, weight, age, etc – and describe his/her symptoms, which will then be examined by the healthcare workers in order to ascertain if only advice is needed, or whether they should call the patient in for a more in-depth examination. The data is subsequently stored in electronic archives, thus providing doctors with easy access to the patient’s medical history. The data will also be run through GoGoHealth’s predictive analysis engine, which flags up illnesses that may need treating.
France not yet ripe for GoGo service
The ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’, colloquially known as ‘Obamacare’, which was signed into law in 2010 in the United States, has triggered movements in the US health system, which had remained virtually unchanged for decades. This federal statute reflects the perceived need to bring US healthcare provision into line with people’s requirements and creates an environment that is favourable to the establishment of startups such as GoGoHealth. The same does not seem to apply to countries like France, however. Denise Silber, founder of Basil Strategies, a company specialising in digital healthcare provision, points out that the GoGoHealth concept is “a remote extension of the walk-in ‘MinuteClinics’ in the United States.” She adds that this approach would also work in France if there were any general desire to go in this direction, but “this isn’t yet the case.”