A better way to care for patients

Susan and Allan Binks felt there was a better way to engage people in their healthcare.

Their idea began with physiotherapy and quickly moved on to an all-medical specialty and social care opportunity through their online platform called Go Well Health (GWH).

“GWH enables health and social care providers to work with their clients to deliver a lifetime approach to personalised care before, during and after a health event,” says Allan.

GWH focuses on four key areas: Enabling primary and secondary care teams to deliver significantly improved health outcomes to patients, providing a suite of tools for targeted prevention strategies that provides and delivers a seamless transition across care settings, and motivating and supporting people to be proactive.

“Our competitive advantage is that providers, clients and carers can work collaboratively on that single platform – GWH – over the lifetime of that client. GPs are most likely to be the lead carer with other providers coming and going as needed. Apps are added and deleted according to the patient’s needs.”

Allan says this approach treats the client holistically and addresses many of the challenges around healthcare, particularly when it comes to costs.

“GWH will help with the challenges we face as a community and within a health and social system to find financially sustainable solutions that still provide the quality of care we all expect.”

For the last 12 months, Allan, Susan and their team have focussed on building evidence-based orthopaedics data from a large NHS tertiary hospital in England. Using a collaborative approach they have developed patient care pathways that will increase the number of surgeries that can be performed with the same pool of resources – a common issue worldwide and across most medical specialties.

Results-to-date have been well above expectation. Those using the GWH platform for their hip and knee replacement surgeries have required 1.2 (26%) less bed days and 35% less readmission rates compared to clients not using GWH. This means the hospital can use these savings to increase the number of hip and knee surgeries by 7.5% without having to find any extra funding. Patient satisfaction surveys have similarly been extremely positive and engagement with the platform has been around 77%. Of those choosing not to participate, 20% do not have the internet and 3% didn’t want the online service.

Allan says timing in getting GWH to market, lengthy sales cycles and having sufficient development funding have been the biggest challenges.

“You need to be in front of the need for the service, so you won’t be easily overtaken by competitors, but not so far ahead that management and clinicians aren’t ready or don’t have the resources to participate.”

He says while it’s been difficult to get funding in New Zealand, staff within these funding organisations have gone the extra mile to try and help.

There are still some challenges to overcome. Allan says that it is very difficult for small companies with innovative solutions to introduce their technologies into the healthcare system. In this age of interoperability and open API’s it would be great to have the opportunity to work with key providers and purchases of services so that new and existing solutions can be mixed and matched to optimise outcomes they are trying to achieve.

Allan and Susan Binks