Encrypted messaging for health professionals

Which would you prefer a health professional to use when communicating about your health?

A fax? Paging? WhatsApp? Texting? Snapchat?

Would it surprise you to know that the health sector still relies on faxing and paging? It should be no surprise that many healthcare professionals around the world have turned to their familiar consumer messaging tools to co-ordinate patient care. This comes with some big risks, including non-compliance, large fines and of course putting patient information at risk of falling into the wrong hands. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook. Texting isn’t secure. Snapchat isn’t secure.

Celo was founded in late 2014, designed by clinicians for clinicians, an app that transcends all those problems and enables health professionals to communicate and collaborate across the health sector.

“Any health professional should be able to communicate with another safely and efficiently using a platform designed for that purpose; one that has a low barrier to entry and is available anywhere,” says Steve Vlok.

Celo is an encrypted and instant healthcare compliant secure messaging service for iOS, Android and desktop to replace consumer messaging apps. Users can communicate with each other, send documents and photographs, and share patient details safely within a secure, encrypted, healthcare compliant, digital network.
“While apps like WhatsApp work well, there are risks around where data is stored and information going to the wrong person.

“With faxing, it’s all too easy to key in a number incorrectly and send information to the wrong recipient. Even if it reaches the right person there's no traceability, as fax numbers go to devices not individuals. Documents can sit in a tray waiting to be picked up, which is not ideal if it’s an urgent lab result or referral,” he says.

Celo behaves more like a mobile banking app. Nothing is stored on the local device and nobody can access information without the user’s unique pin or biometric login. All users on a Celo network are verified, so there’s no chance of information or images being sent to someone who doesn’t work within that network.

As for faxing and paging, Steve says the health sector alone keeps them going. “They’re not only archaic, but so many health organisations still think they’re necessary and New Zealand is lagging behind the rest of the world.”

Celo syncs across multiple devices and uses biometrics or a PIN for access. Patient information or clinical photographs aren’t stored locally. Celo integrates with electronic medical records and ensures clinical images or important notes are filed to patient records appropriately. It also supports HL7 or FHIR integration.

“Celo ensures patient information is kept safe and secure. It improves workflow and delivers patient care more efficiently. And the patient is always at the centre of care.

“We’ve already seen some great outcomes for patients where the right care or advice was given in real time using Celo. Celo’s helped prevent readmission and reduce hospital time for patients.”

The company has just launched in Australia and plans to launch in other markets throughout 2019.

By Prue Scott

Celo's team