With telehealth services experiencing tremendous growth due to the pandemic, two ASX-listed medical technology have announced new milestones today.
Perth-based Emerald Clinics' (ASX: EMD) Openly platform will be adopted by a COVID-19 recovery team at one of the USA's most prestigious research hospitals, while Melbourne-based MedAdvisor will launch its ePrescribing software function thanks to Australian Government approval.
Emerald Clinics has entered into a professional services agreement with the precision recovery team at New York's Mt Sinai Hospital, where it will provide remote monitoring and consulting services as part of the ongoing development and global delivery of Openly.
The platform provides digital health and wellness screening including the use of biometrics to check for vital signs via smart phone devices, with support from Emerald Clinics' clinical team. On 15 September, the group announced Openly had been registered as a Class 1 medical device with the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
Clients using Openly can adjust their configurations to receive alerts when certain survey responses or other health information is entered by a user.
Whilst the company does not anticipate the financial consideration for its alerts payment system at Mt Sinai Hospital to be material, Emerald's CEO Dr Michael Winlo says it will provide real-world experiences and the expertise of the precision recovery team to enhance the capabilities of the Openly platform.
"We're thrilled to be working with such an innovative and world-leading organisation to advance remote patient care," says Winlo.
The team is currently managing more than 1,600 COVID-positive, COVID-suspected and COVID-recovering individuals remotely.
"COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way that we provide high quality medical care and thrust the use of technology in healthcare to the forefront," says the team's director, Assistant Professor David Putrino.
"Where possible, management of mild to moderate COVID cases should happen in the home, and we have been working to develop innovative technologies and clinician workflows that enable healthcare professionals to keep sick patients safe at home."
Australian first for MedAdvisor
Closer to home, Australian Digital Health Agency has approved ePrescribing for medical software group MedAdvisor, which will help connect GPs, pharmacists and patients as they navigate the roll out of eScripts across the country.
The Federal Government accelerated the roll-out of ePrescribing after the COVID-19 pandemic restricted patients' ability to access their prescribers or pharmacies, and the development is expected to facilitate remote medicines management and accurate dispensing in the healthcare market.
"MedAdvisor is delighted to be the first in the Australian market with a digital app solution that helps patients keep track of and organise all their eScripts," says MedAdvisor CEO and managing director Robert Read.
"The national rollout of ePrescribing provides patients with convenience, access and choice - something we've been long time advocates for."
Read says recent studies in countries that already use e-prescribing show that more than 80 per cent of patients prefer e-scripts to paper.
"By providing continued excellence in customer service, combined with hyper-convenient patient experiences, local pharmacists can strengthen their loyal customer base and better compete with online pharmacies," he says.
The MedAdvisor platform utilises tokens as a streamlined, private and secure way to handle eScripts. Much like an airline ticket, tokens can be tapped into MedAdvisor and then automatically organised into a digital script wallet that can be easily sent right to a pharmacy's dispensing workflow.
The roll-out is expected to start imminently in Victoria before going national later this month.
"With the rise of telehealth and digital consults during this COVID-19 pandemic and the changes to prescribing temporarily allowed by the Government, prescribers have needed to send digital images of scripts directly to pharmacies via fax or email, which adds significant administrative burden for both prescribers and pharmacies, and poses the risk of prescribers channelling patients to specific pharmacies," says Read.
"The introduction of ePrescriptions will solve these issues and put the control back in the patient's hands."
This Australian development is on the back of MedAdvisor recently going live with digital health programs in the USA in the fourth quarter of FY20, and launching an app in the UK through its key partnership with Day Lewis Pharmacy more recently.
MDR shares were up 4.76 per cent at $0.44 at the time of writing, while EMD shares were down 2.27 per cent at $0.086 each.
Updated at 11:44am AEST on 17 September 2020.
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