Written by Karel Aubun – Student Writer
Never has it been more pressing for healthcare delivery to be as responsive and forward-thinking as possible. But what does this mean for students?
Dr. Matt Noble took time out of his busy schedule to give Student Pages an Exclusive Interview on the new and innovative Babylon Healthcare App. Check out the full interview below:
- What is Babylon GP at Hand app?
GP at Hand is a GP Practice. It’s a fantastic new service that enables people to see a doctor through their phone within a couple of hours and if they need to be seen particularly after that then well book them an appointment within 48 hours to see a GP face to face.
- Why should students download and utilize the app?
I remember from my student days the difficulty of whether you stay registered with a GP at home or your register with a GP at university and transferring between the two was often quite difficult. This enables you to register with one single GP throughout the whole time. You can take the smartphone with you whether you’re at home or you’re at university, and of course its great for the student lifestyle. We’re open 24/7, everyday of the year, so you can book an appointment with the GP in the middle of the night if you want to.
- How will it help them in their everyday life
We all know it can be exceptionally difficult sometimes when life is busy, when there is lots going on, to take time out to take time booking an appointment, and then to remember to attend the appointment in a couple weeks time. The fact that you can book an appointment on your phone and see a doctor within a couple of hours just revolutionizes the experience of booking and seeing a doctor.
- Can you tell me about the features the app offers?
On the app, there’s the ability to check your symptoms, so you can tell the app you have a headache or a pain somewhere, and it will take you through some questions, give you an idea of what you need to do, whether that’s important and you need to see a doctor, or whether actually you can see a pharmacist, and get some advice that way. It enables you to sync up all your wearable devices, if you wear a fit-bit or step-counter, you can see what your health is looking like. If you do need to see a doctor, you can book a see a doctor really simply through your mobile phone.
- Student Mental Health is a big topic at the moment. How is Babylon working to break down the Mental Health stigma, and how can the app be utilized to help those students suffering from Mental Health issues.
It can be difficult to book an appointment and go along to a GP surgery to sit in the waiting room, to see someone face to face, and often it’s easier to do so from the comfort of your own room, somewhere nice and private, where you can just talk to someone over the phone through a video call/consultation. If you need to speak to someone, and its 2am in the morning, you book an appointment and talk to a GP at 2am in morning. You don’t have to wait to see your own GP.
- How can students be assured that the GP’s they are speaking to are vetted and suitably qualified to provide medical advice, whilst also ensuring their confidentiality is maintained.
We have an exhaustive interview process, which GPs go through a number of different tests and scenarios to check firstly that they’re really good doctors, but equally important to check that they’re good people as well, to check that they’re good at talking & good at listening. All our GP’s are very experienced in general practice. They are all trained and qualified in general practice, and we monitor everything that is going on really closely.
- Babylon offers to support students whom seek specialist advice. Can you tell me more about the types of specialties you support.
We’re an NHS GP practice, and can refer to any specialities within the NHS, as much as any GP could. So if a student or anyone else needs to see a specialist, we would work with them to find a suitable place and suitable time and refer them to a specialist within the NHS exactly as you would get from any other GP.
- With technology constantly advancing, and with hacking of software becoming more prevalent, what measures have been put in place to ensure the information stored on Babylon app is secure.
All our systems are designed from the ground up to be completely secure. We meet or exceed all of the NHS internal security systems. We have numerous accreditations which make sure we are at the top of the field in terms of data security.
- How will Babylon App ensure it maintains its relevance as the go to Healthcare Application going forward?
The Babylon offers the ability to talk to the doctor, and is always going to be part of the Babylon app. We’re working on some really fantastic stuff on how to check in, so you can put in all of your symptoms, all of your measurements, your height and weight, your family history and it will tell you about how you are doing at the moment, give you some ideas of what you need to work on, things in your diet you could be doing better, what your exercise looks like, providing you with a real healthcheck.
10. Can you tell me about some of the more common medical conditions students use the app for?
As a GP whether I’m seeing someone face to face or whether I’m seeing them through a video call, I’m seeing people about the same things really. The most common things students seek advice from their doctor for are short term problems: respiratory problems, chest infections, skin problems and the more longer terms things like mental health. But really anything that is worrying you, anything you would go see a doctor about , we’re here and able to see you about.
11. How does ordering prescriptions through Babylon work?
The NHS is great in that it has an electronic prescription service, so when you see a GP and they feel you need a prescription, they put it into the NHS service, and then that prescription is delivered electronically to the pharmacist, who you choose. Babylon app uses the same prescribing service, so if you need a prescription, we’ll send it straight to local pharmacists for you.
12. Can students seek advice should they need emergency contraception?
Contraception is a topic students want to talk to doctors and nurses quite a lot about. Anyone wanting to talk about contraception is more than welcome to use the service, and again because were so available, you’re able to book an appointment within a couple of hours, makes Babylon App an ideal service to talk to someone about contraception.
You can download the app via https://www.gpathand.nhs.uk/download-app