Technology

Now Healthcare Group has delivered a consultation from 35,000 feet using its smartphone-based video technology, with medicines delivered to the patient’s hotel within hours of diagnosis.

Dr Now / Now GP has made history by delivering, literally, a cloud-based consultation. Recently, a business flyer from the UK was connected to a doctor back home whilst on a long-haul Emirates A380 flight from London Heathrow to Dubai.

Businessman Marcus Dolan had been suffering from a chest infection in the lead up to his trip. Having forgotten to pack his medicines, Marcus was three hours into the seven hour flight when he realised this would seriously hamper his stay in Dubai.

Using the free wifi connection offered to Emirates flyers, Marcus was able to access the Dr Now / Now GP mobile app provided by his employer-funded private medical insurance (PMI) policy and connect to Dr La, a GP who he has spoken with several times in the past, instantly.

Now Healthcare Group was able to use its pharmacy network to arrange for Marcus’ medication to be dispensed from a Dubai-based pharmacy. Operating in a window of just a few hours, Marcus’ medicines were delivered via courier and were at his hotel by the time he arrived from the airport.

A growing number of flights, especially those offered by premium airlines, give passengers access to a reliable wifi connection to use in-flight. This allows Dr Now / Now GP to connect flyers to a GP based back home in the United Kingdom for rapid diagnosis, instant advice and to arrange medication delivery.

Illness amongst tourists and business flyers is common, with studies showing that a significant number of us suffer from weekend or vacation sickness. 8.4% of all flyers feel nauseous to some extent when airborne, whilst millions will feel anxious when it comes to travelling on a plane.

By connecting troubled passengers to a UK-based GP, patients now have the chance to speak to a familiar face who is able to talk to them about their concerns, their symptoms, and can diagnose them remotely.

Marcus, who agreed to share a screenshot and details of this remarkable consultation for the purpose of this press release, said:

“I’ve been using the app for a few months since my company signed up as a partner. When I realised I hadn’t packed my medicines I thought I may as well give it a try. I didn’t expect to be able to speak to Dr La but I was connected straight away. I told him about my situation and a couple of hours later had an email telling me my medicines were waiting for me at my hotel. It was such a relief as I wouldn’t have had a clue where to go for medicines in Dubai.”

CEO and Founder of Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, described the latest breakthrough as a “major step forward” in the company’s ambitions to make primary care accessible worldwide. He said:

“We recently conducted our first transatlantic consultation, connecting a patient in New York to his doctor back home in the UK. Now we’ve gone a step further by making health advice and diagnosis available to patients during flights. We were thrilled to hear about the successful consultation on an Emirates flight from London to Dubai – this is a major step forward for us as we look to make healthcare more available to everyone, everywhere.”