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Five super-convenient healthcare services your clients can use at home

Published: 06/09/2023

Whether it’s checking a lump or speaking to a GP, getting access to care when we need it most is fundamental to our health. There are now an increasing range of digital treatments available to your clients at their fingertips, writes Vitality Magazine’s Olivia Matsell.

When we think of “digital health-tech”, it might automatically conjure images of wearables and smartphone apps, which have been empowering people to proactively manage their health and wellbeing for years now. 

Less widely understood, though, are the range of medical treatments and healthcare services now available to us from home, being harnessed to improve patient experiences and deliver better outcomes at all points of the care journey.

They’re tried and tested too. While it might be natural to be sceptical about the effectiveness and trustworthiness of technology in a healthcare setting, according to Vitality medical advisor Dr Kiran Johal these services are “checked to ensure safety, data protection and accessibility to be used within a health and social care setting”. 

Care in the comfort of your client’s home can often be more accessible and convenient, so here are five areas that digital technology is revolutionising healthcare and making it quicker for your clients to access the treatment they need.

1. Access to a GP

Covid brought a watershed moment in which we all had to adapt to a more digital approach to everyday services. Even before this though Vitality pioneered remote access to care through its Vitality GP service.

Between 2019 and 2021, Vitality witnessed a 70% increase in usage of the remote GP service and more than 40% of health insurance claims were for primary care, which can include doctors’ appointments, prescriptions as well as dental and optometry (eye health) services1.

Having a virtual GP appointment also means clients can often receive an immediate decision for further care when required – for example, 75% of all claims made via Vitality’s Care Hub receive an immediate decision2.

2. Skin cancer prevention

Skin cancer was the second most common type of cancer claim for Vitality members in 20213.

While measures can be taken to prevent a skin cancer, if a client with a qualifying Vitality Health plan is worried about a mole or blemish, services like Skin Analytics use artificial intelligence (AI) to identify whether it is something they should be concerned about. 

Clients can simply book a virtual appointment through the Vitality GP app and Care Hub and receive a special analysis kit in the post. This contains a smartphone and dermoscopic (magnifying) lens, which takes high definition photos of the skin. These images will be analysed by a skin professional – a dermatologist – within 24 hours.

3. Digital physiotherapy

Virtual physiotherapy offers an alternative way for clients to get support from a physiotherapist without the need for face-to-face visits.

Treating a wide range of conditions from back and joint pain to sports injuries, the goal is to relieve symptoms they’re experiencing and whilst this is traditionally done in person, a 2020 study found that digital treatment is just as effective as in-person treatment.

The physiotherapists take a holistic approach to recovery and assess the client’s individual situation and provide personalised treatment, such as specific exercises to relieve pain and discomfort.

4. Online therapy

Mental ill-health is a growing challenge for the UK. One in 10 people say that they experience symptoms of anxiety or depression, and one in five admitted to struggling with burnout4.

Talking Therapies – a service which has risen in demand fivefold since 20155 – provides a variety of therapies, including counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to guided self-help.

Clients with a qualifying health insurance plan can access eight online or face-to-face Talking Therapy sessions per plan year. And, as we’ve led the way in disregarding medical history for our in-network Talking Therapies, there’s no underwriting restrictions. 

Using online therapy gives clients a quick and simple way to access licensed therapists and psychotherapists. Without the need to have to travel to appointments, this can also be done in the comfort of their own home, in a familiar environment that might feel safer.

5. Holistic cancer support

Healthcare technology is also evolving to better support the holistic wellbeing of an individual when they are undergoing treatment for cancer, to aid recovery and help lower the chances of it reoccurring – also known as ‘prehab’.

One example is Alvie Health, a cancer support app that helps by providing customised pathways during cancer treatment through a combination of nutritional tips, physiotherapy, specialist nurses and mental health support. 

“We create a 360-degree profile of each individual of their holistic health to understand where the health impairments are and then provide targeted interventions,” says Krishna Moorthy, cancer surgeon and founder of Alvie Health (formerly known as OnkoHealth).

“A personal health coach takes patients through a behaviour change programme to sustain areas such as their physical activity, nutrition and mental health during their cancer treatment to improve the chances of a positive outcome.” 

After the programme, individuals can still reach out to the team and connect with experts through group-based exercises and events for ongoing support.

Find out more about how Vitality can provide your clients with access to a growing range
of digitally enabled health and wellbeing benefits, alongside broader end-to-end healthcare:

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1 VitalityHealth Claims & Benefits Report, 2022
2 Vitality data, 2022
3 VitalityHealth Claims & Benefits Report, 2022
4 Britain’s Healthiest Workplace 2022, Vitality and RAND Europe
5 Vitality data, 2022