How to Build a Digital Hospital

A visionary guide into the future of digital healthcare.

Tom Blower

Tom Blower, Chief Product Officer at Pando, has his sights set on the future of healthcare. He envisages a Digital Hospital that can deal in multiple specialties, accessing expert clinicians whenever a patient needs support. However, he knows it takes more than vision to access specialist healthcare and deliver next level healthcare.

Tom talks about his vision, what it takes to succeed in digital healthcare and what the term ‘Digital Hospital’ means to him. 

What is a Digital Hospital?

In my view, a Digital Hospital is the transformation of the consumer experience to be value driven, proactive, efficient, and integrated. The aspiration is to have an entire spectrum of specialist healthcare accessible in a single click, or tap. One click health.

Rock Health did a good job of defining this with: Healthcare’s digital front door encompasses all digital touch-points along a consumer’s care access journey, starting from when she decides to explore care options, to the point at which she accesses care. This door stays open, and can be re-entered for any future considerations of and navigation to care.

What do you need to create a Digital Hospital?

There are four stages that need to be created and linked:

1. An entry point where a user can onboard and self-navigate to the information they need.

2. The capability to select the service they need; such as access to a specialist where they can get a virtual consultation.

3. The choice to navigate to the next step or close the conversation.

4. An ability to re-login / enter the Digital Hospital when symptoms change or they have a new question or requirement.

Virtual consultations, e-pharmacy, digital therapeutics, sensors and remote test kits have enabled a significant part of the primary and secondary healthcare sector to go fully remote. However, there is, and will continue to be a physical component to many care journeys. These are the limitations of remote healthcare and why there is such importance on the balance between physical and digital.

How is Pando improving healthcare?

At Pando, we are empowering the next phase of digital healthcare by going beyond the GP.

Enabling users to access the specialist healthcare of their choice, getting reassurance for abnormal symptoms, offering preventative care with expert advice on how to minimise the risk of certain outcomes, as well as identifying and assessing potentially high risk health issues. These are the tools of the service we are providing. Each one gives the patient better value care and opens up specialist healthcare across a range of organisations.

Imagine you’re inside your own Digital Hospital. What is the experience you feel when using it?

I would often start with a feeling of anxiety, where I have a niggling, underlying fear. I then enter the digital hospital hoping for quick relief without a lengthy trip to the Emergency Dept or months of waiting. My first experience is familiarity, as the onboarding process looks and feels similar to many retail user experiences. But this experience feels deeper, more exact. I tell the onboarding process who I am, providing safeguarding and privacy information so that both sides know we can enter into an honest, trusting and open conversation. This experience is painless and most of the information I have to hand.

I immediately get to speak (text chat) with a specialist clinician which feels natural and responsive. I am reassured by reading their Bio and can even check who they are, by searching their GMC number.

After the consultation, I feel like an enormous weight has been lifted off my shoulders because: 

A) I can go to work tomorrow and don’t need to have to find emergency childcare. 

B) I have the answer to my problem and advice on what to do next.

After this point, I am able to get access to a summary of my consultation which I know has also been automatically transferred to my GP and kept secure when I need to come back to the Digital Hospital.

The continuing advancement of patient’s care journeys and technology, for me, will see Digital Hospitals become a reality within the decade.

Read more on how Pando Access is delivering the next level of Digital Healthcare here.