eConsult gets further £7m to expand NHS digital triage platform

The digital triage platform eConsult that is widely used by NHS GP practices has closed a £7 million funding ($9.6 million) round to expand the service.

This latest funding round led by Calculus Capital follows the £5 million from equity investor Gresham Health in October last year.

Last year eConsult launched a combined platform with two other providers, adding its digital triage tool with a video consultation provided by Q Doctor and Cognitant’s health information service Healthinote.

eConsult works as a digital gateway to a GP practice, allowing clinicians to decide care pathways for patients, which in turn releases capacity and reduces costs.

At its core is a proprietary, clinician-led bank of more than 10,000 questions producing from evidence-based medicine, NICE guidance, clinical knowledge summaries and NHS sources.

The system records patient details, case history and symptoms and provides them to the GP in a concise format where they are processed in two to three minutes.

Research shows around 70% of requests are closed without need for a face-to-face appointment, the company said.

Funding from central government has also helped to hasten the roll-out of eConsult, which has seen increased demand for its service because of the need for remote consultation during the pandemic.

As well as supporting existing services, the extra cash will support the rollout of its urgent and emergency care tool, etTriage and its outpatient triage tool, eSpecialist.

eTriage is designed to automatically check-in and prioritise patients upon arrival to an emergency department, identifying sick patients earlier, reducing the waiting time and ensuring that any red flags are immediately re-directed to the appropriate emergency care.

eConsult is also advancing with its additional product, eSpecialist, which is intended to improve the efficiency of outpatient appointments and allow a joined-up service through primary and secondary care.

Dr Murray Ellender, CEO of eConsult Health, commented: “This funding will help us keep pace with the product development we need to support cutting edge health technology across both primary and secondary care. NHS patients deserve an excellent digital experience when interacting with the health service and we now look forward to delivering the transformation needed.”

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