ICMIF member Simplyhealth (UK) has reported strong growth in its new virtual health cash plan app which includes a 24/7 GP and virtual physiotherapy triage service. The mutual says that customers are rapidly signing up for the new service and in June, Simplyhealth saw a 225% increase on May registrations for their new virtual health cash plan and app. The app provides fast, digital and telephone access to healthcare services, including appointments with a doctor, counselling and physiotherapy.
Catherine Rutland, Clinical Director at Simplyhealth, said: “Although some healthcare services are starting to resume, access to everyday physical healthcare services are still restricted in places as the global Coronavirus pandemic continues. Since lockdown measures were first introduced in the UK at the end of March, there has been a significant uptake in demand for digital healthcare. With registrations increasing month on month for Simplyhealth’s virtual healthcare app, we are also seeing a general trend from our customers towards digital and telephone access when it comes to speaking to a range of healthcare professionals. This is helping them to stay healthy and seek the right healthcare advice and information and manage appointments from home at a convenient time for them.”
Simplyhealth has also investigated the main three reasons customers are using the virtual 24/7 GP service on the app, these are:
- Other (which could be attributed to COVID-19) - 22.8%
- Skin – 19.5%
- Ear, Nose and Throat conditions - 10.8%
The main three reasons customers are using the physiotherapy triage service on the app are:
- Back - 22.5%
- Shoulder - 21.8%
- Knee -12.7%
Virtual GP appointments, available 24/7
Simplyhealth members with a health plan can download the free app and arrange virtual appointments with a doctor at whatever time suits them best, day or night. Simplyhealth customers can speak to UK-based, NHS practicing doctors from the comfort of their home. The doctors can provide advice, reassurance, diagnosis, referrals and medication including prescriptions. If customers want to speak to the same doctor again, they can choose to book with them each time.*
Other key benefits of Simplyhealth’s virtual 24/7 GP service include:
- No time limits on appointments
- Fast access - on average, it takes a customer just three hours from initial contact, to get an appointment with a doctor via the app.
- Doctor notes available immediately in the app history
- Prescription delivery - private prescriptions delivered in the post if the doctor prescribes medication during a virtual appointment.
A wide range of accessible services
Simplyhealth has made a wide range of services accessible to customers throughout the pandemic. Customers can access all virtual services including digital and telephone access to healthcare services such as GP appointments, counselling, physiotherapy assessment and triage, wellbeing and lifestyle guidance, and cash back on prescription costs. Customers also have the ability to choose where they access their healthcare, and providers are now reopening to treat customers in person.
Simplyhealth has also set up a dedicated Healthy Living Hub for customers with expert advice and practical guidance on topics such as nutrition, sleep, exercise, relationships, finance, and how to access our virtual services. Since the beginning of April, this has seen tens of thousands of people visit the site.
* If the same doctor is not available within seven days, customers will be directed to other available doctors.