Aetna International, a global health benefits provider, is today launching a ‘vHealth at Home' service for London-based customers, enabling a doctor to visit you at a location of your choice, such as work or home, within four hours of being booked.
Initially available to Aetna members within London Zones 1 to 4, ‘vHealth at Home' improves ease of access to GP assistance, saves time spent travelling and in waiting rooms, and acts as a complement to Aetna's existing digital primary care doctor service, vHealth.
During your appointment, the visiting primary care doctor - who will be both GMC-registered and NHS-trained - will be able to provide everything you'd expect from your regular GP consultation, including the assessment and treatment of minor illness and injuries, providing prescriptions and sick notes, and making referrals when appropriate.
We’re always looking for ways to lead positive change and deliver the best health outcomes for members by merging new tech, new business models and new partnerships."
Being able to have a fully qualified GP come to you and consult face-to-face addresses a well-documented gap in the current marketplace. A recent survey revealed that two in five employees are worried about their long-term health but haven't had a health check in the last year, and almost a quarter (23%) cite a lack of time as the reason. There has also been a 15% increase year-on-year in patients waiting a month for a GP appointment.
"Health care consumers want convenience. In an era where professionals are increasingly time-poor, it can be challenging to schedule an appointment with a GP at a time and place that works for you, let alone set aside time to travel to the surgery and spend in waiting rooms," said Dr Anushka Patchava, global proposition and strategy lead, vHealth, at Aetna International.
"A review of our existing digital virtual health provision showed that our members report saving an average of 4.5 hours per appointment - a substantial amount of time from both employees' and employers' perspectives. However, there are still occasions when someone might prefer to see a medical professional face-to-face. As a high-tech and high-touch solution, ‘vHealth at Home' provides this, and ensures our customers have increased access to high quality, personalised, round the clock, primary care. In essence, it takes the hassle out of health care."
In partnership with Qured, a revolutionary health care company specialising in delivering doctors and physiotherapy services to the consumer, ‘vHealth at Home' will be available between the hours of 8.30am and 9.30pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Bookings are made online and, during doctors' working hours, the assigned doctor will phone within 10 minutes of this booking for an initial assessment (triage), to provide reassurance and ensure it is not a case for emergency services. It's also possible to book an appointment for the next-day, ensuring not only convenience but flexibility.
Damian Lenihan, executive director, Europe, at Aetna International commented: "We're always looking for ways to lead positive change and deliver the best health outcomes for members by merging new tech, new business models and new partnerships. Introducing the ‘vHealth at Home' service to our London-based members is a case in point, and a further step towards engaging people with the care they need, when they need it. Above all, it underlines our commitment to innovating with our customer at the forefront, in order to create a more accessible and patient-centric health care system."
Brokers will be informed today about the launch of ‘vHealth at Home' at Aetna International's bi-annual Health Matters Forum event, held at the Bulgari Hotel, Knightsbridge.