Smartphone app aims to help practices boost flu vaccination levels

A new smartphone app could help practices increase uptake of flu vaccination this year, the app's developers have said.

The enhanced myGPTM app, which is being launched to coincide with this year's winter flu programme, can streamline the process for inviting patients for vaccination and booking appointments, health technology company iPLATO said.

iPLATO

Established in 2006, iPLATO’s solutions have proven to improve patient access to healthcare and early diagnosis, enabling powerful health promotion and support for citizens living with long-term conditions. 
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This article has been funded by iPLATO for GP Connect

The myGP app is free to patients and allows them to securely book or cancel appointments on their smartphone.

However, it now also allows practices to select and target patients eligible for the flu jab from their database. These patients are then sent an SMS-message to book a flu jab by downloading or updating the myGP app, which then enables them to book the appointment remotely via their smartphone.

It is believed that this is the first time that patients will be able to immediately book a specific flu jab appointment via their phone after receiving a text.

myGP works on most smartphones and can run across all the major GP clinical systems. Along with enabling patients to book appointments, the app also allows practices to automate data collection such as smoking status, streamline call and recall, improve adherence and access to medication and support self care through digital care plans and self care tools such as weight and blood pressure monitoring.

iPLATO said that a benefit of the app compared with other online access arrangements is that registration for the service is easier for patients and practices. Patients register remotely using their date of birth and the mobile number they have registered with the practice and, following a quick authentication process, they are able to use the service.

Tobias Alpsten, iPLATO chief executive, said: ‘Over the last two years more than half of GP surgeries on iPLATO have used the service to invite patients to a flu jab appointment. By linking text messaging to enhanced digital services which enable users to automatically book a specific flu appointment, we have taken yet another step on the journey of connecting patients and transforming healthcare.’

Photo: iStock

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