Ben Wood, Director of Operations & Sales at Klinik Healthcare Solutions UK explains how Klinik, the digital primary care solution is going further to create automated patient flow, which is entirely localised

Healthcare tech is a lightning-paced, highly competitive, continuously metamorphosing arena where new advancements and breakthroughs are the lifeblood. Being the latest discovery is the industry zenith but a resounding success in one country that does not denote a triumph in another. This is something being navigated right now by tech wunderkinds, Klinik Healthcare Solutions. With a user-generated triage solution that assesses, diagnoses and directs patient flow with near-perfect accuracy, their system has been lauded in the home country of Finland.

Now bringing their offering to the UK and consequently the idiosyncrasies of the NHS, their artificial intelligence (AI) technology needs to prove itself as fully flexible too. Used by doctors, nurses, healthcare specialists and the general public, it’s no small undertaking to develop an interface perceived by patients as equal to describing their symptoms to a trusted GP.

“We’re incredibly proud of our user input system and we’ve seen it work in 300 clinics across Finland to reduce waiting times and optimise efficiency but we’re all too aware our offering has to convert into different markets,” says Petteri Hirvonen MD, Chief Medical Officer at Klinik Healthcare Solutions.

“The UK and Finland have many similarities but they’re by no means identical, so it’s not an off-the-shelf situation. The technology is first class, we know this, but it’s only a success if it works in real-life situations, for real people.”

This is why Klinik have been so painstaking in their trialling within NHS organisations. With a game changing AI offering able to help nurses make more informed, confident decisions about patient care without relying on GP support and encourage patients to use self-service triage to remove pressure from frontline practice staff, it was crucial to find a platform to test and tailor their offering to the UK market. Enter Kernow Health CIC’s ‘Sandbox Approach’, offering companies a way to sample and improve their products in real-life NHS clinical environments. By linking tech companies directly with practising medical teams, the initiative speeds up and simplifies this validation process so doctors, support staff and patients alike can start benefitting from new technical solutions sooner.

An initial collaboration with the University of Plymouth produced a series of workshops with leading research teams gleaning insight into how to make Klinik’s AI offering even more bespoke to the UK market and the NHS. As an extensive research centre for emerging healthcare technologies, the team at Plymouth University offered crucial feedback to Klinik in how NHS doctors are trained to work in the community. “Gaining an academic perspective from the University of Plymouth’s Centre of Health Technology (CHT) has been of great benefit,” explains Hirvonen. “We asked them to map out the current processes in three GP practices so that we could gain a better understanding of how they currently organise triage and therefore how digital triage could be best deployed.”

“Healthcare tech is a lightning-paced, highly competitive, continuously metamorphosing arena where new advancements and breakthroughs are the lifeblood. Being the latest discovery is the industry zenith but a resounding success in one country that does not denote a triumph in another.”

Klinik then went onto work with the three GP surgeries across the South West to live-test its adapted product. All practice staff and patient test groups were given free reign with the user interface to evaluate. Aspects, such as symptom input, urgency detection, decision support and an online messaging system whereby staff can communicate with patients in real time where all analysed in-depth for user experience.

“What’s so positive about this process is we couldn’t have predicted the findings,” explains Ben Wood UK Director of Operations & Sales at Klinik. “Of course, we were thrilled to hear how positive the feedback was but even more useful, were the critiques. Key learning for us was in communicating wait times. Our Finnish model has them as a generic standard, but NHS GP staff asked us to go one step further and have an option for them to set their own wait times that patients could see and, therefore, manage their expectations. This is something that for us is a minor update but will make a considerable difference for NHS medical professionals and their patients.”

Working on a global platform is today’s industry standard but as Klinik is appreciating, the blanket approach is not an effective model. Technology can span continents but only if carefully translated to that region’s unique characteristics. Healthcare systems are so acutely location-centric that any tech model must be agile enough to translate seamlessly to each local market. Enter the new era of being global-local; for the healthcare tech industry at least, it certainly seems the brightest way forward.

Partnership Case Studies

Haxby Group Case Study: Changing the face of general practice

Haxby Group reveals how Klinik is helping to change how general practice is meeting the needs of patients and professionals.

”We have much more accurate information on the time and volume of demand. We know how much resource we need at particular times of day, and we can see what type of care people need.”

Roxbourne Medical Centre Case Study

One practice that is excelling at managing this demand is Roxbourne Medical Centre. With smart processes, great teamwork and Klinik technology, the London practice has been able to manage the demands it faces without having to increase headcount. Now staff would never go back to the old ways of working.

"Even our most ardent doubters have seen that demand can be successfully managed with online triage."
Martin Eades, Managing Partner
Priory Medical Group
"We understand our patients like never before. We now have data on the true demand we face in general practice. We have the tools to share that workload across the whole primary care network."
Martin Eades, Managing Partner
Priory Medical Group
"We are seeing 8,000 more patients compared to the same time last year thanks to Klinik, and doing so with the same level of resources."
Martin Eades, Managing Partner
Priory Medical Group
“The system enables our clinicians to review the information provided by patients, and provides a suggested priority level. This allows us to ensure we have the patient see the right person at the right time.”
Dr. Azhar Ali, Managing Partner
Forth Medical Group
"Together with Klinik, we have invested the energy to make it the way we want it to be, and now we are seeing the results.”
Dr Sarmad Zaidi
Roxbourne Medical Centre
“Now Klinik is in place, we don’t ever want to go back. Our reception staff feel less pressured to act according to patient expectations, and the whole team feels that they are better placed to deal with all incoming queries. We can breathe now.”
Trupti Chauhan, Operations Manager
Roxbourne Medical Centre
"Now we know what the demand is, we can see what changes need to be made, and we can manage expectation and optimise the journey for every patient. We can assign the right level of resources to deal with the enquiry, and use the most expensive resource where it’s most effective."
Trupti Chauhan, Operations Manager
Roxbourne Medical Centre
“Feedback from other practices using the system was very positive, especially how responsive the company was to people’s needs.”
Dr Michael Curran, GP partner
Church Street Medical Centre
“For any other practice I would say this would make a valuable addition to the practice. In the current environment, it is becoming essential to have an efficient triage service that can assess risk and identify urgency, so that care can be given according to need, rather than demand. I would strongly recommend this to any GP practice.”
Dr Michael Curran, GP partner
Church Street Medical Centre
"With the Klinik online consultation service, we can now get the correct patient to the correct point of care in the most efficient way."
Dr Thomas Patel-Campbell
Haxby Group