NHS Direct has signed a deal for Healthdirect Australia to use its online health and symptom checkers. It is thought to be the first commercial deal of its kind within the NHS.
Healthdirect Australia – which is a similar service to NHS Direct – recognised the significant potential of NHS Direct’s online content and approached the organisation to look at partnership opportunities.
Particularly appealing was NHS Direct’s robust clinical oversight, input and processes to developing the content as recognised through its official accreditation by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) services.
NHS Direct’s online health and symptom checkers have been localised for the Australian population. For example, it has been discussed that when the bites and stings symptom checker is developed it will need to take into account the country’s venomous snakes and spiders.
The referral points have also been adapted to reflect Australia’s health service. As part of the agreement, NHS Direct will provide regular content updates based on the latest clinical guidelines.
According to Bob Gann, NHS Direct’s Head of Business Development for Digital & International Services: “This is an exciting business opportunity for NHS Direct and highlights our commitment as an organisation to develop our international portfolio of work. NHS Direct’s award-winning health and symptom checkers are hugely popular with patients in England, with over 11 million recorded uses last year. Healthdirect recognised how trusted and respected NHS Direct’s online services are by patients and the wider NHS and looked to utilise our experience to develop their own web-first approach.”
Colin Seery, Chief Executive Officer, Healthdirect Australia said: “The arrangement allows us to utilise existing high quality online health advice and information with the flexibility of being able to localise it to ensure the material meets the specific needs of the Australian population.
“The online symptom checkers provide a valuable enhancement to our existing telephone and online service platform and are a further demonstration of our commitment to increasing the Australian public’s access to the right advice on the appropriate care for their health issue when and where they need it.”
“We look forward to continuing to work with NHS Direct”.
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