VideoDoc hub brings medical consultations to the post office
VideoDoc has launched a first of its kind partnership with Fogarty’s Quickpick and Post Office in Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare, offering online GP and medical consultations from the Postmaster’s premises.
Locals of Ballymore Eustace and the surrounding Kildare community can access a private medical booth, called The Hub, to gain instant, on-demand and secure access to an Irish Medical Council registered doctor.
The trial will be monitored for suitability for national rollout to other members of the Irish Postmasters’ Union, and is expected to form one of the pilots for additional social services provided by Postmasters, recently approved by the government.
Primarily for minor ailments or basic consultations, doctors will have the ability to triage, treat, diagnose, prescribe and follow up with patients. The booth will also offer access to other health consultations such as dermatology – operated remotely by VideoDoc, with the potential for future inclusion of many other health services.
The Hub will also include additional business, personal and social services such as photocopying, printing, laminating, Internet access, phone charging and a coffee area. The project provides an example of additional in demand services which can be provided in communities by Postmasters through greater use of technology.
“This online GP consultation service is ideally suited for communities where access to traditional GP support may be difficult and Postmasters are the ideal providers of the booth, given the centrality of their premises and public trust they are held in,” said VideoDoc CEO Mary O’Brien. “We look forward to servicing the people of Ballymore Eustace and working with Postmasters to expand this offering to many other communities.”
Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU), General Secretary Ned O’Hara, said: “This first-ever Postmaster provided VideoDoc service is a very exciting initiative and demonstrates how Postmasters’ role can be adapted and expanded in an increasingly technology driven world.
“Postmasters are the heart of rural communities that struggle to access vital services such as a GP consultation. The IPU looks forward to monitoring the success of this pilot and to its expansion across the Network.”
Postmaster Sean Fogarty said: “Like many towns across Ireland, access to GPs is difficult, as people must travel significant distances – if they are in a position to travel, that is. This technology will help our community overcome this obstacle. It is a needed service that Postmasters are well-placed to provide.”
VideoDoc has been built with patient privacy in mind and complies with the Irish Data Protection Act and the US Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act.