SYDNEY/PERTH AUSTRALIA — 28th March 2018. Coviu has carved out a new niche, with occupational and physiotherapy network Biosymm integrating the platform into its practice management system to offer virtual treatments to workers across Australia.
Since launching in 2016, Coviu has connected more than 20,000 patients in Australia with healthcare practitioners across the country through partnerships with Health Team Australia, HealthKit and Ramsay Healthcare. The last year has seen Coviu grow its base of paying users by 470 per cent, and last month, the platform was named a winner at SingularityU Summit’s pitch fest.
With Coviu, Biosymm has been able to treat patients when an injury occurs through real-time video consultations in both rural and urban areas nationwide. By improving accessibility to physiotherapists, Biosymm’s early intervention treatments have reduced claim numbers by over 50 per cent, compared to the same period the year prior.
For workers in rural Australia, telehealth enables early intervention and better access to healthcare. Access to healthcare can be limited or involve significant travel for advice. Coviu is particularly useful for physiotherapists, where visually interacting with patients is core to effective treatment. The platform allows physiotherapists to treat an individual immediately after injury, or advise on urgent need for medical management. This provides reassurance for both the worker and the employer as to how best to manage and assist with their recovery.
Biosymm has conducted more than 1,400 consultations on Coviu since implementing the platform. The company works with major retail, industrial, mining, rail and pharmaceutical clients, many of whom operate in isolated areas across Australia.
Nationally indicative figures from Workcover Western Australia show that lost time injuries, or injuries where a worker was not able to continue at work, made up 57 per cent of claims. In contrast, through using Coviu to achieve early intervention, Biosymm has achieved more than a 98 per cent stay-at-work rate.
Biosymm CEO Greg Borman said: “Good injury management comes down to expert advice at the right time and the majority of work injuries are musculoskeletal in nature. By using Coviu to connect patients with our physiotherapy team, we can triage them on the spot and provide the right advice at the right time, wherever they’re based.
“The real-time video feature also allows us to guide employers at the end of the consult on what the worker can safely perform at work during their recovery and how best to prevent a recurrence or aggravation.
“We’ve been able to deliver significant returns in workers compensation savings and productivity by ensuring employees receive the timely expert treatment and guidance they need to make a full and swift recovery,” Mr Borman said.
Biosymm is expecting to assist more than 7,000 workers in the 2018/19 financial year supported by a network of over 300 preferred local providers.
Coviu CEO Dr Silvia Pfeiffer said the real-time video consultations platform works particularly well because of its flexibility to integrate with existing workflows in healthcare.
“Our platform can be accessed through web browsers, a custom mobile app and even through an iPod. We’ve integrated video consultation scheduling into Biosymm’s existing practice management software. It means that no matter whether they’re at work or at home, patients can have access to the treatment and expert advice they need,” said Dr Pfeiffer.
Coviu is continuing to evolve and has added a number of features to the platform throughout 2017 including online appointment booking, a patient portal, online payments, consent forms, patient waiting rooms, and integrations into practice management software.
A new artificial intelligence tool is on the horizon, with Coviu winning Sydney HealthHack 2017 with the concept, which will aid physiotherapists in making informed treatment decisions.
“Physiotherapists currently assess patients by eye, making estimates on their range of movement and the angle of their limbs. We’re developing an algorithm that analyses real-time video to calculate this automatically and more accurately. An angle difference of five degrees is substantive and can lead to different treatment decisions, improving the outcome for both physio and patient,” said Dr Pfeiffer.
The next 12 months will see this and additional features rolled out across Coviu’s platform.
Coviu is an emerging startup out of CSIRO’s Data61 offering a video consultation software to healthcare businesses. It brings the specific workflows and tools necessary for healthcare into an online video call while satisfying regulatory requirements around security and privacy.
Biosymm is one of Australia’s largest occupational physiotherapy providers specialising in early intervention injury management and ergonomic risk reductions. Since implementing video consultations for our clients we have become one of the largest private users of this technology across Australia and New Zealand.