Perspective

COVID-19 Is Clearly Demonstrating How Digital Health Solutions, Like TrackActive, Can Make a Difference

May 14, 2020| By Tasneem Harnekar | L/H General Industry | English

Region: United Kingdom

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing consumer behaviour and we are all having to find ways to adjust. Significant delays to routine medical examinations, screenings and doctor confirmations due to overstretched healthcare networks and social distancing protocols, are now a reality for which insurers must cater.

Technology and virtual alternative solutions have become a vital means for most businesses to continue to communicate and function. This is certainly the case within insurance, where underwriting and claims operations are embracing virtual alternatives to source required information from customers.

TrackActive is one example of how technology is helping to fill the void for both consumers and insurers. A strategic digital partner of Gen Re since 2017, the company specialises in rehabilitation for musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions (problems affecting bones, joints and muscles). With pilots underway with large insurers in both the U.K. and Australia, the potential for their services to positively impact customers’ health has already been noticed. Their TrackActiveMe app has been attracting particular attention since the pandemic took hold.

It’s reported that as many as one in two people in the UK have a musculoskeletal condition, with 66% of office workers suffering from pain in their necks, backs or upper limbs. Globally, MSKs are the leading contributor to absence due to disability and sickness and can have a significant impact on mental health. That said, it’s widely acknowledged that appropriate exercise and advice can improve and prevent many musculoskeletal conditions.

Staying at home, and active, during the pandemic

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, large numbers of people with injuries or MSK conditions that require attention are unable to meet with medical professionals to address their condition. The TrackActiveMe app operates like a virtual physio, enabling people to assess and self-manage injuries and common MSK conditions in their own home. It is already being used on a trial basis by National Health Service (NHS) GP (general practitioner) clinics to ease pressure on services and provide patients with the advice and treatments they need.

As Michael Levens, CEO and co-founder of TrackActive explains, “From our work with the NHS, we know that 20% of NHS appointments are for conditions that affect our bones, joints, and muscles. In the current climate, we understand that GPs may be struggling to provide services that meet the needs of people with MSK conditions. Our technology offers them an alternative solution by providing validated digital assessments and high-quality interventions.”1

Through an initial chatbot assessment, which profiles a users’ exercise habits and provisionally diagnoses any MSK conditions, the app delivers personalised advice and exercise programmes that adapt according to the progress made by the individual. It also provides programmes to prevent the development of conditions and maintain musculoskeletal health, including access to a comprehensive library of preventative “stay strong and healthy” exercise programmes, including pilates, yoga, stretching and strengthening options.

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Levens adds, “If needed, users can speak to a physiotherapist via a telehealth consultation, but the application stays on the user’s mobile phone, providing exercise-based interventions and information to assist them reach national activity guidelines to stay healthy and pain-free. All the exercise programmes can be completed at home with minimal equipment.”

Helping practitioners embrace telehealth

In addition to the TrackActiveMe app, the company also offers a clinical platform for health professionals - predominately physiotherapists - to design, deliver, support, monitor adherence, and track the outcomes of patient home rehabilitation programmes. In the last month, Track Active Pro has been helping many physiotherapists - from both private and public clinical services - make the transition to video consultations with their patients.

Since it was launched in 2015, the TrackActive Pro platform has been delivering evidence-based remote monitoring software for patient rehabilitation programmes and patient outcome report measures (PROMs) to thousands of patients globally, including the NHS. Confidence in telehealth in general has been a growing trend during this time, with numerous research studies demonstrating its effectiveness is comparable to face-to-face care.

This shift is being acknowledged by the decision of many leading insurers to begin covering telehealth consultations. As this digital transformation process continues to accelerate, TrackActive Pro will be able to help both insurers and physiotherapists with providing digital records in several areas such as patients’ progress and their outcome measures.

Supporting employee wellness efforts

With huge numbers of employees now working from home, companies are searching for ways to look after their employees’ health, while simultaneously coming under increasing pressure to be especially cost-conscious in the current economic climate. TrackActive is adapting by offering new ways for people and companies to access their products.

While none of us would have wished for the COVID-19 pandemic, it is certainly highlighting the positive impact that digital health solutions can make. By helping individuals access the medical advice they need, easing pressure on medical services and enabling insurance professionals gather the information they require, TrackActive is a prime example.

Contact your Gen Re representative to find out more about our digital activities and to arrange an introduction to TrackActive.

Although the TrackActiveMe app is usually only available to individuals via GPs and as part of corporate wellness and insurance programmes, TrackActive has made the app available for anyone to download (via Google Play or the Apple Store) during this time of social distancing and reduced access to medical services.

 

Endnote
  1. Quality assurance and clinical governance processes have been undertaken through London South Bank University.

 

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