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Sign up to NZ’s first virtual health service at Fieldays

Tuesday 14 June 2016

Waikato District Health Board’s new service that lets patients talk to their hospital doctor over their smart phone from home rather than having to travel to an outpatient appointment will be on show at Fieldays.

The Virtual DHB hub will operate out of a specially fitted out shipping container in H Street (H19/21) at the event at Mystery Creek on 15 to 18 June. Visitors who bring their photo ID with them will be able to sign up to the service and be in to win a Samsung tablet, courtesy of Spark. There will also be opportunities to talk to a doctor over a video chat on the day.

Waikato DHB chief executive Dr Nigel Murray said: “Over 60 per cent of our DHB population live rurally, so this is great event to attend to connect with those people and demonstrate the benefits of our new virtual health service.

“Many of our patients live long distances from hospital and spend a lot of time travelling to appointments. Now, if your hospital doctor is registered on The Virtual DHB, and they deem it appropriate for your particular treatment, it means you can choose to have a video conference call or text chat with the doctor via the app from your home or work rather than travelling to hospital.”

The Virtual DHB, powered by HealthTap, also has a wealth of health information available on an app, all approved by doctors. It means people can check out symptoms, conditions and treatments and get health information on their smart phone, tablet or desktop computer.

The DHB is gradually signing up doctors from all its services across its five hospital sites, and is talking to GPs and other community organisations about opportunities this service can offer their patients too.

Patients will also be able to use the app to book an appointment with their specialist, share a medical photo with them, send a direct message to their doctor like a text, and view their health record on the app. A multidisciplinary team of professionals who are caring for the patient will all have access to the shared care plan and can discuss the patient’s care with each other.

Using the app, people can ask a question and receive an answer from a database of millions of responses all approved by doctors registered on the system.

Spark, who is the network partner for the service, is providing the internet access for the Virtual DHB hub at Fieldays which means that as well as being able to highlight the features of the Virtual DHB staff will also be able to offer virtual consultations on the day.

If people can’t make it to Fieldays, residents can sign up to the New Zealand service by taking photo ID along to the enquiry desk at Waikato Hospital or to the DHB’s other hospitals at Thames, Te Kuiti, Tokoroa or Taumarunui. Photo ID needs to be either a current drivers licence, passport, R18 card or firearms licence. Staff will then generate a unique secure code and email this to the person who can then register with the Virtual DHB and download the HealthTap app to their smart device.

To be eligible, people need to be over the age of 18 and be covered by the Waikato District Health Board services. If they are not covered by Waikato DHB they can still sign up for the health information part of the app, but will not be able to connect with a doctor.

For more information and to see the Virtual DHB in action, visit www.waikatodhb.health.nz/virtualdhb

Check out our media releases on www.waikatodhbnewsroom.co.nz

Contact:

Waikato District Health Board

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 021 671 239

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