HealthKit: The Global Health Community

Apple likes our name and so do we!

So, today was interesting. I woke up at 4:30 am and turned to my Apple iPhone to check my emails. Someone had emailed me to ask whether Apple stomped all over your name or did we do a secret deal with them. Huh?! I got up and turned on my computer and checked our web stats, and discovered we had lots of people on the HealthKit site. A good thing, you'd think. No, not really. Apple liked our HealthKit idea so much that they have used our name and launched a new product called HealthKit.

HealthKit is already in use, by us! Even the way they write it is the same as us. I'm flattered that they like our name so much and that it's a ringing endorsement for our market opportunity (which we already knew). However, as an Apple fan, I feel let down. They didn't feel that they had to do a quick domain search - it would have taken 5 seconds to type www.healthkit.com into their browser and discover us. Would it have made any difference to them? Are they so big that they are above doing an ordinary Google search? Let us know what you think at @healthkit (yes, it's our Twitter handle), or you can tell Apple's CEO exactly how you feel about this on his Twitter handle, @tim_cook

Why is HealthKit free?!

The biggest question we always get asked at HealthKit is why is HealthKit is free, especially from clinicians who are used to software products that cost thousands of dollars a year and that do far less than HealthKit does. We built HealthKit with a higher purpose in mind: to make health better for everyone everywhere. Making our world-class software available to every practitioner is essential to making health better. Most practitioners, even in practices with reception support, complete an hour of administration a day, time which could be better spent treating patients. That is really important because two-thirds of people don't get the treatment they need when they need it, mainly because they don't know how to find the right practitioner for them, or cannot get in to see them. HealthKit solves unmet patient need by giving practitioners back an hour a day, free from administration.

Therefore, we set about building HealthKit differently. Instead of merely "computerizing" practices, HealthKit removes administration. All practitioners need to do is make a booking and all their invoices, payments and reminders can be automatically processed for them, along with their patient profiles and financial reports. Instead of being just for one profession, HealthKit's patient records, reports and fees are tailored to each profession, so it is ideal for sole, group and multi-disciplinary practices. Instead of helping patients just find a practitioner who happens to be nearest to them, we help them find the right practitioner close to them based not just on location but using complex clinical algorithms focused on expertise and need. In other words, just because it's free, you're not missing out in fact, quite the opposite!

HealthKit's core software is free not just for a 30-day subscription, or for a limited time or usage, and not just for professions that receive government incentives to use software. Our core software is free because we don't charge subscription fees, and we don't have any plans to introduce them now or in the future. The only thing you pay for are add-on products (like SMS reminders and payments processing) which further support our goal of making health better. You can see a video of our founders talking about why HealthKit's core software is free here.

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Solving health's underlying issues

Healthcare systems are complex and problematic the world over for patients and practitioners, and despite the differences between health systems (even between states and territories in the one country!) the issues are the same the world over. Practitioners must deal with significant administration and deal with the complexity of different funding bodies and requirements, as well as deal with hectic waiting rooms. At the same time, two-thirds of patients do not get the treatment they need when they need it because they cannot find the right practitioner for them or cannot get in to see them.

Addressing these issues in disjointed ways and without solving all these issues together is limited and limiting.

For example, electronic health records without genuine integration into invoicing and billing does very little to reduce administration, and invoicing without the ability to process patient fee patients does not fully remove administration. Even sending invoices to funding bodies or processing rebates does not by itself significantly help practitioners in their practice. For patients, finding a practitioner and having the ability to make a booking online may be helpful but without removing administration to give practitioners the ability to treat more patients, directory and online booking facilities are limited.

HealthKit is different.

HealthKit makes health better and genuinely resolves the underlying issues of healthcare for patients and practitioners around the world. All practitioners need to do is make a booking and all their invoices, payments and reminders can be automatically processed for them, along with their patient records and financial reports, leaving practitioners to focus solely on treating patients. HealthKit helps patients find the right practitioner for them as we have the largest, widest and most detailed directory of practitioners, and you can make a booking with them knowing that you're more likely to be able to get in to see them because they are not tied up with administration.

HealthKit is rapidly changing health for the better across the world, and we look forward to helping you.

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HealthKit awarded best health technology business

This year we've taken our health software platform to the world as HealthKit which has certainly been quite a journey, and in a month we're formally launching our global platform that includes:

  • Global practice management software for doctors and practitioners that can be used by any practitioner of any profession in any country anywhere in the world;
  • Searchable directories of practitioners covering almost 50% of the English speaking world; and
  • Clinical tools to track your health that integrate into practitioners' software.

Bringing together patients and practitioners is a global first and makes health more efficient, effective and accessible, while building one of the world's largest, most unique data sets that can solve the world's health problems. Let us know if you want more information about health informatics, as we're really energised about its potential.

In recognition of this we were recently awarded the best health technology business in Australia, in recognition of our potential to disrupt health globally, beating out major hospitals and international technology groups.

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7 minutes administration for every appointment adds up

Focusing solely on treating patients without the impediment of administration, no-shows or handling fees is the Holy Grail for many health practitioners. Ninety percent of health practitioners in private practice across the world are in sole or small practices without any receptionist or administrative support. As well as treating patients, practitioners must complete practice and clinical administration themselves, which takes up to two hours a day and also deal with almost 15% no-show rate.

HealthKit's research has shown that practitioners in sole practice do at least an hour of administration every day including scheduling, finances, marketing, invoicing, payments and billing – and this is just to the tip of it!

HealthKit has always been focused on building completely removing this administration for practitioner and by removing this administration it means that practitioners can focus on the time on treating patients, making a tangible difference to patient health and treatment.

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4 years less life expectancy: how do we help solve the underlying problems

Recent research has highlighted that the representation of health practitioners in regional Australia is as little as 9% of the representation of practitioners in metropolitan areas, in particular with allied health practitioners and medical specialists. In fact, over 90% of Medical Specialists and Allied Health practitioners are located in metropolitan areas. What has amazed us is that this ratio is the same right across the globe.

The lack of access to these health services in regional and areas (and therefore to affordable preventative and rehabilitative treatment) contributes to the reduced life expectancy of around four years compared to people of the same nation and health system living in non-metropolitan areas.

Online consultations – whereby practitioners treat patients remotely in real-time over the internet using webcam technology – can alleviate these barriers to patient treatment. HealthKit's cloud-based health software is pivotal for health practitioners and their patients and is the first globally to connect patients and practitioners seamlessly through online consultations.

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