In this ProductTank Edinburgh talk, Jack Francis, Founder and Managing Director of Pogo Digital Healthcare, talks about his experience in digital healthcare and how his product aims to enable better communication in the NHS.
Watch the conversation in full, or read on for an overview:
Jack says that Pogo paired up with stroke therapist Professor Martin Dennis. Together they created a platform that includes shared decision making and greater consensus in health care. Using Pogo’s technical expertise and Dennis’s medical expertise, they began designing the product on a larger scale. After pitching and partnering with the NHS and five stakeholders, they had a six-week timeline to deliver a minimum viable product that was a rebuild of a basic clinical platform. As all this happened during March 2019, the platform was designed as a national approach to Long COVID.
Problems with communication in healthcare
Jack points out that the problem with communication in healthcare has two dimensions, patient-to-physician and physician-to-physician.
doctor to patient
- Complaints: lack of clear communication is the most common NHS compliance
- NHS costs: £400m a year in negligence lawsuits related to consent
- Third sector cost: £3m annual leaflet printing
doctor to doctor
- Time wasted: 1-4 GP appointments could be avoided with better hospital-to-GP communication and better GP communication
- Poor Patient Outcomes: From Missing Interventions to Unwanted Completed Interventions
Jack’s Product is a platform that aims to solve the problem with communication in healthcare by providing tailored conversations and guidance. Jack adds that “after you’ve collected content relevant to the patient from the slides, you can view it as a PDF, print it, or send it to them via email or their patient portal”. This facilitates tailored guidance and improves communication.
next big project
Jack talks about Pogo’s next big project, working to develop a long-term status management app, improving stakeholder communication. The purpose of this app is to go beyond long covid and help users with different medical conditions. Jack says it “sets out for patients to pose questions and give tailored guidance, then, based on their answers, they will be given a pre-made tailored conversation and can request a call back”.
The app needs to do three things: link to GP records, be easy for patients to understand and make it easy for GPs to use the back-end of the system. Jack says this will create a “unified health and care pathway” for patients in the future.
Jack says that the main lessons learned from this experience were as follows:
- empirical evidence is key
- With the NHS, the timeline is always longer than you think
- Balance your technical knowledge with the medical knowledge of experts
- Identify the most important part of the product (i.e. ease of use) and use that to drive everything else
- Different partners bring different insights, make sure you listen to each stakeholder