MILAN ‒ frog, one of the world’s top design firms, has launched Telehealth Toolbox, an online resource to help doctors transition to telemedicine quickly, safely and efficiently, reducing stress on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth Toolbox provides a set of simple guidelines and practical tools to accelerate the adoption of telehealth practices by primary care physicians, particularly those at smaller practices that lack the resources or experience to offer telemedicine services.
The Telehealth Toolbox was developed as a pro bono initiative when frog’s team in northern Italy, where COVID-19 struck early and hard, saw how many primary care physicians were left on the sidelines during the epidemic. Government and health authorities were advising doctors to reduce face-to-face patient visits, but no clear, consolidated, practical guidelines for primary care telemedicine services were available. For time-strapped physicians attempting to implement telehealth for the first time during a crisis, the barriers were just too high.
“Our focus at frog is very much on doing things that are tangible and have a timely path to impact,” said Thomas Sutton, Chief Design Officer for EMEA at frog. “It became clear very quickly that general practitioners suddenly needed to change from seeing their patients in person to consulting them remotely ‒ because either the doctors or the patients were self-isolating and to minimize the spread of the contagion. We launched the Telehealth Toolbox to address this urgent need and accelerate doctors’ transition to telemedicine.”
The Telehealth Toolbox focuses on a concise set of recommendations and tools that doctors can put into immediate action in three simple steps: preparing a practice for telehealth, preparing patients and delivering remote care. These steps were developed from existing research by highly respected sources including the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, the American Association of Family Practitioners and the American Medical Association. The team drew extensively on the work of Dr. Trisha Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of General Practitioners and Faculty of Public Health.
“This excellent resource from frog design should help health professionals around the world to overcome their reservations about video consultations,” said Greenhalgh, a pioneer in efforts to combine insights from social sciences with cutting-edge medical research.
The Telehealth Toolbox site is available in five languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.
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