Healthcare has traditionally been a face-to-face service, but telehealth alternative HealthBank is providing an online platform that’s beneficial to both patients and practitioners. HealthBank has already been coined a disruptor in the health industry and recognised by Westpac as a Business of Tomorrow. We spoke to Desk Space member Robbie Clark about the development of the telehealth venture.
Robbie has worked in private practice as a dietitian for 10 years and is passionate about preventative treatment. Based on his own experiences and by closely listening to patients and other practitioners needs and frustrations, Robbie identified a gap in the market. Practitioners needed to grow their business and be more accessible and efficient through better practice management, booking generation and record retrieval and storage. Patients needed better access to preventive healthcare services, often limited due to distance, time, money or motivation.
Robbie conceived of a solution: an online telehealth platform that addresses both practitioners and patients needs, resolves their frustrations and helps achieve better patient outcomes. HealthBank is the first online platform in Australia that offers cloud-based practice management software and telehealth software system licensed to allied health professionals (accredited naturopaths, dietitians, nutritionists, psychologists and exercise physiologists). Practitioners can become more efficient and grow their business through HealthBank’s improved practice management methods, online booking generation, electronic medical record retrieval and storage, and online listings. Patients can better access practitioners and achieve best treatment by searching online listings and connecting in person or remotely, over the phone or via secure virtual consultations. Patient profiles offer a private portal for recommended treatments, protocols, supplements and medical/pathology results, as well as daily health trackers, such as sleep, stress, exercise and energy.
“I think of it as practice management software meets Skype meets Medicare,” says Robbie. “We’re bringing the three together under the same roof and are the first to do it in Australia.”
While HealthBank is focused on improving the efficiency and convenience of allied health practice, Robbie’s fundamental objective is making preventative treatment more accessible to everyone. “Currently, there is too large a focus on treatment of health issues in the medical industry. This focus should be shifted to preventative health to reduce the burden and costs to the Australian economy,” he says. “HealthBank will contribute to reducing this burden by creating greater and easier access to different health services and health professionals. This results in greater compliance, less sickness, better preventative care and, most importantly, a happier and healthier nation.”
While online health services are still an emerging field, particularly in Australia, the technological possibilities are vast. For example, data from wearable and diagnostic devices can be integrated into the platform for allied health professionals to assess, and the platform can be licensed to practitioners in different regions of the world. “There is only so much you can do face to face,” Robbie says. “Telehealth and telemedicine are the way of the future and adapting to that is what I am most proud of. We’re getting in early and doing it well, which makes it more challenging for others to follow.”