South African medical technology leaders, EZMed and Direct Health, partner to provide first of its kind integrated platform for healthcare practitioners operating in the South African virtual health space.
Cape Town, 20 May 2020 – South African healthcare practice management software provider, EZMed and specialised virtual healthcare technology platform, USA-based Direct Health, today formally announced a partnership that will help advance healthcare delivery in South Africa. The EZMed and Direct Health platform is the first of its kind in South Africa, and combines the best of virtual consulting technology with the backend requirement for administration, billing and record-keeping. Being virtual, the application can also be accessible to more people in need of healthcare interventions across the country.
The integrated platform offers healthcare practitioners a secure, end-to-end, telehealth solution that enables them to virtually consult, track & record consultation duration and patient notes, as well as bill a medical scheme and administer their businesses – all in one simple solution. The EZMed platform is the first to enable healthcare practitioners to claim from any medical scheme in South Africa, including claiming virtual consulting if it is a benefit enabled by the scheme.
EZMed launched its administration, appointment scheduling and billing software system to the market in 2017. The system alleviates the time pressure on practitioners to handle an ever-growing burden of paperwork, allowing them to focus on their patients first. With the integration of US-based Direct Health’s virtual patient platform, EZMed has increased its functionality and is now able to provide a comprehensive solution for all healthcare practitioners that will enhance their healthcare practices.
Virtual Visits During COVID-19 & Beyond
Telehealth is a focus at present, given the surge of COVID-19. This has served to update and expand the regulations around virtual consultations in South Africa, and many other countries across the globe. The integration, although not provoked by the arrival of COVID-19 and enforced social distancing, is timeous, as well as necessary. It also augurs well for the future of healthcare services, with virtual consulting able to reach more people. It can also be used for a number of healthcare disciplines such as psychology, physiotherapy, nursing, dieticians, biokinetics and the like. Critically, telehealth can also negate the costs of delayed care, an increasing cost burden on medical aid schemes.
Deon Bührs, Global Group Executive: Operations at SpesNet Global Group (EZMed’s parent company), said: “Given the approaching 4th Industrial Revolution that has seen advances in connectivity and healthcare technology, we have always seen a place for telehealth in South Africa. Consequently, we have been on the lookout for such. Having reviewed a number of solutions, we found that Direct Health was by far the best and provided the missing link to our existing offering.
“The teams have been working hard over the past few weeks to integrate the systems and with all beta phases complete, we are excited to formally launch to market.”
A Leap Forward for Telehealth in South Africa
The EZMed and Direct Health integration is an important leap forward for the telehealth sector in South Africa. The platform has a multitude of benefits for practitioners, patients and the medical aid schemes themselves. By virtue of the fact the platform is non-exclusive to any one particular scheme, the EZMed and Direct Health offering is also able to serve the providers of healthcare with secure patient record keeping, billing, diary management etc. This extends to the majority of health-related industries and practices that
have a need for virtual consultation.
Direct Health South Africa’s CEO, Neil Kinsley, says the parent company has seen more than a 1,000 percent uptake of practitioners and patients in the USA utilising its platform over the past few weeks and expects there to be a similar trajectory in South Africa. “We are delighted to be partnering with EZMed here in South Africa, as their proven practice management software perfectly complements our practitioner and patient virtual consulting platform. While virtual consultations have been accelerated due to enforced social-distancing, we believe this integrated solution has a bigger and sustained role to play in allied healthcare across not only South Africa, but the continent.”
The platform operates within the regulations allowed for the practice of telehealth in South Africa and is also PoPI and HIPAA compliant. It complies with the guidelines as set out by the Digital Health Association
of South Africa.
About Direct Health
Direct Health is working to change how healthcare is delivered by recreating the doctor-patient relationship. With the secure messaging app, physicians and patients have the ability to connect via text, call, or video, from anywhere and on their schedule. This enables patients to chat with their doctor, vet, or therapist at any time, and clinicians to extend care and get paid without extra overhead or burdensome schedules. With over 20,000 doctors across the platform, Direct Health is leading the way in the future of healthcare. For more information, visit http://www.directhealth.us.