Thursday, 29 March 2018 02:29

New app speeds up recovery from work injuries

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The CSIRO’s data innovation network Data61 has developed a new real-time video platform designed to help quicker recovery from work injuries through virtual appointments.

Coviu — an emerging start-up out of Data61 — offers a video consultation software to healthcare businesses. Coviu is being used across the country and has connected 20,000 Aussies to healthcare practitioners through partnerships with organisations including Health Team Australia, HealthKit and Ramsay Healthcare. Coviu has also been commercialised in China.

Pronounced co-view, the real-time video platform quickly connects patients with health professionals and is ideal for people in rural and regional Australia who cannot travel for treatment.

Data61 announced that physiotherapy network Biosymm is an early adopter of the platform and says that by improving accessibility to professional physiotherapists, Biosymm’s early intervention treatments have reduced claim numbers by half compared to the same period the year prior.

Biosymm has conducted more than 1400 consultations on Coviu since implementing the platform. The company works with major retail, industrial, mining, rail and pharmaceutical clients, many of whom operate in isolated areas across Australia.

Biosymm chief executive Greg Borman said good injury management came down to expert advice at the right time.

“The majority of work injuries are musculoskeletal in nature, and by using Coviu to connect patients with our physiotherapy team, we can triage them on the spot and provide the right advice at the right time, wherever they’re based.

“The real-time video feature also allows us to guide employers at the end of the consult on what the worker can safely perform at work during their recovery and how best to prevent a recurrence or aggravation.

“We’ve been able to deliver significant returns in workers compensation savings and productivity by ensuring employees receive the timely expert treatment and guidance they need to make a full and swift recovery.”

Borman said Biosymm is expecting to assist more than 7000 workers in the 2018/19 financial year, supported by a network of over 300 preferred local providers.

Coviu chief executive Dr Silvia Pfeiffer said the real-time video consultations platform developed by Data61 worked particularly well because of its flexibility to integrate with existing workflows in healthcare.

“Our platform can be accessed through web browsers, a custom mobile app and even through an iPod.

“We’ve integrated video consultation scheduling into Biosymm’s existing practice management software. It means that no matter whether they’re at work or at home, patients can have access to the treatment and expert advice they need.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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