Startups like Manchester-based Push Doctor have made it easier to access a GP. Now Newcastle’s JimJam wants to do the same thing for physiotherapy.
I know what you’re thinking (I thought the same) – how can something as hands-on as physio be done over video chat? JimJam co-founder Paul Bryce explains that many conditions can be treated with advice and exercises.
“There’s a utopian ideal of having every musculoskeletal problem treated hands-on. But NHS waiting lists can be as long as 50 weeks. Things like back pain are not fatal so they’re not prioritised,” says Bryce, a chartered physiotherapist who leads JimJam’s clinical direction.
“There’s currently a disagreement in the profession,” says Bryce. “Some want to maintain manual skills as the ideal, rather than directing patients to online resources. But intervening fast is the most important thing – treating a problem early is more effective and cheaper care in the longterm.”
That’s where JimJam steps in.
How it works
You can book an appointment via the website and connect with a chartered physiotherapist who asks you lots of questions. You’re then given a working diagnosis, which the physio can explain to you with the help of anatomical diagrams.
Then you’re either referred to a face-to-face appointment or given exercises so you can treat yourself. You’ll get videos to guide you through the exercise programme, and an online log to keep track of your progress. Consultations cost £19.99 each.
JimJam’s non-clinical co-founders launched the service last month having previously released radiography software. It’s starting off as a private offering to individuals and businesses, but the plan is to get the service commissioned for NHS use in the future. There are plans to eventually expand beyond physiotherapy, too.
Regardless of your views on NHS privatisation, tech startups can clearly make an impact on lengthy waiting lists.
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