Almost two years after the Corona broke into our lives, it is already clear that it has brought with it quite a few welcome innovations like working from home, zoom meetings from anywhere, learning online, online shopping and more. But, just before the whole world joined these changes – back in December 2019 at the “United” HMO came exactly this insight that there is a need for innovation in the world of community medicine as well, outdated if we admit the truth. And so, when the world was just learning to “go again”, United’s hybrid medicine had already become the new standard.

What exactly is hybrid medicine?

First of all comfort. The ability to receive medical and ancillary services at hours that suit you, with your doctor, without physically coming to the clinic. Forget about making phone calls or video calls in the evening with any available doctor who is unfamiliar with your medical history.

Also forget clinic appointments. “For the first time, we came and said that digital should be introduced and the infrastructure incorporated into traditional medicine,” explains Hannah Schilder, director of the digital division at Meuhedet and the initiator of the hybrid revolution.

“In fact, our fund’s customers can choose the type of visit today according to their preference – to physically come to the clinic, send the doctor an online application for a prescription or make an appointment for a digital visit, so that all hybrid services are provided during business hours.”

Physically reach the clinic, send the doctor an online application for a prescription or make an appointment for a digital visit | Photo: shutterstock

Did you think that hybrids are just family medicine? Think again

It is important to clarify that this is not just about family and pediatric medicine. Meuhedet’s hybrid services include 32 different fields of medicine, consulting medicine, video sessions with a pregnancy nurse, gynecologists, dermatologists, emergency distance medical services provided by specialists, remote language treatments and physiotherapy, mental health therapists, psychiatrists, social workers, Communication clinicians, dietitians, pharmacist consulting and online pharmacy. If the situation allows, you can actually get any medical service digitally. “We started with 400-500 doctors, after less than two years, today we have 1,600 hybrid doctors and therapists. This is one of the largest hybrid doctors in the world,” shares Schilder.

So, how does it work?

It works in a simple way. You enter a digital waiting room and see on the screen how many people are waiting in front of you, receive an alert when the queue is approaching and instead of burning time in line, you can simply continue with your daily routine until the doctor receives you.

The doctor also knows what medical devices are in your home and if necessary, will ask you to activate the hybrid taito to get a real-time indication. Of course, when there is a medical need or desire on the part of the patient, the clinics continue to function fully. Hybrid medicine has come to provide another answer that suits the dynamic lifestyle of most of us.

How does the older audience perceive the change?

“To be successful in implementing a digital system, it is important that it be broad and suitable for ages and sectors. One of the good surprises is that we see widespread use among adults. The service is intuitive and simple. There is a significant increase in people using hybrid medicine “It is possible in the Meuhedet app and the distance between the doctor and the patient remains at the push of a button. For a ‘double click’, there is no need to take a course.”

Hybrid Medicine Mobile Doctor (Photo: Shutterstock by Andrew_Popov)
There is a “significant increase in the number of people aged 65 and over who use hybrid medicine” | צילום:
Shutterstock by Andrew_Popov

In fact, instead of calling the clinic and handing over a ticket when you’re already there, everything happens in a click. This service is especially suitable in the days of Corona. With the outbreak of the plague and the reality of the new social distance, clinics became a place we were all afraid to reach. Now that we are learning to live alongside the Corona, we all understand that it is possible to gain time, maintain the experience and receive the same service even from a distance. “Corona has brought a 900 percent increase in the number of digital visits and a 100 percent increase in the number of online referrals,” Schilder explains.

“While the competitors were looking for solutions, hybrid medicine brought us ready to Corona. This allowed us to serve 1.3 million customers who did not want to come to the clinics. “Technology has allowed our doctors to make digital home visits.”

Whoever experiences once – comes back again

“Once people experience the visit and experience the service, we see repetition,” says Schilder. “It’s a natural move for people to adopt this service, because once you neutralize the limitations of physical distance and at the same time get quality medicine, there is no reason for you to go back to previous conduct.”

“For example, how many times did you miss the follow-up that the doctor requested because you did not have time? Now it is possible to perform the follow-up test from the office. Home medical devices, such as the hybrid taito, allow the doctor to monitor and test from a distance. “That allows him to make better decisions from anywhere. The result is accurate diagnoses even from a distance.”

This is United’s hybrid concept

This change in the rules of the game joins the revolution of queue availability at Meuhedet, which this year won the prestigious first place in the “Israeli Center for Management” competition in the “Consumer Service and User Experience” category. The Ministry of Health checked and found that the average waiting times at Meuhedet are significantly shorter compared to competing funds – this is true for specialist doctors, awaiting diagnosis and related services such as communication clinicians.

Schilder concludes: “Hybrid medicine is unequivocally the following. It allows for the appropriate frequency between patient and physician, accessibility and remote monitoring continuously. It is important to clarify that the models of hybrid medicine do not eliminate clinics, but strengthen them. Hybrid medicine will allow home hospitalization in the future “If necessary. This is just the beginning. There are decision support systems in place that will help each doctor make the diagnosis even more accurate. Hybrid medicine only improves the communication between therapist and patient and allows the patient to choose between a variety of channels according to him and of course subject to medical condition.”

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By Editor

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