HSE launches new Covid-19 portal with Irish firm Wellola

The HSE-specific portal was created in just four days, after Wellola was contacted by the HSE last Thursday.

The HSE has teamed up with Irish portal firm Wellola to launch of a new secure communication portal for GPs and primary care providers.

HSE Covid19 Portal is an easy to use, digital tool which is designed to optimise clinician and patient safety.

Based on existing technology already developed and tested by Wellola, the HSE-specific portal was created in just four days, after Wellola was contacted by the HSE last Thursday (12 March).

Supporting clinicians

Wellola is an Irish-owned patient portal firm which has been primarily focused on the mental healthcare market in Ireland and the UK. After getting the call from the HSE last week, it developed a specific portal responding to the urgent need to support GPs, primary care providers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When we got the call last Thursday to help in the crisis, our small team didn’t hesitate to work with the HSE to develop the new portal for GPs and other primary care workers”

The portal is available at http://www.hsecovid19.ie/, and Irish GPs and primary care providers can set up an account in the portal to offer their patients secure online communications.

This care-enabling technology supports clinicians to keep people well and treat those that are unwell, in the community where possible. Its aim is also to protect those medical practitioners on the front-line offering care.

Dr Martin Curley of the HSE Digital Transformation team said: “We are thankful and pleased to partner with Sonia Neary and Wellola in providing a video consultation solutions for GPs which will be a key tool in providing remote care and a critical tool in helping avoid further contagion of COVID-19. We encourage GPs and other healthcare providers to access and use this service which is provided at cost.”

Echoing Dr Curley’s comments, Wellola CEO Sonia Neary said:“When we got the call last Thursday to help in the crisis, our small team didn’t hesitate to work with the HSE to develop the new portal for GPs and other primary care workers.

“The portal is based on existing technology already developed and tested by Wellola. Our focus in this project was to ensure that an enhanced video functionality would work on every browser and device.”

The patient experience of the portal is via an app, downloadable at the HSE Covid19 website. An iOS and Android version is launching next week.

Patients, once given access by their clinician, can download and log in to the app to manage all communication and share clinical information.

The app is free to patients and is free to medical practitioners for the first month and at the cost price of €19 per month after that.

By Stephen Larkin

Published: 19 March, 2020