From Prescriptions to Video Consultations: How accuRx Evolved in Record Time
Read more about accuRx, a UK-based healthcare tech company that rolled out video consultations within 72 hours of making the decision here.
Among the myriad lessons we all learned in 2020, this one stands out: Businesses that were able to change, evolve, and progress through the chaos were also the ones able to move forward in these strange, unprecedented times.
Take accuRx, a UK-based healthcare tech company that started out by offering a service allowing GP practices to communicate with their patients via SMS, and is now used by 98% of GPs in the UK.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the team saw an immediate need for video consultations, which would be used for patient appointments throughout lockdowns.
Within 72 hours of making the decision on a Friday afternoon, they had a minimum viable product ready to go and ready to test by Monday morning. Half a day later, they rolled out their Whereby-powered video consultations to half of the country’s practices.
accuRx went from servicing half of UK practices to a whopping 95% within the first six weeks of lockdown. A year later, that rate has risen to 98%.
“In early March of last year at the start of the pandemic, lots of our users were worried about how they would continue seeing patients. We knew there was going to be a huge shift in how healthcare was administered in England. We wanted to be able to support our users to communicate effectively with their patients during the uncertain times ahead, so we made a quick decision to roll out video consultations,” says Donnie Belfon, product manager for accuRx’s Secondary Care product.
accuRx saw its user base grow to double in size in less than six weeks, as more practices adopted video consultations and moved to remote patient communications. To date, accuRx has supported GPs to message over 38 million patients to date.
In raw numbers, this translates to just over 3.2 million video consultations since March 2020 across the NHS’s GP and secondary care networks.
Belfon comments, “At accuRx we build products with low barriers of access that are simple to use and allow users to innovate their own workflows.” That focus on simple intuitiveness was a major factor in accuRx’s decision to work with Whereby.
“Which is exactly what we got in partnering with Whereby... neither accuRx users nor their patients need to download an app or remember a specific login, they can jump right into a video call - saving admin time from eating into clinic appointments” continues Belfon.
To understand accuRx’s “pivot” abilities, one needs to go back in time further than the 2020 pandemic. The company was founded in May 2016 as a means for doctors to prescribe antibiotics as well as decision support within primary care. And as many tech companies know, sometimes your original vision isn’t always what your audience needs.
A business’s ability to evolve as the market dictates is what sets it apart, and 2020 certainly showed us that. That’s how accuRx morphed from a prescription platform into a communication platform for patient care to offering video consultations as a suite of their communication tools.
Donnie explains this entire process as “Adoption and growth.”
To go one step further, accuRx’s success is also a testament to their ability to build the right product in a simple way to show what can be done. Bells and whistles aren’t always necessary, but having a product your customers trust that is simple and easy to use will always win out over pretty-but-complicated options.
“Our users are at the heart of everything we do at accuRx. Every aspect of our product development cycle is driven by user research, testing and feedback. Building products and features that add value, remove effort and meet user needs is central to our strategy. We’re incredibly humbled that we’ve been able to deliver a real difference to our users.” concludes Belfon.
Belfon and the accuRx team aren’t the only ones proud of the video consultations. In fact, their customer base is not shy about sharing their passion for the product via Twitter.
As a product lead, as a marketer, or as a business owner, nothing is more powerful than having your customers sing your (and your partners’) praises on social media. If nothing else, this shows that customers are ultimately looking for solutions that work and that solve real problems, rather than worrying about perfecting a product that hasn’t been market-tested.
In many ways, accuRx is a perfect example of this. The need to help their users and unlock paint points in users’ day-to-day was paramount. A branded product took a backseat. That is what putting your customers first and adjusting to the needs (and the times) really looks like in the modern day.