Simple things often make a big difference. That is the case with Florence which is a controlled text messaging system to enable routine healthcare delivery by two-way communication between patients and clinicians. It is a prime example of a telehealth innovation which is low-cost and low-risk. It can be used to share data or simply set up to text someone as a reminder to take their medication.
For mPower, which supported people with long term health conditions in predominantly rural areas, it was an obvious example of the kind of technology enabled care service which should be promoted to them. It reduces clinical time and hospital visits, saves travel to GP surgeries and health centres, and supports positive behavioural change and self-care.
It is a controlled text messaging service with a human touch. All that is required is a mobile phone – there is no need to download an app. It is managed by admin and clinicians via a secure software platform, clinically validated protocols, and extensive analytics, so patients can be assured that their personal information is safe.
Measuring blood pressure for people with hypertension is a typical example of how Florence can be used. It can ask the patient to send in their blood pressure results on a daily basis, or as often as it is set by the clinician. If the patient shows signs of deterioration, Florence will let the clinician know where they need to intervene; there are a range of alerting mechanisms and dashboards which can highlight this. The main objective though is that the patient begins to manage their condition well enough to no longer cause alerts or even require the nudges from Florence.
Florence’s intelligent dashboards show key metrics at a glance, allowing clinician teams to view and download statistics on usage and notifications from Florence’s Team Dashboard. This helps to triage the patients who are in most need of urgent attention.
88% of patients who use Florence say that it has helped them to self-manage and almost all find the protocol easy to understand. As one patient said, “Florence is like the nurse in my pocket.”