Mr Chris Goodey, interim CEO of GP Online and CEO of the NAGP, explained that following a six-month pilot with 20 GPs, feedback revealed the system on the GP side was not user-friendly.
“For patients, it was very easy to use but for GPs, the technology was quite clunky, so we basically had to redevelop the software,” Mr Goodey explained.
The service was due to be rolled-out nationally in 2016 but to date, very few GPs and patients are using the service.
Once the issues have been addressed, Mr Goodey believes more GPs will sign-up to use the service, which offers patients an online consultation with their own GP.
According to Mr Goodey, the vast majority of investors in the company are GPs, with “six or seven” non-GP investors to date. The company is now closed to individual investors.
The NAGP owns 6.9 per cent of GP Online, Mr Goodey added. He said that in the next three years, the company hopes to raise €3 million from institutional investors and that to date, €1 million has been spent in getting the company to where it is today.
Mr Goodey explained that the company hoped to attract more GP users in the future and said the service was designed “as an extension of the GP surgery”.
Many GPs have raised concerns about the health and safety of new online GP consultation services in Ireland and the UK.
Mr Goodey advised that such services, where a person has an online consultation with someone who is not their GP, are completely different to GP Online, which was specifically designed to allow a patient to only see their GP.