Tobias Alpsten, iPlato Healthcare

It was great to have iPlato presenting as they have done such a good job of educating and selling UK healthcare practices about the potential for communicating with patients using SMS. Evidence of this can be now seen from the size of the market – which has inevitably led to many mobile operators beginning to promote themselves with rival solutions for this market.

Tobias’ presentation did a great job of pointing out a very simple premise: SMS is the most simple and low cost way to communicate with or survey your patients, his slide makes this point even clearer:

He also revealed details of the levels of engagement with the iPlato Patient Care Messaging service and reported an “engagement rate” of 20% and an “enrolment rate” of 50%.

Delving into the details of these statistics and it seems “engagement” was calculated by the numbers texting to find out more (An important distinction as many SMS ad campaigns misrepresent engagement levels by even including those who text back just to opt out!) and the “enrolment rate” was of those who replied to find out more and went on (after receiving a mobile phone call from the practice nurse) to take part in the text based programme. According to “3rd Party Clinical Research” the 12 week SMS based program led to doubling of quit rates.

I’d be interested in learning about the inclusive costs for practices in a program like this. Additional costs incurred from the nurse time/telephone call costs as well as the prescription medications (some of which boast their own quit rate improvement statistics without the SMS support process).

I’d also be fascinated to know if iPlato are recording any evidence that Practice to Patient SMS is actually disengaging patients? Surely it can only be a matter of time before over zealous Healthcare providers lead patients to regard these general questionnaire texts as a nuisance?

Tobias also revealed details of a trial with 100 Epilepsy patients from the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. In this “careEPILEPSY” program iPlato will be helping the Hospital manage outpatients through “Patient Surveys, Manual Messages, Motivation/Information, Medication Support, Patient Diary, Reporting, Access Control, Web-Based Administration Interface, Billing, Secure Hosting, Gateways” although as there was no mention of applications I assume it’s all working through the SMS functionality on the patients mobile.

In his wrap up Tobias put out a call for “commercial partners for widening UK health network, Clinical and Academic R&D partners, additional products and services, and a call for help with expansion internationally”. He also made a call for “Two Non Executive Directors”.

The iPlato team is already full of talent so I’m sure they’ll have lots of interest but if you’d like to get involved connect with them direct at

This blog post is part of a series of reviews from the Mobile Healthcare Industry Summit. Click here to get the full review.

About David Doherty
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2 Responses to Tobias Alpsten, iPlato Healthcare

  1. Pingback: Review of the Mobile Healthcare Industry Summit « 3G Doctor Blog

  2. Pingback: 2010 shaping up for M-Health initiatives « 3G Doctor Blog

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