“An affinity for technology is not related to age”
In this interview, Dr Peter Gürber explains how Compassana benefits day-to-day work at his surgery and who it is best suited for.
As a general practitioner, what makes you use the Compassana app?
Patients can use the Compassana app not only to record documents, but also to manage medication and keep track of appointments. This puts patients in charge of their data and I am keen to support this empowerment of my patients. Generally speaking, I am always interested in technical innovations and initiatives – the results often make my day-to-day job easier.
More specifically: how does Compassana make your job easier?
I use the app’s secure communication channel to send reports to my patients. For the time being, I specifically recommend this function for certain patients. Once they have registered successfully, we can communicate with each other using the “secure messaging” function in the app. This allows me to send medical documentation directly from within the app – instead of by e-mail with its laborious opening processes.
How has the Compassana app changed things for you?
At present, there is still a bit of extra work involved in sending documents. However, the added value for me now comes with its appointments and medication functions. It saves time when patients book their appointments directly in the app and they are using it more and more to do so. I envisage great opportunities with the expansion of the eMediplan, which can be imported directly using the Compassana app. This kind of seamless transfer of pharmaceutical data without interruptions in the process where errors may occur is very helpful.
Is the app suited to every patient?
I give my patients a Compassana flyer when I see that they are interested in technology and are keen to keep an eye on their own medical records. It is fascinating to see that an affinity for technology is not related to age. There are some 50-year-olds who don’t want anything to do with mobile phones. And then you have people aged 80 and over who have no problem working with apps.
And when would you recommend using it?
The Compassana app is particularly useful for people suffering from a chronic illness, meaning that they have to take medication on a regular basis. They can use the app to view all of their medications and preparations any time they wish.
I have a lot of young patients who visit my surgery because they have a cough or a cold, but no other chronic illnesses. In these cases I recommend to try it out for themselves.
Is data privacy something your patients are concerned about?
No, my patients do not express any concerns with regard to data privacy in their day-to-day health care.
What is your assessment of the degree of digitalisation in the Swiss health care system?
I think it’s a positive thing that there are private digital initiatives in the Swiss health care system. Although they do seem to work well, they are often still underutilised. There is no denying the fact that data privacy legislation is also hampering some projects that we would like to launch. It explains why things are moving rather slowly.