Dutch firm Siilo, which created a messaging platform for healthcare workers, is now rolling out some of its premium tools for free.
On Thursday (19 March), Dutch start-up Siilo announced that health and care professionals will have free access to the company’s organisational crisis management functionality in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The start-up said that downloads of its messaging platform, aimed at health and care professionals, have surged over the past two weeks. Described as a ‘WhatsApp for hospitals’, it was designed for securely sharing sensitive medical information for collaboration and consultation.
Users have been accessing Siilo’s crisis management tool to ensure that urgent communication can be made while dealing with the increasing influx of patients presenting with Covid-19.
Prior to the current health crisis, Siilo’s crisis management tools were a premium feature. They are now free of charge for as long as needed, to enable users to maintain efficient communication.
Enabling ‘crucial’ communication
Dr Darren Lui, spinal and orthopaedic surgeon at St. George’s Hospital in London, said: “Maintaining open and up-to-date lines of communication is crucial with hospitals dealing with a growing number of patients, which is why our team is using Siilo to communicate safely, effectively and efficiently to discuss and share information and pictures while remaining compliant.
“We’ve seen the benefits of WhatsApp in these situations but, of course, it comes with the major caveat of confidentiality. Even at this time of crisis, we need to ensure we are communicating as safely and securely as possible – we owe it to our patients.”
Siilo has users across Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Italy, who are using the app to connect hospitals and regions, coordinating crisis messaging groups and centrally broadcasting crucial messages to their workforces.
Prof Martin Möckel, chief of emergency medicine and acute care at Charité Hospital in Berlin, said: “As hospitals, we have clear crisis response plans but pandemics like coronavirus extend beyond just our walls and require us to think and act bigger.
“There is a crucial need for organisational, regional and national alignments in this ever-changing landscape.”
Common use cases
In a statement, Siilo said it has witnessed three common uses for its platform during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The platform’s internal networks are being used to send time-sensitive updates on the spread of the virus to minimise the risk of in-hospital transmission, while peer networks are being used to share real-time insights into the treatment of Covid-19 patients. Additionally, regional and global networks are being used to address capacity problems, resource allocation and disseminating treatment protocols.
Siilo CEO Dr Joost Bruggeman said: “Covid-19 developments are painfully exposing how legacy silos and time-consuming phone tag can slow down collaboration and knowledge sharing.
“We’ve seen organisations and users coordinate crisis plans and communicate with impacted staff all across Europe on our platform. We want to make that a possibility for all overburdened healthcare organisations so that they can continue to focus on their patients.”
To meet the growing demand for the app, Siilo’s team has extended its hours to answer questions and expedite user onboarding. Since the app was founded in 2016, it has seen more than 200,00 active users join the platform, exchanging more than 200m messages.