Telehealth Toolbox

Helping Physicians Adopt Emergency Telehealth Services

“This excellent resource from frog should help health professionals around the world overcome their reservations about video consultations.”
Trish Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Care, University of Oxford and Telehealth Toolbox Mentor
Telehealth services are crucial during the COVID-19 crisis. Doctors new to this way of working need immediate support.

On a global scale, there is an urgent need to connect physicians and patients who are unable to meet in traditional settings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking forward into an uncertain future, telehealth services will likely continue to play a critical role in delivering essential care. However, for many doctors, telehealth is a new and potentially intimidating way of working.

Launched in just nine days, the Telehealth Toolbox is a collection of guidelines and practical tools that aims to accelerate the adoption of telehealth practices by primary care physicians. The goal is to ease stress on the healthcare system by empowering more healthcare professionals to deliver telehealth. This should reduce unnecessary hospital visits and improve patient well-being overall.

The Telehealth Toolbox is a pro-bono project conceived of and launched by frogs passionate about contributing to the COVID-19 relief effort. To make the guidance broadly accessible—and as a reflection of the diversity found on this multinational frog team—the Telehealth Toolbox is already available in five languages, including English, Spanish, French, German and Italian.

Knowing What Doctors Need Most
During research for this project, frog found documentation and tools related to operating a telehealth service, but a lack of quickly digestible guidance and actionable tools that allow doctors to set up a fully remote practice fast. To develop the Telehealth Toolbox, frog conducted remote interviews with seven doctors who provided necessary background on the challenge, tested iterations of the concept and shared the Telehealth Toolbox across their networks.

Throughout this accelerated qualitative research phase, the frog team found there are three core steps on a physician’s journey toward launching telehealth services, each with mission-critical questions for doctors to answer for themselves and their patients along the way:

  1. Preparing a practice: What communication channels are right for me and my patients? What environment, technology and tools do I need to practice? How do my methods and processes translate into a remote environment?
  2. Preparing patients: What do my patients need to know to get started? What expectations around services should I set? How can I help patients manage remote health visits from a technical standpoint?
  3. Delivering remote care: How do I assure my patient that telehealth services are confidential and secure? How do I perform clinical assessments remotely? How do I guide patients on what comes next?

These steps leveraged existing research by respected sources including the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, the American Association of Family Practitioners and the American Medical Association. At each, the Telehealth Toolbox offers essential, actionable guidance for physicians, as well as links to more available information and resources in context of where they are in their journey.

5 languages
frogs from studios across Europe translated the Telehealth Toolbox into multiple languages to increase access.
9 days
The multidisciplinary frog team followed an accelerated track of rapid research, design and development, launching in just nine days.
18,000+
The Telehealth Toolbox has been accessed more than 18,000 times in countries all over the globe.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on how we all live, work and communicate. Today, many are feeling anxious, scared and unsettled about their near and long-term futures. At frog, we believe that form follows emotion, which is why many on the global team have been looking for ways to channel unsettled feelings about the crisis into a call to action to use design for greater good. The Telehealth Toolbox is one example of a multi-disciplinary, grassroots effort by frog designers, strategists, program managers and technologists that offers immediate benefit to doctors and patients during the pandemic, and will have lasting value for the healthcare system going forward.