Physiotherapist Michael Butler has two reasons to celebrate after first setting up his own business venture and then landing a role with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Michael was recently selected to work on an advisory body to NICE known as the health technologies adoption programme reference panel.
Michael is also part of an entrepreneurial business idea to develop an exciting new e-health company – PhysiCall. As part of this he has helped create a smartphone app and website which will allow patients to refer themselves for physiotherapy treatment, without needing to visit their GP.
He said: “I’m really pleased to have been chosen to work with NICE. This is a virtual role where I will be able to work with a panel of around 50 people to help contribute to the development of up to 20 adoption support tools. We will all have our own areas of expertise so it is the chance to share this knowledge as well as meet more people and learn new skills that will ultimately help me in my own work at the trust.”
As part of a team of people with knowledge in the health sector, Michael is hoping to trial the PhysiCall app and website locally. If his idea proves popular he hopes to get the interest of clinical commissioning groups across the country for use as a standard way of accessing physiotherapy services.
He said: “Our first product is a website and smartphone application that enables patients to self refer to physiotherapy without being seen by their GP first.
“An estimated 12-20% of GP contacts are due to musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. In 2013, 340 million GP appointments were attended (41-68 million MSK) nationwide.
“It is our hope that the use of the website and app will reduce demand on primary care whilst making savings.
“The website and app uses an algorithm in which patients answer simple questions designed by a GP and myself to ensure patients are seen by the correct professional.
“Patients are also encouraged to rate the services they receive in keeping with the governments friends and family test’ initiative.”
Steve Pett said: “Both of these new ventures will certainly help Michael add another few strings to his bow. It will also add to the knowledge and experience he will bring to the team we have here which is fantastic news.”