Lewisham Remote Monitoring Service for Patients with Covid-19

What is the Remote Monitoring Service?

This service monitors patients during the acute phase of COVID at home with the use of a provided sats probe, helping to keep patients at home safely, and highlighting any deterioration the patients may experience and so identify early any who may require further assessment/treatment.

You may have already received a message introducing the service from your GP Practice either by SMS or email:

“Please be aware we are now utilising a new way of following up patients who have had a recent positive COVID swab. You may get a message from Doctaly Assist, this is because our clinicians feel this will be of benefit to you and help keep you safe. You will be messaged over WhatsApp (or by phone if you don’t have WhatsApp), which is reviewed by GP’s. You will also be directed as to how to pick up an oxygen monitoring device to help track your progress, which you will be required to return on discharge from the service”

To help with the pressure on the NHS, we are using a new service called Doctaly Assist. This service is for looking after adults (18+) who have had a recent positive COVID test whilst they remain at home. You will only be contacted by the service if you test positive for COVID. If the practice is notified that you have tested positive for COVID, our clinicians will ask for you to be registered to keep you safe. You will be contacted over WhatsApp (or by phone if you don’t have WhatsApp). You will then be asked some short questions about how you are feeling. Your answers are then reviewed by NHS GP’s. You will also be directed as to how to receive an oxygen-measuring device to help monitor your progress, which you will be asked to return when you are feeling well again. Please look for and respond to any messages from Doctaly Assist you may receive. Thank you”

What does it do?

Patients with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 will be followed up by the central e-hub team at Doctaly, including monitoring their oxygen saturation levels.

The aim is to virtually assess patients quickly using the information provided via an online chat bot (broadly speaking <5mins per patient review on average)

This is NOT a ‘long COVID’ clinic for prolonged follow up, and will only monitor patients for about 14 days before being discharged

How does it work?

You will only be referred to this service either through your GP Practice or if you were asked to ‘self-enrol’ via a QR code.

Patients will be asked to register on to the Doctaly Assist platform

Why do I need a Pulse Oximeter?

The pulse oximeter is a piece of medical equipment that is noninvasive and painless test and can measure your oxygen saturation level (the oxygen levels in your blood = sp02). It can rapidly detect even small changes in how efficiently oxygen is being carried to the extremities furthest from the heart.

It also reads your heart-rate (Beats per minute = BPM) and the oxygen saturation

All you need to do is clip it on your finger (making sure it is turned on) and wait for the reading to be displayed. These reading are what you will need to provide when you are contacted.

The image on the right shows which reading is which.

You don’t need to buy your own pulse oximeter (although it is possible to purchase them online, so you may already own one) – One Health Lewisham will supply you with a pulse oximeter for the duration of your monitoring, although you will need to arrange to pick it up and later return it. There is a list of available collection/drop off  points listed in the FAQs.

What are patients saying about the service?

“Although primarily a chatbot, knowing that GPs are monitoring my symptoms despite the app, it is very comforting to know this”

– Ms R, Lewisham resident

“I’m more than grateful for the assessment than I thought, as living alone it makes me feel a bit more secure and I’m being looked after”

– Ms T, Lewisham resident


Is this part of the NHS Covid tracking?

This service has NO relation or links to any of the Covid ‘trackers’ and does not record the patients movements nor any information of who they meet/encounter.

Is this service safe/secure?

As per existing WhatsApp security, all messages are encrypted and secured so only you and the person you’re communicating with can read them, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.

The service is primarily delivered through use of the popular and independent pre-existing social app called WhatsApp, so no other app needs to be downloaded, but if you are unable to use it, the service can also be delivered by telephone.

If you are unsure that you have been referred by your GP practice and/or are concerned you may have been contacted by a bogus organisation please check with your GP Practice

Will I need anything else?

In order to complete monitoring questions, patients need an oximeter probe. Devices will be provided for patient use free of charge. The Doctaly platform will identify if the patient already has a device and if not, provide instructions on how to obtain a SATS probe if required

These can be provided to patient free of charge from one of 7 below collection points across Lewisham. The Doctaly platform will identify the devices the patient has and provide instructions on how to obtain a device

The majority of patients will be required to arrange for a friend or relative outside of their bubble to collect a device on their behalf.

Collection points are allocated based on geographical location,with current points being:
The Marvels Lane Hot Hub
Woolstone Medical Centre
Grove Medical Centre
St John’s Medical Centre
The Bellingham Green Surgery
South Lewisham Group Practice
The Jenner Surgery


Who is managing this service?

The service is being managed by One Health Lewisham, the Lewisham GP Federation

Doctaly Assist is the IT platform delivering the service – https://doctalyassist.com/

Any Other Questions?

If you have any questions during the service you can ask via WhatsApp, email etc. If you are not receiving the service and have a question please complete the form below

—form (to go to?)

Doctaly Assist Privacy Policy

To read the Doctaly Assist Privacy Policy, which explains what data they collect, what they do with it and your rights –  click here (PDF)