Connect Health rolls out new AI-enabled triage tool, improving access to healthcare

Connect Health, the UK’s largest, independent provider of integrated community MSK (musculoskeletal) services has teamed up with EQL, part of the NHS DigitalHealth.London accelerator programme, to enhance PhysioNow, an AI-enabled triage tool based on Phio, that facilitates bespoke care pathway identification for Connect Health’s MSK physiotherapy patients.

In a move designed to improve patient access, reduce appointment waiting times and meet increased demand through innovative and efficient pathways, Connect Health has introduced this additional digital channel, as it continues to invest resources into ground-breaking AI technologies in order to improve accessibility and patient choice.

PhysioNow, a tailored version of EQL’s app Phio, is an AI-enabled triage application that provides support and self-management when appropriate whilst also ensuring patients get the right treatment, in the right place at the right time. With tailored clinical content, PhysioNow uses powerful decision trees to accurately evaluate the right treatment pathway.

Compared with other tools on the market, which may only contain up to 10 questions, this tool has the intelligence to adapt to more than 3000 scenarios. Connect Health and EQL have together developed and tested PhysioNow, with senior clinical input to ensure safety, accuracy of decision making, clinical quality and effectiveness. Such input and partnership mean that within the field of MSK physiotherapy, the version of Phio launched by Connect Health represents the most advanced and comprehensive on the market.

Launching in three NHS services initially, prior to rolling out to 20+ NHS services and multiple occupational health physiotherapy contracts across the country, the tool will ensure Connect Health’s MSK patients have access to health services 24/7 allowing them to receive immediate support and advice.

Mike Turner, Chief Operating Officer, Connect Heath said: ​“At Connect Health we ​have consistently been at the forefront of innovation and are committed to using smart technology to reduce inefficiencies in the system and improve outcomes for patients, health partners, customers and colleagues. PhysioNow puts patients in the driving seat, empowering them with tools to take ownership of their health.”

Jason Ward, CEO of EQL, who along with Peter Grinbergs and Sam Medcraft co-founded the company, said: “​EQL’s mission of delivering user-centric, clinically robust digital healthcare that is accessible to all is a perfect fit for the overstretched and under-resourced NHS. It proves that great technology can benefit all parties and break down traditional barriers. We are pleased that Connect Health will be joining our growing number of partners which include Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), global insurance companies and Occupational Health providers.”

Designed to improve patient outcomes via an app, it increases efficiency and fast-tracks patient care. Sophisticated algorithms guide users to the appropriate pathway: urgent care for those presenting with ‘red flag’ symptoms; face-to-face care for those not suited for self-management; and other tools for those presenting with low-grade injuries. PhysioNow’s decision tree is underpinned by the latest clinical frameworks and this is closely monitored alongside the collection of vital lifestyle data.

Whilst initially providing an agile triage tool for all MSK conditions, there will be further exciting developments to enhance the pathway to follow later in the year ensuring that this partnership remains market leading, pioneering the use of such technology within this field.


  • Choice of access
  • Accessible 24/7 and available in any language
  • Complements existing services such as telephone based, virtual consultations and remote physiotherapy services
  • Customised physiotherapy/rehabilitation plans that are safe and high quality
  • Puts patients in the driving seat, empowering them with tools to take ownership of their health
  • Patients are kept informed and educated throughout their journey
  • A personalised tone and language are used to enhance engagement and adherence.



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