Hello, my name is Nellie
Nellie® is an automated SMS-based persona for promoting patient self-care. It is the most researched and effective of its kind in the world.
The underpinning methodology and technology is Simple Telehealth, which was invented in 2008 in the UK. Known there as Florence (or Flo), it is adopted widely across the UK’s National Health Service. Florence has improved the lives of tens of thousands of patients with a range of conditions including asthma, diabetes, COPD, and heart conditions. The outcomes achieved so far are getting unprecedented recognition by key public health and research organisations in the UK. Simple Telehealth is also used by the USA's Veterans' Affairs Department.
The system is clinician led. Using existing or newly-developed shared action plans, doctors and nurses work together on the priorities in their clinics. The action plans shape the development of the technical protocols that manage the sending and receiving of messages. The messages are warm and friendly, enhancing connection with patients and changing outcomes.
In 2016, SEMPHN partnered with the Simple Telehealth organisation to develop an upgraded version of the technology. Nellie is being implemented in general practices across South Eastern Melbourne.
The Simple Telehealth website has an extensive library of academic articles and case studies proving the effectiveness of the system. The Health Foundation has a short guide on how to implement support for self-management and why it improves outcomes.
This video has the stories of Melbourne patients and a GP who have benefited from Nellie:
This short video created by the Health Foundation tells the stories of three people who have used Flo:
Case studies from Melbourne
Shared Action Plans
Shared action plans often drive the structure of Nellie's messages. Some of the action plans already exist, such as the National Asthma Action Plan. Others are developed specifically for the protocol, though they are generic and can be used with or without Nellie. They are usually handed out to patients when they start on the protocol. Below are sample images of the plans.
- 20/02/2019 - Nellie video published (see above).
- 28/11/2017 - Event held to introduced Nellie to around 70 GPs, care coordinators and managers. Nellie's inventor, Phil O'Connell gave a live demonstration of the system and had an audience member quickly and easily signing up to Nellie, then sending blood pressure readings that Phil displayed in a graph. Dr Geoff Campbell, a clinical lead for Nellie, presented a case study showing how Nellie had saved him time and the reduced patient stress. The talks were professionally recorded and the edited video is published on the web.
Events and Education See all
South Eastern Melbourne PHN acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land our catchment covers, the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people. We pay respect to them, their culture and their Elders past, present and future, and uphold their relationship to this land.
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