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Closing the Nye Phone

On the 19th of August, we'll be waving goodbye to the Nye Phone. It's been a wonderful journey but it's time for us to close that chapter of Nye so we can start a new (and very exciting) one.

The Nye Phone story 💖

Last March, our team met to discuss Covid-19 and the anticipated impact on the NHS. As a practising GP, Alexander, our CEO, knew first-hand the need for clinicians to continue patient care remotely. In under a week, we managed to build a tool that would allow vital healthcare appointments to go ahead whilst enabling doctors and patients to remain in the safety of their homes. We then gave it away to all NHS staff for free.

Since then, the Nye Phone has been used by thousands of NHS doctors, nurses, admin staff, allied health professionals, and even a few dentists, to carry out over 1,200,000 remote appointments!

The Nye Phone allowed any NHS staff member to call any patient, from anywhere, for free. This meant that in the rush and confusion as the NHS rapidly adapted to life under lockdown. Clinicians knew they could use this simple little tool whether they were in the practice, isolating at home or speaking to vulnerable patients, unable to visit the practice. This impact was recognised by The BBC who invited us to join them on the evening news.

As the pandemic continued, some clinicians found innovative ways to utilise our tool. The team at Milton Keynes Hospital were caring for patients who were separated from family and loved ones and unable to have any visitors due to covid restrictions. They knew this situation was detrimental to the wellbeing of their patients so they decided to use the video function of the Nye Phone to set up "virtual visits". We had a chat with some of the team to find out how it went, you can watch it here.

We were delighted to have our little telephone reported on by various papers including The i News, the Metro and The Express. But our loveliest write-up came in the form of a children's book inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore and celebrating the heroes of the pandemic. Heroes such as Joe wicks who inspired a nation with his daily PE lessons, dancing bin men and fancy dress postmen who brought joy to their local neighbourhoods and our very own CEO, Dr Alexander Finlayson who along with the Nye team, gave the NHS a tool it vitally needed - the Nye Phone!

Why we're closing the Nye Phone ☎️

After all of that, you may think "why on earth are you closing it?" Well, it's a good question but we're doing it because we believe there are even more amazing things we can do. We're on a mission to make the world well and for that, we need determined focus.

Running and maintaining the Nye Phone takes up most of our team's time and because we do not charge for calls, running it comes at a substantial cost to us. We’ve tested various options for making it a commercially viable product but none of them was suitable.

So what will we be doing instead? We will continue to build products that we believe will help us to fulfil our mission. Our first step, is to help participants in decentralised clinical trials and real-world evidence studies, to feel in control of their data and know the impact of their contribution to research.

Already, our team has had the pleasure of working with the team at the Oxford Clinical Trials Unit and we've supported them in delivering various trials, including the Oxford Covid Vaccine trial.

Building and running, what was, one of the fastest-growing telemedicine products in the history of the NHS, has been an amazing experience and one that has allowed our team to learn, grow and develop in so many ways. We could never have done any of it though without the support of our wonderful users - the staff of the NHS. So for that, we thank you! We would love your continued support as we embark on this new path.

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