Sassan Sangsari, Medical Director for Siilo Germany, used to be a clinician himself, working in the cardiac surgery department at Uniklinik Köln. He sat down with Hessischer Rundfunk (HR) to talk about how medical professionals are taking advantage of Siilo’s secure instant messaging system.
“In [emergency room] networks, [department heads] discuss topics such as whether it makes sense to separate suspected infection and non-infection patients, or at what point to measure temperature. Doctors want to discuss work-flows and how they are re-structured amidst COVID-19 with their colleagues,” Sangsari explains. The networking potential found on Siilo, where clinicians can connect with members of their own team and users around the world, becomes paired with strict data security standards, making it an obvious choice over WhatsApp for medical professionals who want the convenience of messaging.
Siilo Messenger works just like WhatsApp: you can chat, upload photos and files, and create groups. One big difference is that Siilo, unlike commercial messenger apps, is compliant with European data protection standards (GDPR). The advantages for doctors are obvious: quick and safe communication. As a result, managers of intensive care units at university hospitals in Germany have turned to creating peer networks on Siilo to securely exchange information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of their interview, HR also got in touch with Jürgen Schäfer, managing director of the Markus & Bethanien Hospital in Frankfurt and manager of the COVID-19 crisis management team at AGAPLESION, and learned that he started using the app long before the crisis began.
Currently, the 23 hospitals of AGAPLESION, one of the largest private hospital groups in Germany, use Siilo. During the COVID-19 crisis, Schäfer led the onboarding of 400 colleagues of diverse medical backgrounds. One of the key advantages doctors see in Siilo is that it is easy to connect with experts from different hospitals via the app. “We created a network with colleagues from the municipality, our managers of Living and Care, and the department of public health,” says Schäfer. Having a network with so many different people involved enabled members to share sensitive and relevant data in a secure and efficient manner.
Because of this security necessity, HR also brought in legal expertise from Gunther Kohn, a lawyer and corporate consultant on data protection issues. When asked about Siilo and messaging in health care, Kohn emphasises that health data are particularly sensitive and need to be protected well. This is why alternatives to WhatsApp need to focus on security to survive in the medical field. With Siilo, a strict verification process safeguards the app from non-medical professionals, and messaging data deletes itself after 30 days. “That Siilo is more secure than WhatsApp can be seen from their certifications: the app itself, as well as the servers they use to store the data, are certified by internationally recognised standards,” says Kohn.
Siilo experienced a boost in sign ups through the COVID-19 crisis, the downloads have increased by 700% since February. This shows the incredible demand for simple communication tools in health care, especially during a sweeping pandemic.
You can listen to the original clip here (in German).
As always, we love to hear your feedback for Siilo and how we can help provide secure communication and collaboration tools to medical professionals. If you have any suggestions, please contact Team Siilo via chat on the Siilo app.