Chairsyde is more than a virtual platform, dentists can use it for face-to-face consultations, so every patient can visualise their conditions and treatment options.
There’s no doubt that dentistry has changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. With practices having to shut alongside a worry that lockdown will lead to a downturn in preventative treatment. Resulting in patients developing oral health problems long into the future. It’s been a period of great uncertainty for everyone in the industry.
As is often the case when the world is disturbed, dentistry has had little choice but to adapt and accelerate its uptake of technology. With many dentists naturally gravitating towards platforms like Zoom as a quick-fix solution for communicating with patients remotely.
Loven Ganeswaran, a founder of Chairsyde Video Consulting, is one such person who has to consider how technology can help to secure the future of dental practices. ‘We’ve been working on Chairsyde for almost half a decade, focusing on face-to-face consulting presentations. Yet the pandemic has shown us just how vital video conferencing is.
‘But we think dentists need more. That’s why we’ve created a platform that caters entirely to their needs.’
In September, Chairsyde launched with access for dentists everywhere. Loven discusses the journey so far, and what he sees for the future of video conferencing and the platform itself.
Chairsyde started with a backpacking trip around Sri Lanka. Here Loven and business partner, Kirishan Sivanandan visited orphanages to teach children about their oral health.
As Loven describes: ‘We visited the orphanages over the space of two years. We realised that the children retained information about dentistry that we’d taught them through song.
‘So we were fascinated about how we could leverage this information to improve oral health. Then we started to focus on access to dentistry in remote areas. This is how we came to focus on educating patients visually and video conferencing as a method of creating access.’
Telehealth has seen a significant increase in uptake since the pandemic. But it’s actually been in development since 1997.
It’s now believed that due to the pandemic, the uptake of telehealth will increase by 20% in the next five years.
‘Video conferencing has risen because of the pandemic. But we’re aiming for dentists to understand the benefits of an end-to-end teledentistry platform built just for them.
‘It’s more than just a video call. Dentists can benefit from a platform that integrates with their practice systems. It offers a high-end patient experience and is adaptable for the future. Instead of using a sticking plaster to solve pandemic problems.’
Built by dentists, for dentists
Fast-forward five years and Loven and Kirishan have launched Chairsyde. This is the first ever teledentistry platform built by dentists, for dentists.
It’s Loven’s connection to the dental world that has proved a real advantage when building the system. ‘We’re not just supplying a consultation platform, it’s an-all in one solution’ says Loven.
‘We’ve spent a lot of time considering everything that a dentist needs to consult. Both in-chair and remotely: scheduling, video consultation, animated educational content and post-consultation emails. I even use Chairsyde daily within my own practice.’
Loven serves as a dental surgeon at Sunninghill Dental Practice, while running Chairsyde alongside cybersecurity expert, Kirishan.
‘Cybersecurity is becoming central to every tech conversation right now,’ Kiri explains. ‘Dentists have a responsibility to protect their patients’ data. Which many video consulting platforms don’t offer.
‘We’ve developed a product that’s both extremely secure – with all data encrypted – and NHS compliant.’
Improving treatment uptake
Chairsyde offers an end-to-end dentistry experience with an impressive suite of features and a dental workflow researched and tested with dentists. From bespoke animations to consultation notes that can protect dentists against litigation.
Loven says: ‘We help patients to understand their treatment journeys. Chairsyde has animations that demonstrate the areas where there’s an issue and shows treatment options. We’ve seen some of our practices benefit from a treatment uptake increase of 32% as a result.
‘Our system also gives dentists medicolegal protection. It has consultation tracking and detailed patients notes that can help.’
Chairsyde can integrate with practice software and even take payments. This means patients don’t have to deviate from the app to book and attend a consultation.
‘Every practice wants to give patients an exceptional experience. We’ve thought about bringing that experience online.
‘The interface is user friendly so that patients feel familiar with it from the moment they use it.’
The future of teledentistry
Chairsyde has now launched its platform with a free trial.
‘On a basic level, we want as many dentists as possible to understand the benefits of Chairsyde and how it can improve their practice. It’s more than just a video consultation platform. From booking through to consultation, it’s a tool that fits into your workflow. And it can help dentists to generate income,’ Loven explains.
Beyond teledentistry, Chairsyde is also used for face-to-face consultations ‘in-chair’. So every patient can visualise their conditions and treatment options whilst remaining medico-legally protected. This itself has shown to improve oral health understanding, whilst boosting case acceptance in everyday practice.
Chairsyde hopes for a future where dentistry is even more accessible.
This year, it’s beginning an oral-health education campaign in schools, using the platform to teach children remotely about dentistry.
‘At the end of the day – this journey started with teaching children who had no access to oral healthcare. That education – that accessibility. It’s what we’re all about. And we strongly believe our technology can create a new norm for dentists.’
Chairsyde is now available with a free trial at chairsyde.com.