Since 2011, healthcare industry observers in Singapore have called for telemedicine to become increasingly mainstream and widespread. As the world’s smartest city, this push is in-line with assimilating digital healthcare into our population.
The need for, and benefits of telemedicine has been further intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been more than a year since the first case of COVID-19 hit locally, as well as worldwide. This has propelled the general shift of activities online, including seeking medical help.
Research has also shown that citizens, regardless of age, are mostly open and accepting of seeing doctors online and virtual appointments.
Here are some ways the pandemic has drawn attention to how telemedicine can be useful:
Prevents Virus Transmission
Viruses spread easily, especially in enclosed spaces like hospitals and clinics. Even in open spaces, there is still a chance of getting infected with most illnesses, not just the COVID-19 virus.
Furthermore, the COVID-19 virus is a type of highly contagious respiratory virus, which means that being in the same area as someone who is down with the virus can easily mean the spread to any uninfected person.
You can easily get a doctor near Singapore or locally with a telemedicine app and get a telemedicine consultation without exposing yourself to the risk of virus transmission in a healthcare facility.
Patients reap the rewards when it comes to telemedicine. You get to consult a professional doctor any time, anywhere, at your convenience. You need not go through the tedious process of taking a queue number at a healthcare provider, waiting hours to see a doctor and get your medicine dispensed.
With the long queues and overcrowding at local healthcare facilities, particularly those that are public, you can expect an unnecessarily long wait and risk of exposure to the virus, should you choose to have a face-to-face consultation.
Most telemedicine apps also offer you the options of having your medicine delivered to your doorstep or provide an electronic doctor signature for you to collect your medicine at a convenient pharmacy or healthcare provider nearby.
In countries where it is difficult to seek medical attention, telemedicine makes healthcare much more accessible, even to those who stay in rural areas.
Telemedicine links patients to healthcare experts wherever they are, removing barriers and constraints patients may face from their geographical location. They expand access to care for people worldwide. For elderly and disabled patients, transportation to their regular doctor can be tiring and difficult, so doing it online is a huge reprieve for them.
Sometimes, clinics may be closed or overworked on weekends and public holidays, so telemedicine is a reliable alternative that makes it extremely accessible for patients to get immediate healthcare assistance whenever needed.
If you wish for it, DCMed also has a house doctor service you can opt for.
With the virus still lurking out there, and a small percentage of the country being vaccinated, there are still chances of contracting it in a public setting.
This is why safe distancing measures are still in place, and in workplaces, for example, employees are encouraged to stagger working hours to reduce the number of workers in the same space.
Staying at home to see a doctor virtually not only reduces the crowds outside, but in healthcare facilities as well. This is effective particularly for patients who do not necessarily require in-person consultation at the doctor’s, like non-urgent care.
Amplifies Clinician and Healthcare Network Capacity
In countries with healthcare systems that have insufficient doctors, telemedicine is extremely useful in magnifying the reach of clinicians and healthcare networks.