Imagine not having to leave the comfort of your home but still be able to get medical care from a doctor simply by logging on to your computer or using a mobile phone app.
This service is fast growing in Southeast Asia, especially as a way to provide healthcare to the less mobile patients or underserved locations.
Telehealth, or telemedicine, is the use of telecommunication and IT to provide health care and services remotely.
For example, someone who lives in a rural setting or is not able to conveniently travel to the doctor due to age or injury will be able to use the computer to have a video conference with a health professional and be able to receive timely medical advice.
Telemedicine services are currently being trialled in Singapore though the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) regulatory sandbox, the Licensing Experimentation and Adaptation Programme.
The trial launched in April with two service providers, with four more coming onboard in September.
One of the new providers is Speedoc, which runs an app that allows patients to request for a house call, while another, Doctor Anywhere, provides video conferencing with medical professionals through an app and also delivery of the medicine.
MOH will ultimately regulate the telehealth industry as a licensed healthcare service after the regulatory sandbox period.