As we battle the global pandemic, healthcare workers are armed with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from head to toe. Aside from its purpose to protect them, it has its downsides too, such as compromising the overall comfort. Not to mention, the supply of PPE is rather limited. Meanwhile, patients waiting for their turn in waiting rooms risk the chances of catching the virus from those who are infected.
While researchers and healthcare professionals are finding a vaccine or cure for COVID-19, how can we ensure affordable and quality healthcare that extends beyond the walls of the hospital? One way would be by incorporating the use of technology in the healthcare industry, such as telehealth apps. This means providing healthcare services and information through digital platforms. By doing so, patients are merely a few finger-taps away from accessing a range of telehealth services.
With that, here are some examples of telehealth services along with how they ensure continuity in the provision of healthcare.
1. Consulting a doctor online
Teleconsultation is one of the most optimal methods for physicians to provide care to patients, even from a distance. While patients don’t have to wait before their appointment, physicians don’t have to worry about last-minute cancellations – making it undoubtedly efficient and convenient.
Considering the current pandemic, we’ve witnessed a rise in the demands of teleconsultation services. With safe distancing measures put in place, telehealth apps are ideal in addressing patients’ COVID-19 related concerns. Through the use of remote technology, patients can receive medical attention from online medical consultants without the need to travel out of their homes.
2. Keeps track of vital signs via monitoring devices
With the availability of smartphones, smartwatches and the Internet, Bluetooth-enabled healthcare devices can now connect to relevant mobile applications for hassle-free tracking of vital signs.
Hospitals and healthcare institutions are stretched thin, with limited capacity and safe distancing measures in place. As such, not all COVID-19-positive cases are hospitalised. Even so, they should still be monitored remotely in case their condition exacerbates. In such cases, personal telemonitoring devices will come in handy.
Rather than ‘out of sight, out of mind’, patients are empowered to get involved in monitoring their health. Simultaneously, it also helps physicians monitor their condition without needing to be in the same room. When necessary, patients can then choose to see a doctor online. This lightens the strain on overcrowded waiting rooms and healthcare workers on top of reducing the use of healthcare resources such as PPEs.
3. Facilitates telecollaboration between physicians and medical caregivers
Telecollaboration is a common practice in the medical field. Between medical caregivers and long-term care physicians, telecollaboration is highly effective, particularly during COVID-19. Aside from enlightening the caregiver’s clinical knowledge, this service also decreases the transmission risk of COVID-19 to the vulnerable community. For example, suppose a patient requires the help of a medical caregiver. In that case, the medical caregiver can then get in touch with a virtual doctor for advice and recommendations to better serve the patient. Only when deemed necessary or urgent, patients can then be sent to the clinic or hospital for further diagnosis.
4. Provides healthcare support to patients
Telehealth helps medical professionals expand their reach to patients via a variety of healthcare services, in a digitised manner. One such example would be our MyCLNQ mobile application, and below are the few ways it supports users’ healthcare needs.
MyCLNQ uses a built-in artificial intelligence (AI) feature to provide doctor and clinic availability in real-time. For in-person appointments, MyCLNQ uses location-based information for the nearest clinic and earliest available doctor. Alternatively, users can choose to consult a doctor online and have their prescriptions delivered to their doorstep.
From medical caregivers to therapists, users are a few taps away from requesting for their preferred professionals. As a digital health ecosystem, MyCLNQ also acts as a platform for users to seek non-emergency private ambulance in Singapore, where medically-trained escorts will assist them.
Even though telehealth services have been around for a while, it has recently become more prominent since the rise of the global pandemic. With its convenience and accessibility, telehealth apps are certainly here to stay. On top of enhancing the way patients receive healthcare, telehealth apps like MyCLNQ ensure the continuity in the provision of healthcare services.