Telemedical advancements in Singapore have been labelled a ‘game changer’, with the Island City State rolling out a brand new system in six facilities.
More than 190 patients are already signed up to receive follow up consultations from their own home, thanks to the new ‘VidyoMobile’ application. This can lower the strain on hospitals, cut down on the spread of viruses, and encourage people to seek medical support when they wouldn’t otherwise.
Currently the service is offered to patients at KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital, The Institute of Mental Health, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and Singapore General Hospital - whilst it is set to be introduced at the National University Hospital and National University Cancer Institute in June.
At the moment services for patients with mild to moderate conditions that don’t require physical inspections are all that are available. However that, that will be built upon in the coming years.
Singapore hopes to make the telemedical technology available to GPs in the future, with the growth in medical technology at home potentially allowing for more in-depth medical examinations to take place remotely.
Psychiatric counselling, speech therapy and support with communicable diseases are currently available, with the range of services looking set to grow dramatically in the future.
Chief medical informatics officer for the country’s Ministry of Health, Low Cheng Ooi, believes that the introduction is a massive step forward for a healthcare system already regarded as one of the world’s strongest.
He said: “It’s a game changer, the convenience factor, the fact that we can improve productivity and maybe reduce the number of visits on our specialists' side will be beneficial. It also aligns with the ministry's philosophy of moving care from hospital to home.”
Telemedicine looks set to play a huge role in the future of healthcare, and it’s the Asia-Pacific region that is leading the way. Currently telemedical technology is widespread throughout Australia, whilst it’s growing in popularity in both New Zealand and China.
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