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Video consultations now available at four healthcare institutions in Singapore

The Smart Health Video Consultation platform – announced by the Integrated Health Information Systems – aims to enhance patient access to health care and boost productivity using a limited pool of healthcare professionals

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2017, 5:07pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2017, 5:07pm

BY KELLY NG

Patients in Singapore with selected conditions can now consult their doctors and healthcare professionals via their computers and smartphones, with the launch of the Republic’s first national video consultation app on Wednesday (April 12).

The Smart Health Video Consultation platform – announced by the Integrated Health Information Systems – aims to enhance patient access to health care and boost productivity using a limited pool of healthcare professionals.

KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) are already on board, and the platform will be rolled out in Singapore General Hospital (SGH) this month, with the National University Hospital (NUH) and National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) to start using it from June.

The platform allows for multi-party calls – which lets patients seek consultations with their caregivers located elsewhere –as well as file sharing, and display of medical reports and images as reference during the consultation.

If medication is required, healthcare practitioners can arrange for them to be delivered to the patients’ home.

KKH was the first to pioneer this technique in November 2016 in areas like speech therapy, paediatric home care, paediatric eczema pharmacy consultation and lactation consultation. In the same month, IMH also started using the platform for psychiatric counselling and residential care nurse support.

TTSH came on board in January, tapping on the app in caring for patients post-stroke and for medication counselling, and SGH will be rolling it out for speech therapy, while NCIS is tapping on it for post-stroke inpatient care at off-site wards and caring for cancer patients.

Associate Professor Ng Kee Chong who chairs the medicine division at KKH said video consultation helps make healthcare more “patient-centered” and brings medical support to the doorstep of patients and caregivers.

“The four services in which we have introduced video consultation have seen encouraging take-up rates...The convenience and user-friendly interface have drawn positive feedback from patients and caregivers,” he said.

Two other national smart health initiatives that will be launched by the Government later this year to improve patient self-care and enable ageing-in-place include tele-rehabilitation (in May) and vital signs monitoring (in September).

Video consultations now available at 4 healthcare institutions for selected conditions