Having to visit a doctor when you have fallen sick may turn out to be a big chore sometimes, especially when you are not feeling fit enough to physically make that trip.
Thankfully, technology has allowed us to see doctors without leaving the house.
There are mobile applications in place for providing e-doctor consultancy services. These apps come with features for diagnosing, treating and managing various acute and chronic conditions.
These apps work by users answering directed questions about their current condition and of any drug allergies they may have. The app will then proceed on to set up a video-call consulting session with a General Practitioner (GP) from the list of the GPs it contains.
Apps such as WhiteCoat, Doctor Anywhere and MyDoc, which provide these online services are within the regulatory sandbox of the Ministry of Health.
Physical examinations cannot be conducted by the doctor. Patients who have their own devices can use it to measure their temperature and blood pressure.
Otherwise, the GPs will ask specific questions and use verbal and visual cues for identifying symptoms or ailments of the patient.
If the GP decides that the patient needs a further in-person physical check-up, they will refer the patient to a clinic, specialist or an A&E site. Some of these apps will waive the consultation fee in this situation.
The GPs are trained to be able to identify if a patient is sick or not. By observing the patient’s facial expressions and appearance, GPs can identify their level of sickness.
Patients are also able to upload pictures of their condition for the GPs to have a closer examination at.
Before administering medicine, the GPs will ask a series of questions for identifying if the patients have any drug allergies.
The medicines will then be prescribed via the app. Patients can decide if they want to purchase the prescriptions or not, via the app.
Delivery services such as GrabExpress will then be used for sending the medicines to the patient.
The consultation session will come to an end with a diagnosis write-up by the GP, medicine prescription bill and a medical certificate (MC)- all provided via the app.
However, it is important to note that these e-doctor services are not best for situations of chest pains, fractures, consistent bleeding and other emergency incidences.
Some of these apps come with a feature where the user can interact with a pharmacist and get the recommended medicine directly from the pharmacy. They can also check with the pharmacist if there is stock for a particular medicine.