February 29, 2024

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Singapore: Virtual Healthcare Reshaping Patient Experience

According to GovTech Singapore, in an era where digital technology touches every aspect of people’s lives, it’s no surprise that healthcare is also undergoing a transformation through the advent of virtual healthcare.

As GovTech emphasised, virtual healthcare refers to the delivery of healthcare services through telecommunication technologies, and its impact is reshaping the way patients and healthcare professionals interact with the healthcare system.

One of the immediate benefits of virtual healthcare is the reduction of waiting times in clinics and hospitals. Patients can access healthcare services from the comfort of their homes, eliminating the need for physical appointments. Routine monitoring of vital signs can be conducted remotely, and medical consultations can occur through secure video conferencing, all contributing to greater accessibility and convenience.

In emergency situations, such as accidents or health crises, telemedicine plays a crucial role. Telemedicine allows healthcare providers to provide guidance on administering first aid via video calls, potentially saving lives when rescue services are delayed.

Also, virtual healthcare bridges geographical barriers, making it easier for patients to access specialised care. Patients dealing with rare or complex medical conditions can quickly obtain second opinions from relevant specialists, regardless of their location.

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of virtual healthcare as a tool for minimising the spread of infections. Telemedicine enabled patients to receive diagnoses and medical guidance over the phone, reducing the risk of exposure while ensuring that essential healthcare services continued uninterrupted.

However, the benefits of virtual healthcare extend beyond patients. A study suggests that virtual healthcare could offer respite to overwhelmed healthcare systems and professionals grappling with growing disease burdens, staffing shortages, and constrained resources.

Virtual healthcare offers three key advantages over traditional care models:

  • Expanded Bed Capacity: Virtual healthcare systems can quickly adapt to fluctuating demand, offering expanded bed capacity to healthcare systems.
  • Enhanced Patient Satisfaction and Outcomes: Many patients prefer receiving care in the comfort of their homes, leading to improved patient satisfaction and outcomes.
  • Cost Savings: Virtual healthcare enables more efficient resource allocation, contributing to cost savings for healthcare organisations.

Additionally, virtual healthcare significantly reduces travel time and expenses for healthcare teams. For instance, staff at nursing homes can conduct virtual consultations with hospitals, maintaining consistent staffing levels without the need for time-consuming travel.

Singapore has been a pioneer in the implementation of virtual healthcare services. Since April 2017, the Smart Health Video Consultation service has been available at numerous hospitals and community care partners in the country. This service includes follow-up services for pediatric eczema, home care services for pediatric patients, lactation consultations, speech therapy, and care for post-stroke, infectious disease, and cancer patients.

Virtual consultations in Singapore are facilitated through patients’ mobile devices or laptops, connecting through the internet or 3G/4G/LTE networks. These platforms provide high-definition video and audio quality, closely replicating face-to-face consultations.

While the initial momentum of virtual healthcare may have slowed down as life returned to normal post-pandemic, its promise remains compelling. Progress in healthcare, like any disruptive innovation, can follow a non-linear path, with peaks and valleys. However, the fundamental demand for accessible, affordable, and quality healthcare continues to intensify.

Virtual healthcare is poised to play an increasingly pivotal role in the future of healthcare delivery. As healthcare systems worldwide grapple with complex challenges, the ability of virtual healthcare to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve accessibility positions it as a transformative force in modern medicine. While there may be temporary dips in adoption, the long-term trajectory of virtual healthcare remains on a path of significant impact.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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