OCBC Bank said on Wednesday that it has formed a partnership with seven medical groups—Singapore Medical Group, StarMed Specialist Center, Thomson Medical, Faith Medical Group, OneCare Medical Group, Etern Medical, and True Medical—to launch a new mobile app.
Called HealthPass by OCBC, it provides access to over 100 general practitioners (GPs) and specialists to address the healthcare needs of Singapore residents, including people who are not OCBC Bank customers.
Video consultations with both GPs and specialist doctors can be booked and administered through the app, with medication delivered to the patient’s doorstep.
According to OCBC, the consultation fee is kept flat at S$20 for each telehealth and in-clinic visit to a GP during normal operating hours.
Patients pay a flat fee of SGD 100 (USD 72) for the first telehealth or in-clinic consultation with any of the 63 specialist doctors from 21 specialties, including gynecology, pediatrics, cardiology, dermatology, and oncology, which are among the top fields of specialist medicine Singaporeans often seek medical advice for.
These flat consultation fees especially benefit individuals or families without existing private coverage for outpatient clinic visits, and individuals with long-term medical needs.
Meanwhile, medication and diagnostic procedures are charged separately based on current practices.
Read this: Do health apps and telemedicine live up to the hype?
The app makes it convenient for patients
HealthPass by OCBC integrates with the healthcare partner’s clinic management systems, and information is only accessible by users and their doctors, preserving personal data privacy and security.
Patients can also access digital medical certificates, clinic invoices, and laboratory results from the clinics visited securely through the app.
This makes it convenient for patients, especially those with ongoing medical needs, to easily retrieve past records for doctor consultations without the hassle of retrieving hard copies and maintaining a physical file.
The wellness shop in the HealthPass app also gives users access to more than 100 merchant offers for wellness products and services.
Users will be able to purchase preventive health services, such as health screenings, directly via the app. Other services available for purchase in the store include traditional Chinese medicine, as well as dental and pain management services.
Spike in teleconsultations since COVID-19
The multi-ministry task force has recommended individuals to continue minimizing in-person medical visits whenever possible.
On that note, Singapore Medical Group estimates that there has been a 60% surge in specialist teleconsultations since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read this: How Indonesian tech companies are adapting to the COVID-19 crisis
Consulting a doctor through telehealth safeguards individuals more susceptible to the effects of the virus, such as the elderly, those with underlying conditions, and pregnant women, allowing them to seek timely medical help with relative safety.
It also helps doctors conduct follow-up consultations with patients, especially those with chronic ailments, as they do not need to go to the clinic physically to consult the doctor or get a new prescription for their medications.
For patients that require a physical assessment, the app enables users to book an appointment to visit a GP or specialist clinic. Visits by appointment enable clinics to better manage patient traffic, minimizing waiting times and ensuring safe physical distancing is practiced.
“As the maxim goes, health is wealth. To complement our wealth management solutions, we are bringing various partners together to provide our customers with a solution for managing their fundamental wealth—their health,” said Pranav Seth, OCBC Bank’s head of digital and innovation.
“HealthPass by OCBC is the result of bringing together key corporate customer relationships in the medical and healthcare space on one digital platform. COVID-19 will eventually pass, but its impact on the community will be long felt, and widespread access to telehealth will provide a big boost to help manage Singapore’s healthcare needs.”
Seth also noted that in-clinic visits are still necessary for certain medical treatments. As a result, OCBC will work on recruiting more clinics and healthcare providers to join the app to ensure there is at least one clinic close to every Singapore resident’s home and workplace.
This article was first published by Vulcan Post.