SINGAPORE – Some patients at Alexandra Hospital who need to see their doctor for a follow-up consultation will not need to go to the hospital, but will be able to use the teleconsultation feature on an app instead.
OneNUHS, the first app with teleconsultation functionality deployed by a public health cluster here, allows patients to make and reschedule appointments, and receive SMS reminders one day and one hour before the appointment.
It also allows them to see the number of patients in front of them in the queue.
After the teleconsultation, they can make the payment via the application and have their medication delivered to their home.
Caregivers can also help patients manage the app or participate in teleconsultation from their own devices.
Launched in April, the app was jointly developed by the National University Health System (NUHS) and Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) – the technology agency for the public health sector.
Around 100 patients from Alexandra Hospital have been using the app’s teleconsultation function since the end of August. Most of them have stable chronic illnesses and only need to see their doctor once every few months.
Doctors will recommend more patients with suitable conditions to try teleconsultation and advise them when they should go for an in-person consultation instead.
In a press release issued Thursday, October 21, the NUHS said it expected to move at least 90 percent of patients scheduled for teleconsultation at Alexandra Hospital to the OneNUHS app’s teleconsultation service by December.
Most teleconsultations are currently carried out via Zoom and not integrated into the NUHS health management system.
NUHS plans to roll out the app’s teleconsultation function to national university polyclinics next February, as well as to the National University Hospital (NUH) and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital by next year.
In addition to the teleconsultation function, the application allows patients to request their medical reports and a renewal of their drugs, as well as to consult their laboratory results, their Covid-19 files and their vaccination files.
The My Health Card feature of the app also allows them to get recommendations for health exams and vaccinations based on their demographic and health status.
Patients can also use the app to book in-person visits, register for a queue number, and view the number of patients ahead of them in the queue.
These features are already available for use by patients in all NUHS facilities.
Ms Clara Sin, Director of Operations for NUH and NUHS Group Services and Medical Records Transformation Offices, said: âThe introduction of the teleconsultation function is particularly timely given the situation of Covid- 19. We want to ensure continuity of care for all patients. and to save patients the trouble of physically moving to the hospital, especially for elderly patients.
“The teleconsultation feature also helps reduce crowds in clinics and allows us to maintain better and safe distancing measures. Teleconsultations and alternative care devices such as remote prescribing and delivery of medication to appropriate patients can help us. help reach them. “
Mr. Alan Goh, Deputy Managing Director of Platform Services and HealthHub Team Leader at IHiS, said, âTelehealth has grown exponentially. Over the past 1Â½ years, monthly teleconsultation use has increased approximately 30-fold reaching approximately adoption in chronic disease management, psychiatry, and pharmacy. “
To improve patient comfort and access to care, the OneNUHS app integrates video viewing and scheduling functionality into NUHS appointment systems, he added.
And patients can access the app via fingerprint and facial recognition, as well as use the MyInfo feature in Singpass to configure their profiles – features that improve user experience and cybersecurity.
âIn the future, we plan to integrate more of these functions with other applications such as HealthHub, as part of the overall efforts to improve the health of the population,â said Goh.