Most of us go through life with a selective ear for the news we take in, preferring to take in the positive rather than the negative. However, recent events have made it extremely challenging. We’re bombarded with news about COVID-19, police brutality, the forest fires, the warming of the ocean; the list is endless.
Compounded with the way that we gain access to the news and the way it’s presented, an adverse effect on one’s mental psyche is almost expected.
In order to properly manage and maintain our mental health, let’s take a look at how the brain navigates through this constant stream of disastrous news.
Bad News For Profit
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, we’ll need to first understand that the news media industry is essentially a business. This is especially apparent with the way news is presented today: sensationalised and increasingly visual.
Often, the news is curated in a way that ensures it garners as many clicks, and the more sensationalise and dramatic it is, the more the industry profits. The news of today is no doubt, enthralling and entertaining, and it’s hard to argue that all of it is truly illuminating.
This would’ve been easily filtered out if the human brain isn’t wired to pay close attention to negative information. Also known as negativity bias, this concept is an innate survival attribute that allows us to avoid harm. It is programmed to detect harm and threats that may put us in danger.
Since we’re predisposed to go negative, the news follows this line of thought by pushing out more bad news than good. We’ll slowly succumb to the addiction if we’re not conscious and aware of what we’re consuming.
Neurological And Physiological Consequences
Unfortunately, consuming negative news is detrimental to our mental psyche and physical health. Studies have shown that bad news is a mood-changer, producing sadness and anxiety, and exacerbating personal worries even if they may seem unrelated to the news you’re consuming.
Consuming bad news activates your fight and flight response, promoting the production and release of your stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. When these hormones are released frequently, it may lead to physical changes and ailments.
Cortisol, in particular, has been linked to inflammation associated with several health issues such as cardiovascular diseases and rheumatoid arthritis.
What You Can Do To Improve Your Mental Illness
As with all things in life, the key to staying healthy is moderate consumption. Avoiding news entirely is not feasible, especially since staying informed is vital when facing a crisis.
- Take a break
What you can do to avoid getting overwhelmed by the content you’re consuming is to schedule a block of time to go through the news and your social media. You’re recommended to take up 30 minutes at most, scrolling through your social media accounts and new exposure combined.
- Check in with yourself
That’s not the end, however. Since symptoms of anxiety and depression can easily arise with the type of content you’re consuming – regardless of the time you’ve invested in it – you’d want to find ways to navigate through those emotions lest they spiral out of control.
Scheduling a “worry time” is a common strategy that many find useful. It requires you to digest and acknowledge the content you’ve come across, identify your worries and make plans on ways to address the issues. Always be aware of not only the news content, but also the way it makes you feel.
- Address your feelings in a healthy manner
Once your 30 minutes is up, strive to do something healthy to combat the feelings of anxiety and worry. You may want to take a stroll in the park or spend time doing your hobbies.
If those solutions are not alleviating your mental stresses, you may want to consider talking to a professional. They will not only help you to break down your issues into smaller and digestible pieces, but they will find ways to help you navigate and alleviate your worries in a way that works for you.
MyCLNQ is a mobile app that allows users to get in touch with the next available doctor at a clinic near you. Moreover, it also allows you to set up a digital appointment or an online medical consultation, if you prefer to stay within the comforts of your home. Consult a doctor online about your health worries and strive to not only be physically fit, but mentally healthy as well.
Growing up, many of us were probably told that dairy is an essential part of our diet. After all, we need to drink our milk to get strong bones and teeth, don’t we? Well, as it turns out, we don’t actually need to consume dairy to be healthy. While dairy does contain some essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, they can also be found in many other foods – like fish and vegetables.
Reducing your dairy intake can also bring advantages to your health, helping to clear certain ailments you may have had for years.
If you’re still not convinced, here are 4 benefits that may make you want to consider cutting down on dairy.
1. Clearer skin
If you’ve been struggling with stubborn acne despite trying a myriad of skincare products and treatments, a dairy-free diet may be what you need. Many dermatologists recommend cutting down on dairy as the first step to fighting skin conditions like acne. And lots of people who’ve done so say that it works.
Acne is caused by inflammation, such as from bacteria in the pores of your skin. However, the food you consume can also play a part. Dairy, which is high in saturated fats, are thought to promote inflammation, so it’s no surprise that it can worsen skin conditions. It’s also said that the hormones present in dairy products could be a cause as well. Try cutting it out of your diet for a period, and you might find that your skin will become clearer than ever!
2. Improved digestion
If you’re reading this, there’s a fair chance that you’re lactose intolerant. According to the National Institutes of Health, 65% of the world’s population have some degree of lactose intolerance after infancy. If you’re part of that percentage, you may experience bloating, cramps, gas or diarrhoea after consuming dairy.
But what exactly is lactose intolerance? Lactose intolerance occurs when your body doesn’t contain enough of the enzyme lactase to digest lactose, which is the primary sugar found in dairy.
Even if you aren’t lactose intolerant, lactose can have a significant impact on your gut. Many people find that they experience less stomach bloating and cramps when they cut dairy.
3. Weight loss
As mentioned above, dairy may be wreaking havoc on your gut health – and poor gut health is associate with weight gain. Unsweetened dairy products also contain lactose, a natural sugar. What’s worse, many dairy products are loaded with added sugar. Think milk chocolates, ice-cream and sweetened yoghurt. If you’re trying to lose weight, staying clear of sugar altogether can be a huge advantage.
4. Increased energy
If you tend to feel sluggish and fatigued after eating dairy, you may have an allergy to the casein protein found in dairy products. When this happens, your body generates an immune response by producing antibodies to the protein and releases histamine into your blood. This causes you to feel fatigued afterwards.
Cutting out dairy products, including those with small traces in them such as processed meats and candies, can reduce this sluggish feeling. As a result, you can expect to feel more energised.
Of course, you can still enjoy a dairy treat once in a while – just be sure to do it in moderation! But if you’re determined to cut dairy out of your diet, there are a ton of non-dairy alternatives to your favourite ice-cream and chocolates that you can try instead.
If you’re not sure of whether dairy is affecting your health due to lactose intolerance or an allergy, don’t be afraid to seek medical advice! Your doctor can get to the root of your issues and advise you on whether cutting down on dairy can improve your health – from your skin to your gut.
With the MyCLNQ mobile app, you can get access to telemedicine in Singapore with ease. Arrange for an online medical consultation in the comfort of your own home and speak to experienced doctors and specialists without having to deal with long waiting times!
The trajectory of human development is shaped by several factors, one of which is technological advancements. These technological advancements have greatly shaped the way we live our lives – from mobile technology to medical technology. In fact, human development is closely tied with the advancement of medicine technology; how far medical technology can go is how far society is able to progress.
Thus, there is a need to embrace healthcare technologies in order to stay relevant. Luckily, the healthcare sector is renowned for being one of the most active adopters of new technology and innovations. This improves not only the healthcare systems as a whole, but also the patients’ outcomes.
It has the potential to transform the unsustainable healthcare systems into sustainable ones, and provide effective and affordable solutions at a faster rate. To take a peek at the future of healthcare technology, let’s take a look at 3 of the technologies that have already made their mark.
1. Telehealth And Telemedicine
Telehealth and telemedicine have always been utilised for decades, and it wasn’t till the pandemic did they truly shine. COVID-19 has introduced new problems and exacerbating current ones. It has made screening for the virus and regular medical care extremely challenging, especially when social distancing is a vital measure to avoid infection.
This is where telehealth and telemedicine come in. By giving a remote platform for immediate patient-doctor consultations, healthcare services can be delivered without any compromise to their quality. Although there are some elements of healthcare that require face-to-face interaction, telehealth and telemedicine helped to prioritise this category whilst managing the traffic.
Available in the App Store and Google Play, MyCLNQ is an app that serves to extend such services beyond the typical brick-and-mortar healthcare facilities. Patients are able to get in touch with telemedicine services, request for their own private ambulance and meet other healthcare needs through digital means. With such technology in place, it won’t be long till it becomes commonplace – especially if governments began consolidating remote healthcare into standard practice.
2. Artificial Intelligence And Biopharma
Apart from the new ailments appearing once every few years, there are a few illnesses that have yet to bear substantial research and studies. In the case of COVID-19, finding information about this novel coronavirus became a race against time. Scientific magazines that required extensive research and vetting, found themselves releasing COVID-19 related papers in bulk, in hopes to provide as much information to develop treatments and vaccines.
However, this is an obvious gamble. Gathering information so in such a short period offers the risk of misinformation, but reviewing practices had to be lax in view of the COVID-19.
Luckily, the artificial intelligence (AI) technology can be the answer that bridges both amount and accuracy of information. Early this March, the US government released an open data set of scientific articles related to COVID-19 and used AI to help speed up the process. Similarly, Atomwise referred to a database of molecular structure to search for existing medicines that could be redesigned to treat the Ebola virus. This trend can easily set for easy information acquirement, which will translate to quicker results.
3. 3D Printing
The introduction of 3D printing has brought about other options and avenues that would’ve otherwise been impossible before. With this technology, one is avail to printed bio tissues, blood vessels and more, cutting the waiting time for donations and transfusions.
Researches at the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, was able to come up with 3D-printed blood vessels and living skin that will help in the skin grafting recovery for burn victims.
In recent news, 3D printers are placed on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic by creating kits for healthcare workers, specifically their personal protective equipment (PPE) which was suffering from shortages.
The fact of the matter is, society’s progress will not be as significant if modern technology is not adopted in our healthcare system. The efficiency and seemingly limitless potential of digital health should not be ignored. With modern healthcare technology, the real era of the art of medicine is only a matter of time.
Running, yoga and strength-training: you’re probably well adverse in some of the most popular ways to maintain your physical health. Of course, a healthy wellbeing is not without being aware of what you put in your body. Lately, there has been a lot of talk about fitness fads with cult-like followings, one of which is juicing.
Juicing is simply making fresh-squeezed juices to either boost your overall health as a supplement or meal replacement. They can include a variety of fruits and vegetables and whilst it may seemingly appear healthy, you may be surprised that they pose several dangers and side effects that may be harmful to your health.
Next to all the benefits, have a look at these 5 dangers that juicing can bring.
1. Undernourishing Your Body Is A Possibility
Whilst juicing may be a good nutritional supplement, many make the mistake of replacing an entire meal with just a cup of greenery goodness. A well-balanced meal contains 3 main macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Unfortunately, vegetables and fruits don’t have substantial levels of any of these 3 macronutrients. Not only does it not deliver the adequate nutrients needed to stabilise your blood sugar, but a cup of juice also won’t give you enough energy for you to survive the day. If you’re considering to replace all your meals with cups of juice in hopes to cleanse and lose weight, your emotional well-being and mental psyche will probably take a hit.
2. Depriving Yourself Of Fibre
A common misconception many tend to make is that you’d receive tons of fibre since you’d be consuming vegetables and fruits. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. When you juice your fruits and vegetables, you’d be removing all the fibre that’s necessary to keep your colon in good working condition.
Or worse, they’d be contributing to your constipation! Fibre is what makes up the indigestible part of your stool, thus ensuring your waste moves through your intestines quickly and easily. Without it, you’d be spending a lot of time and effort trying to push your stool through your intestinal tract.
Moreover, the lack of fibre means that you’d lose the barrier that slows down the absorption of sugar. As such, the sugar content from fruits will absorb quickly into your system and it can easily cause a spike in your blood sugar. Apart from the potential energy dip and brain fog you’d experience, your risk for type 2 diabetes will also shoot up if you have pre-diabetes. Don’t underestimate the pulp.
3. Possibility Of Food Poisoning When Opting For Cold-Pressed Juice
When one incorporates vegetables in their juices, most of the time, the vegetables are raw. This may seem minuscule fact, but those who juice raw vegetables have a higher chance of getting a bacterial infection in the gut or stomach.
Pre-bottled cold-pressed juice is not safe from bacteria either. Despite being packaged to ensure its freshness, it still carries bacteria – especially if they’re not pasteurised.
Avoid the risk of food poisoning by opting for bottled juices that use flash pasteurisation as it can preserve nutrients without compromising on your safety. If you prefer making your own juices at home, remember to always practise basic hygiene practices such as washing both your hands and produce.
4. A Weight Loss Solution That Backfires
Juice cleansing has become a popular weight loss method, but this approach is heavily misguided. Not only are you losing out on the 3 macronutrients, you’re also removing all the natural goodness (vitamins, nutrients and fibre) that these fruits and vegetables have in their natural form. Apart from the fact that your body has an elaborate detoxification system all on its own, you won’t be able to further detox your body since these juices have nothing to help the process to begin with.
In fact, all the excess sugar can be converted into energy and stored in the fat cells – which defeats the entire purpose of juice cleansing and detoxing in the first place.
5. Risk Dangerous Drug Interactions
Juices may seem benign at first glance, but they pose serious harmful side effects if they don’t mix well with your medicines. Grapefruit juice acts as an amplifier to your body, increasing the efficiency of the foods you’ve ingested in the same seating. Unfortunately, this also goes the same for your medicine. Grapefruit juices don’t go well with drugs that lower cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation. In fact, it’d increase the amount of medication that enters your bloodstream, resulting in a complex series of side effects.
The general rule of thumb applies for everything, including juicing: moderation is key. If you wish to pursue a healthier lifestyle, always opt for whole vegetables and grains as opposed to juiced ones. If you still like to include juices into your diet, always regard it as a supplementary meal as opposed to a meal replacement.
That said, before you embark in your juicing adventures, always be sure to discuss with your doctor or dietician. You may unknowingly place yourself in a vulnerable position should juicing introduce harmful side effects to your body.
To help you out with the hassle, our MyCLNQ mobile app is your one-stop telemedicine solution for all your healthcare needs. Cut down on your waiting time by booking an online medical consultation with doctors and dieticians who can help you navigate through your pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.
For most people, their morning rituals start with a warm cup of coffee and some take a few more cups throughout the day. Caffeine, a psychoactive substance that’s found in coffee, teas, sodas and energy drinks, is the most widely used stimulant in the world – and it is little wonder why.
Apart from being a good pick-me-up in the mornings, it’s been found that moderate caffeine intake can perk up your cognitive function and lower the risk of several health ailments.
That being said, recent research has shown that there’d be great advantages to cutting back your caffeine intake and perhaps, going caffeine-free altogether. Here are 4 benefits you’d enjoy should you cut down your caffeine intake.
1. More Sustained Energy Throughout The Day
One of the reasons why caffeine is the go-to pick-me-up is its stimulus properties. However, just as how they can give you a surge of energy, you can also experience a plunge just as easily.
A big part of the process comes from the way caffeine activates your sympathetic nervous systems. This means your body is producing and releasing your fight-or-flight hormones – cortisol and adrenaline, in particular– more than it usually does. Whilst this gives you the quick shot of energy you were looking for, once they wear off and your hormones are back to ground zero, the effects can be quite jarring. You may be left feeling even more tired than you started out.
Instead, opt for herbal tea by incorporating invigorating spices such as cinnamon, ginger and turmeric. Not only do they have stimulant properties to make you feel more awake during the day, but they also have several health benefits and properties as well!
2. Better Absorption of Micronutrients
Unfortunately, caffeine and micronutrients don’t mix together very well. Due to caffeine’s diuretic effect, several water-soluble vitamins will be dissolved and expelled from the body via urination before they can be fully absorbed.
Moreover, caffeine also interferes with the absorption of iron and calcium, 2 minerals that can lead to deficiencies if there’s a shortage. Those who are deficient in one or more micronutrients may see an improvement should they cut down on their caffeine intake.
3. Lower The Risk Of Heartburn
Those that suffer from heartburn and acid reflux may want to look at their daily caffeine intake as research has narrowed it down as one of the main culprits. Coffee, in particular, has a high degree in acidity, which only worsens the heartburn symptoms. Try easing caffeine out of your diet and you may just experience great relief.
4. Less Stress And Anxiety
In order to give you an energy boost, caffeine gives your cortisol production a quick bump. Whilst this may provide you with the energy to survive the day, it may not be as sustainable when it comes to your mental psyche.
Apart from being one of your fight-or-flight hormones, it’s also commonly known as the stress hormone. It’s one thing to have a spike in this primary stress hormone due to caffeine intake, but it’s another thing if other daily stresses compound it. This easily leads to more tremendous stress and anxiety, which can give rise to several health ailments such as cardiovascular diseases and the like. Naturally, if one maintains their caffeine intake, the risk of anxiety symptoms and other health ailments will be relatively low.
Of course, don’t let these facts deter you from enjoying a cuppa or two. As with anything in life, caffeine can be beneficial if used in moderation. The recommended daily intake is 4 cups, which is still a relatively robust amount.
Since each body composition varies from one person to another, be sure to be aware of how caffeine affects your body. If you’ve realised that 2 cups of coffee is your limit, it’s best to stop at that number or opt for less-caffeinated options such as tea or even golden milk.
With that said, if you’ve been struggling with side effects from caffeine and is experiencing caffeine withdrawal symptoms, you may want to discuss with your doctor. With MyCLNQ, access to telehealth and telemedicine services has greatly improved. Not only are you able to set up an appointment via digitally, you can also consult a doctor online comfortably at home without having to deal with the waiting time at the clinic.
It’s no secret that a trip to the hospital is of a significant expense. However, readmissions can take it up a notch as they tend to be more costly. Part of the issue could be due to the gap between discharge and homecare. Patients can receive complex or conflicting information, resulting in a lack of success when it comes to following-up with their treatment plan.
With efforts to solve this challenge, hospitals can leverage on telehealth to maintain the patient-physician relationship, even after discharge. As telehealth aids in the continuity of care, here are some ways on how telehealth helps reduce readmission rates.
1. Maintains care even after admission
The moment patients discharge, telehealth can help ensure a smooth transitioning for when patients receive care in a different setting, such as creating a post-discharge care programme for patients. In such programs, it can include home visits from home therapists or nurses, teleconsultations, or scheduling a follow-up appointment. It can also provide ongoing patient education through consulting a doctor online.
For instance, if a diabetic patient is struggling with taking their insulin, then they can receive guidance without making the trip down to the hospital. Providing immediate and hassle-free access to healthcare professionals holds the potential to help patients overcome or avoid complications, which often results in trips back to the hospital.
2. Enhances the discharge process through on-demand clarification
After staying in the hospital, one would either feel anxious or eager to leave the hospital and go back home. Either way, patients may tend to forget the specific set of instructions given to them by their provider, or misplace their paperwork, or come up with questions that they didn’t think of before the discharge process.
Being able to understand what is involved in the after-care is crucial, especially regarding tasks that might be difficult to perform outside the hospital. To illustrate, a patient who requires the use of an oxygen mask might face challenges doing so. But with the efficiency and accessibility of telehealth apps, the patient can seek a virtual doctor to address their questions effectively.
As a whole, telehealth apps empower patients to reach out for help through real-time video assistance. Likewise, healthcare providers can also check in with patients to highlight any issues and changes that might have cropped up until after the discharge.
3. Eases the process of monitoring and scheduling follow-ups
Often, following-up is more than just checking in the patient’s condition. While nurses and medical caregivers can assist with specific tasks and monitor the patient’s wellbeing, post-discharge appointments with the main doctor are still necessary.
Unfortunately, providers can’t see their patients as much as they’d want to. On the other hand, patients can face challenges in securing transportation or scheduling for an in-person appointment. Rescheduling appointments isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. Missed appointments, along with long wait periods, can allow underlying health complications to go unnoticed. That said, it can lead to eventual readmission.
With telehealth, patients can see a doctor online for check-ups without the need to book an in-person appointment. For instance, our MyCLNQ mobile app allows users to locate the nearest clinic as well as the next available doctor. Patients can then cut down on their waiting time. On top of providing an array of healthcare services, MyCLNQ also facilitates the booking of a private ambulance in Singapore for non-urgent cases.
As we battle the global pandemic, healthcare workers are armed with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from head to toe. Aside from its purpose to protect them, it has its downsides too, such as compromising the overall comfort. Not to mention, the supply of PPE is rather limited. Meanwhile, patients waiting for their turn in waiting rooms risk the chances of catching the virus from those who are infected.
While researchers and healthcare professionals are finding a vaccine or cure for COVID-19, how can we ensure affordable and quality healthcare that extends beyond the walls of the hospital? One way would be by incorporating the use of technology in the healthcare industry, such as telehealth apps. This means providing healthcare services and information through digital platforms. By doing so, patients are merely a few finger-taps away from accessing a range of telehealth services.
With that, here are some examples of telehealth services along with how they ensure continuity in the provision of healthcare.
1. Consulting a doctor online
Teleconsultation is one of the most optimal methods for physicians to provide care to patients, even from a distance. While patients don’t have to wait before their appointment, physicians don’t have to worry about last-minute cancellations – making it undoubtedly efficient and convenient.
Considering the current pandemic, we’ve witnessed a rise in the demands of teleconsultation services. With safe distancing measures put in place, telehealth apps are ideal in addressing patients’ COVID-19 related concerns. Through the use of remote technology, patients can receive medical attention from online medical consultants without the need to travel out of their homes.
2. Keeps track of vital signs via monitoring devices
With the availability of smartphones, smartwatches and the Internet, Bluetooth-enabled healthcare devices can now connect to relevant mobile applications for hassle-free tracking of vital signs.
Hospitals and healthcare institutions are stretched thin, with limited capacity and safe distancing measures in place. As such, not all COVID-19-positive cases are hospitalised. Even so, they should still be monitored remotely in case their condition exacerbates. In such cases, personal telemonitoring devices will come in handy.
Rather than ‘out of sight, out of mind’, patients are empowered to get involved in monitoring their health. Simultaneously, it also helps physicians monitor their condition without needing to be in the same room. When necessary, patients can then choose to see a doctor online. This lightens the strain on overcrowded waiting rooms and healthcare workers on top of reducing the use of healthcare resources such as PPEs.
3. Facilitates telecollaboration between physicians and medical caregivers
Telecollaboration is a common practice in the medical field. Between medical caregivers and long-term care physicians, telecollaboration is highly effective, particularly during COVID-19. Aside from enlightening the caregiver’s clinical knowledge, this service also decreases the transmission risk of COVID-19 to the vulnerable community. For example, suppose a patient requires the help of a medical caregiver. In that case, the medical caregiver can then get in touch with a virtual doctor for advice and recommendations to better serve the patient. Only when deemed necessary or urgent, patients can then be sent to the clinic or hospital for further diagnosis.
4. Provides healthcare support to patients
Telehealth helps medical professionals expand their reach to patients via a variety of healthcare services, in a digitised manner. One such example would be our MyCLNQ mobile application, and below are the few ways it supports users’ healthcare needs.
MyCLNQ uses a built-in artificial intelligence (AI) feature to provide doctor and clinic availability in real-time. For in-person appointments, MyCLNQ uses location-based information for the nearest clinic and earliest available doctor. Alternatively, users can choose to consult a doctor online and have their prescriptions delivered to their doorstep.
From medical caregivers to therapists, users are a few taps away from requesting for their preferred professionals. As a digital health ecosystem, MyCLNQ also acts as a platform for users to seek non-emergency private ambulance in Singapore, where medically-trained escorts will assist them.
Even though telehealth services have been around for a while, it has recently become more prominent since the rise of the global pandemic. With its convenience and accessibility, telehealth apps are certainly here to stay. On top of enhancing the way patients receive healthcare, telehealth apps like MyCLNQ ensure the continuity in the provision of healthcare services.
To keep up with the swift and constant development of the healthcare industry, healthcare delivery organisations are leveraging on innovative solutions. These solutions must combine disease-management, health informatics, and technologies to improve access to healthcare services, like telehealth.
Providing care to patients anytime and anywhere lies at the forefront of telehealth. Through this, patients can attain on-demand healthcare from providers with just a touch of a button. From bypassing lengthy waiting times to avoiding high-cost urgent care visits, find out more about how telehealth empowers patients to be more involved in their healthcare journey.
1. Enables quick assessment and triage
Not all healthcare systems are capable of prioritising the urgency of incoming appointments. In life-threatening situations, it might even lead to serious medical complications. Conversely, most minor illnesses can be addressed with minimal time and resources.
Either way, patients can immediately consult a doctor online through telehealth apps. For some patients, they might be triaged by the telehealth providers to seek an immediate assessment. As such, they might be directed to the respective clinic or hospital for an in-person appointment. Therefore, telehealth enables providers to ascertain which patients require in-person care through teleconsultations.
2. Telehealth improves the patient-provider relationship
Patients face the challenge of maintaining a consistent patient-provider relationship. In particular, those living further away from accessible healthcare facilities or have mobility issues can face challenges in attending in-person appointments. Not to mention, the traditional way of scheduling patients for regular check-ups and minor medical issues can limit the possibility of possible follow-up care.
In turn, telehealth can extend the reach of providers on top of helping to strengthen patient-provider relationships. Patients with an established patient-provider relationship can easily schedule follow-up appointments with a virtual doctor. Through convenience and flexibility, telehealth enhances the way patients are treated through digital means. It also enables care to occur via succinct, targetted follow-up visits that might even be more efficient than in-person visits.
3. Promotes access to high-demand speciality attention
Telehealth helps address the challenge of providing prompt access to specialists and caregiver services to patients who need triage or have just been discharged from the hospital. As a result, patients won’t need to travel to a healthcare facility to receive care. Instead, they can receive on-demand speciality care regardless of the location.
To illustrate, vulnerable groups of patients can request post-discharge check-ups from medical caregivers to monitor their condition and support their healing progress. This is exceptionally essential to them, especially during the current pandemic, as lesser time spent outside means a reduced risk of their exposure to COVID-19.
4. It facilitates behavioural health support
Telehealth can streamline care delivery in psychiatry or other behavioural health disciplines. Complications surrounding behavioural therapy exists, such as questioning if making the trip down adds to the mental burden faced by the patient.
As long as the patient has a digital device, they have the option of seeing a doctor online – thus, enhancing the behavioural support program for patients. Alternatively, our MyCLNQ apps enable patients to have specialised home therapists make their way over the patient’s house for an in-person consultation.
Anytime telepsychiatry is conducted in the comfort of the patient’s home, it has a better chance of resulting in more favourable outcomes for the patient. Additionally, it helps them overcome the public stigma that closely follows the act of seeking mental health assistance. Since digital appointments with an online medical consultant is done in real-time, it offers patients the support at a time when they might need it most.
Telehealth offers a way for patients to reach out to a provider for questions regarding therapy, medication, and more. If a patient has any questions about their prescription, they can schedule an online visit to connect with a suitable provider rather than having to drive down to the hospital or wait for their provider to return their calls.
MyCLNQ aims to extend the reach of healthcare services beyond the brick-and-mortar healthcare facilities. By downloading our app, users can access a wide range of services, including arranging for a private ambulance in Singapore or an online consultation – all under one platform. Plus, our built-in AI feature allows users to find the nearest clinic available to them and cut down on long queue times to see a doctor.
These days, the use of ‘big data’ seems to be the most effective asset in solving complex issues. Big data is required in many areas beyond healthcare, but one of the most relevant examples would be how it’s used to track and trace infections with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain has also risen to become one of the healthcare industry’s sought-after technologies. Besides providing accuracy and ensuring privacy, it also gives users more control over their own healthcare data. But first, let’s dive into the relevance of AI, big data, and blockchain in healthcare:
- AI: AI is not just one technology, but rather, an umbrella of technologies with high relevance to healthcare. Machine learning, natural language processing, and robots, are some of the many examples that you might be more familiar with.
- Big data: In healthcare, big data refers to the substantial amount of health data amassed from several sources, such as electronic health records and clinical data. Due to a large amount of information collected, it’s often processed with the help of machine learning.
- Blockchain: Blockchain technology stores healthcare-related operations such as medical records, tracking drug supply chains and more, in secured and fragmented systems that contain a comprehensive amount of data and information. This allows providers to keep an elaborate database of patient information.
We’ve only graced the tip of the iceberg. As we’ll be focusing on blockchain in telehealth, read on to find out more about its uses and benefits.
1. Gives patients control over their personal healthcare information
Besides patients themselves, their medical records stored in blockchain will only be shared with a trusted provider, such as a virtual doctor, once they’ve agreed to it. Anytime the blockchain is updated with new information, the registered devices will receive an updated version of it. However, only those with a private key can access the patient’s health data security, making it almost impossible to hack.
As a result, blockchain can then establish a more streamlined exchange of data if patients were to see a doctor online. And in terms of making changes to the data, patients are in control of who can access their records and who can edit them. Once the change has been authorised, each local copy of the health data will be changed to reflect that. A blockchain approach can help to foster empowerment for individuals regarding their medical history, preserve patient’s privacy and create more accountability across the spectrum.
2. Streamlines identification process of patients
Be it their names, home address, or medical providers, patients may go through various changes in their lives. Hence, ensuring that the patient’s healthcare data follows them throughout their lifelong journey without duplication, deletion, or discrepancies is exceptionally challenging, yet essential to achieve.
Like how a doctor must identify the root cause of a certain illness, it’s also crucial that the medical records are matched correctly to the respective patient. In the case of misidentification, it might lead to a wrong diagnosis, improper treatments and poor patient experience. Hence, blockchain may be the solution to keeping patients and their records together so they can receive the care they need, regardless of the provider.
3. Facilitates the work between different providers
Aside from patients, providers also benefit from having access over a piece of unified information across different teams. Consequently, blockchain technology helps rather than hinder the care coordination process, making the patient’s wellbeing the number one priority – as it should be.
This arose from the main issue that most of these healthcare data are siloed from one another based on individual care providers. Hence, it’s not as readily available by the team of different providers that are engaged in the care of one unique patient.
With blockchain, it centralises your individual healthcare data records. This way, both patients and providers can form a combined effort of a care team through physicians from various facilities. Meanwhile, the responsibility of bringing files back and forth between multiple appointments will be reduced on the patient. Instead, providers can collaborate with one another with the main authority lying in the patient’s hands.
Sometimes, the line between technological innovation and privacy can get blurred. The issue with machine learning lies in its ability to change and evolve with time. But with the implementation of blockchain technology, it empowers patients to take control of their own healthcare data information, alongside the guidance of medical professionals.
SSIVIX Lab’s MyCLNQ app stores encrypted data and only allows authorised owners to access the user’s health records and personal data. Anytime the user is concerned about their privacy, they can be rest assured knowing that we only collect the user’s personal data based on a set of criteria. For instance, when the user seeks the assistance of a private ambulance in Singapore or other healthcare services, we may collect and use the user’s personal data to serve them better. We also tap onto the big data technology using Amazon cloud service for reliable and secure patient data storage, and utilise AI feature for patients to get the earliest available doctor and the best suitable appointment slot. As demand for telehealth grows, we stay on top of technological advances to meet today’s digital healthcare needs.
Discover, engage, and expand your network digitally – all during Asia Healthcare Week! Along with 60 over speakers globally, SSIVIX Lab is honoured to be part of this esteemed panel to share our expertise in the telehealth field and beyond.
Amid the pandemic, Asia Healthcare Week’s 6th annual conference aims to shed light on the various success stories to extend participants’ frontiers of knowledge. Combined with the 7th Annual Healthcare Facilities Asia and 4th Annual Digital Healthcare, some of the key discussion following this year’s theme includes the following:
- AI applications & COVID-19
- Repurposing Healthcare Facilities
- Health Insurance Product Models and Pricing
- COVID-19 and Health Insurance Market
- Healthcare Heroes – Celebration for the Brave Hearts
Happening from 2nd to 4th September 2020, the conference aims to address both emerging and potential shifts in the healthcare industry amid and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Concerns regarding affordability, implementation of technology, investments, and revamping future facilities will be addressed through long-term solutions.
Participate in discussions delivered by healthcare’s industry leaders
As we navigate our way through the uncertainties, we think that the content could not be more apt in terms of fitting the current climate. By signing up, you’re merely a few taps away from getting access to more than 45 virtual livestream sessions, where you’ll get the chance to engage with the speakers through live polls, Q&A sessions and more. There is also a virtual exhibition and virtual networking opportunities available.
And to our Healthcare Heroes, this event is free for these groups of people:
- Healthcare staff working on the frontlines in regional hospitals
- Infectious Disease Centres
- Emergency Departments
- COVID-19 Response Task Force teams
Look out for our co-founder, Anwar Rafique, who will be taking a deep dive into the digital health ecosystem. His presentation will be supplemented with relevant MyCLNQ case studies as well. More information below:
Programme: 7th Annual Healthcare Facilities
Date: 4th September 2020, Friday
Panel: Digital Health Ecosystem Roadmap: MyCLNQ – Connecting all your healthcare needs
We are absolutely delighted to talk about our mobile application, MyCLNQ. From enabling users to see a doctor online to booking a medical transport, MyCLNQ was birthed out of the need to extend the reach of healthcare services beyond healthcare facilities.
In addition, Anwar will also be the moderator for the session “Healthcare Heroes – Appreciation and Celebration for the Brave Hearts!” to be held on 2nd September at 17:30hrs.
More about MyCLNQ
With our built-in AI feature, our app provides real-time updates on the availability of the earliest available doctors and nearby clinics. In record time, you can skip the long queues by confirming your appointment booking. You have the option of consulting a virtual doctor from the comfort and security of your own home – especially considering the ongoing pandemic. Be it for your loved ones or yourself, you can also schedule for a private ambulance, where medically-trained escorts will assist you on this medical transport.
In just one app, you’re a step closer to making smart, digital choices through a host of services available. This aligns with our vision of enhancing the lives of Singaporeans via digital means.
And what better way to find out more about MyCLNQ’s role in the digital healthcare landscape, than through one of the few people behind the creation of this app? So, don’t miss out on Anwar’s presentation and register for the online experience today.
For more information, visit www.asiahealthcaresummit.com