With an array of healthcare services available on-demand, telehealth apps help break down barriers to healthcare access. Due to its utmost convenience, patients and providers can have online medical consultations remotely, while engaging with mobile technology like video conferencing and live chats. As healthcare services via telehealth are usually within reach, here are some reasons why telehealth apps boost the levels of patient satisfaction.
1. Patients get quicker access to healthcare services
Anytime a patient receives treatment quickly, the outcome from the procedure tends to be better. In the case of telehealth apps, several functions facilitate this process.
If a patient needs to book an appointment, the location-detection technology will schedule one at nearby clinics, depending on the availability too. And if they don’t feel well enough to leave their home, they can consult a doctor via video or chat. Adding on, they can also book for transport from private ambulance companies to attend medical appointments or seek non-emergency treatments with ease.
Hence, as patients can receive quicker medical attention, it often leads to better medical results.
2. It’s more cost-effective
Engaging in services provided by telehealth apps are cheaper, as compared to visiting private clinics. According to Singapore Medical, in-office consultation with a General Practitioner of up to 20 minutes can cost up to $55.
Meanwhile, basic consultations via telehealth apps cost an average of $20, sometimes with time limits in place. So, it’s slightly lighter on the pockets. Furthermore, patients can easily make payment through these apps rather than wait in line after finishing their medical check-up.
3. Patients receive direct care and attention
By establishing healthcare apps as a more effective channel for communication, telehealth can help foster a better relationship between patients and physicians. Especially when a patient is feeling very sick, getting immediate attention by seeing an online doctor from the comfort of their own home can make a world of difference. It would also make the customer feel like they are of a top priority since it ameliorates the patient’s waiting room experience.
Moreover, it eases the process of patients who are from areas that are located further away from where they can receive medical care. Through this technology, this helps them to greatly access professional assistance. For patients that require frequent follow-up monitoring, it would also benefit them significantly since physicians can monitor their condition via the smartphone.
And with COVID-19, this is a much safer option for patients who are more vulnerable to getting infected. While telehealth apps enable them to consult with a doctor, it also keeps them safe from reducing their exposure to the virus.
4. Physicians can attend to more patients
Booking an appointment based on a patient’s preferred date and time is highly dependent on the availability of treatment rooms. In brick-and-mortar medical centres, there are only so many rooms catering to different aspects of healthcare, which results in a limited number of appointment slots available. On the other hand, telehealth apps reduce such constraints, allowing physicians to attend to more patients through the digital screen.
As we live in a period of uncertainty, Singapore saw a rise in the engagement of telehealth apps. With that said, it is no surprise seeing as COVID-19 symptoms can be quite common as the flu, such as fever and scratchy throat. The ability to seek a physician’s help without leaving their home can soothe their worries. It also shows how telehealth apps can accommodate a more significant number of patients.
A user-friendly and improved delivery system can improve a patient’s experience, which, in turn, boosts their satisfaction level as well. For those who are interested in getting connected to a library of healthcare services, check out our MyCLNQ mobile app. It enables users to consult a virtual doctor without the need to leave their homes, along other value services such as identifying the nearest and earliest available clinic, making digital appointments and booking private ambulance services.
Have you ever wondered what it means to be healthy?
Based on the holistic view of human existence, the concept of healthiness encompasses four main areas: mental, social, emotional and physical. These four factors influence how we think, feel and act.
Meanwhile, mental health refers to a disturbance of the mind that impairs the way we think, feel and act. In turn, it affects our daily activities and sometimes, even the lives of those around us. However, it’s important to note that good mental health isn’t equivalent to the absence of mental health issues, but the presence of positive characteristics – as coined by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). Let’s start by discussing the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and COVID-19’s influence on our mental health!
What is depression?
Depression is the disorder of the mood, causing one to feel sad for a prolonged period. There is a big difference between normal sadness and clinical depression. For example, sadness is a regular human emotion caused by a situation. In contrast, the latter is an uncommon emotion that is often experienced without any triggers. Some general symptoms of depression include:
- Sense of hopelessness
- Unhelpful thought patterns
- Change in sleeping patterns
- Appetite changes
- A decrease in energy levels
- Feeling isolated and withdrawn
What is anxiety?
Humans have a fight-or-flight response to a perceived harmful attack. But when fear is imagined and the fight-or-flight instinct kicks in, then they might experience anxiety. Some symptoms of anxiety include:
- An increased heart rate that isn’t triggered by physical activity
- Tingling sensation in fingers and toes
- Feelings of breathlessness, tightness in the chest
- Consistently and actively searching for potential threats
How to know if I have depression or anxiety?
Symptoms vary according to individuals so you may not need to experience all these symptoms for depression or anxiety to be present. Also, there are different types of depression and anxiety, so various disorders carry different traits.
If you have experienced most of the symptoms concurrently, it’s hard to determine by yourself if you have it. Just like physical injuries that require checkups to determine the cause of injury, it’s necessary to have a psychiatrist’s diagnosis for mental health issues. If the issue has been persisting, you can opt to see a doctor online and talk to them about your concerns, before deciding if you need to go to visit the doctor physically for thorough examinations. Your healthcare provider will assess your condition and prescribe any treatment where needed.
What does COVID-19 have to do with my mental health?
According to gov.sg, it is completely normal to feel concerned, worried, anxious and even mildly depressed. With the constant stream of news surrounding the COVID-19 situation in Singapore, you might face some of the following symptoms.
In terms of mental wellbeing, you might feel constant forgetfulness and difficulties in focusing on your task at hand. Physically, you could feel fatigued, have low energy levels and unexplained aches. Last but not least, you might also be more prone to worrying and feel easily irritated and frustrated quickly.
These are common indicators that you’re feeling stressed, possibly due to the impact the current situation has brought to your wellbeing, or you’re still trying to adapt to being at home for most of the day. But if you feel like you are constantly suffering from poor mental health, don’t hesitate to reach out as it is just as important as your physical wellbeing.
With our MyCLNQ mobile application, we help to make telehealth services accessible to you. You can schedule for a remote consultation to talk to an online doctor in your preferred language or find the nearest clinic in your area with the shortest waiting time. We have strategic partnerships with GPs and specialist clinics to provide greater accessibility to health services. With just a touch of a button, you can manage your medical needs as well as your whole family’s, and ensure everyone get to stay on top of their health amid this stressful period.
If you are facing other issues, you can seek for help and advice at the following:
(Violence or abuse)
Project StART: +65 6476 1482
(Marital and parenting problems)
Community Psychology Hub’s Online Counselling Platform: CPHOnlineCounselling.sg
National CARE Hotline: +65 6202 6868
Silver Ribbon Singapore: +65 6385 3714
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the demand for online medical consultation in Singapore and worldwide, which is made possible with telehealth applications. As the virus is highly contagious and can spread quickly just by close contact and interaction, many people have turned to online-based options for diagnosis.
Though the pandemic has limited the physical healthcare services of most systems, the situation is not all doom and gloom. The use of technological applications made healthcare more accessible to patients! It allows for consultations anytime you wish to see a virtual doctor from the comfort of your own home. As Singaporeans continue to embrace the use of technology, here’s how such applications stand to benefit you, especially in times of a global pandemic.
1. Minimises risk of catching the virus
All around Singapore, applause rang out across HDB blocks in support and gratitude of those working on the frontline, who have been working tirelessly against COVID-19. To mitigate the risk of healthcare professionals’ exposure to the virus, safe distancing measures have been put in place at hospitals. For example, outpatients with follow-up appointments have been deferred. Hence, visits to the hospital have been curtailed significantly.
Meanwhile, technological applications allow anyone to consult a doctor from their digital screens, without needing to leave their homes. Since face-to-face visits at the clinics are limited, it also minimises the contact with the virus, for both the patient and healthcare workers.
2. It gives citizens peace of mind
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, dry cough and fatigue – almost like regular illnesses. Telehealth apps are excellent for those who are reluctant to visit the clinic or hospital, but at the same time, worried over the virus-like symptoms they’re experiencing.
As we’re amid a pandemic, seeing an online doctor via telemedicine platforms is a safer and more convenient option than visiting a physician face-to-face, as it allows for a quick diagnosis. From home, patients can get medical advice and treatment without being in close contact with others. This also helps people practise social responsibility in caring for themselves while ensuring others do not get infected. And with proper advice from a professional, the patient would be better informed on the next steps to take.
3. Provides care for vulnerable patients
Individuals with chronic diseases are incredibly vulnerable, especially since they might be deemed as high-risk if exposed to the virus. Hence, the role of telemedicine during this pandemic is highly imperative. For this group of individuals, they are able to get routine care in the form of virtual check-ups from qualified doctors. Video “visits” allow physicians to not only keep their patients in check, but help them avoid unnecessary exposure to the virus.
4. Accessible to those infected with COVID-19
Despite the protective gear, those working in the frontline aren’t immune to getting infected with the virus. In fact, they face an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 as they have to continuously care for infected patients round the clock. For those who have been tested positive, they are then placed in quarantine with minimal contact from others.
As telehealth applications are widely available to those with a smartphone, doctors can have the option of seeing their patients through such platforms. While the patient gets the care and supervision it needs, a doctor gets to communicate with the patient safely.
The widespread usage of telemedicine is a step towards its acceptance. Such applications have proved beneficial to both patients and physicians, especially since it harbours hope amid this trying time. Even if it operates through an online platform, telemedicine seamlessly integrates both online and offline care.
SSIVIX Lab aims to make a difference with its healthcare app, MyCLNQ which offers a host of healthcare services for you, all through your smartphone screen. You can consult with online doctors, find nearby available clinics, chat with a clinic personnel and request for a private ambulance service conveniently in a single digital platform. This helps to meet the increasing need for telemedicine services and better access to meet healthcare needs.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 around the globe has impacted the way we receive and view healthcare. Measures were taken to minimise staff exposure to the virus and ill persons. Healthcare systems had to rethink the way they provide for patients through methods that don’t require an in-person visit. All this is done in an attempt to curb the virus from spreading even further.
Even though the concept of online doctors and telehealth apps aren’t entirely new, COVID-19 brought about a surge in its usage. It eased most patients’ access to healthcare, on top of promoting its use to offer minor, chronic, speciality care and more. Telehealth plays a vital role as the healthcare sector navigates its way through this uncertain time. Here are some reasons why.
1. Reduces the risk of virus transmission through virtual care
Consulting with a virtual doctor allow physicians to care for a more significant number of patients without the chances of being near someone who might carry the virus.
When patients come over for their appointment, they’ll have to make the trip down before situating themselves in the waiting area, which usually takes a while. Throughout this time, they’re continually being exposed to other people, which can be of significant risk in the transmission of the virus.
Shifting regular consultations to the digital landscape is a safer option for both health providers and patients.
2. Makes the most out of the workforce
Aside from minimising the risk of catching the virus, telehealth apps allow for maximised care for a wide range of patients. Whether it is to help monitor chronic health conditions or to screen patients who might show COVID-19 symptoms before referring them elsewhere, doctors can provide basic care to patients without being with them physically.
In fact, our MyCLNQ mobile app allows providers to meet with a broader audience. By helping users find and book an appointment at clinics around their area, we help providers to achieve geographic load balancing. Patients have the option to see a doctor virtually to seek treatment. And if the situation calls for it, they can book for a private ambulance service for the smooth transportation to and from hospitals – all through the app.
3. Able to minimise cancellation of appointments
When Circuit Breaker was first introduced, hospitals were scrambling to postpone out-patient appointments to after 4 April. Upon the extension to 1 June, the same process happened again.
Circuit Breaker brought about a series of tighter measures, and Singaporeans were advised to only leave their homes for essential purposes. However, this affected the healthcare sector’s stream of revenue since most appointments were delayed. But with telehealth apps, hospitals can operate in the ‘new normal’ through delivering care virtually. This way, the industry can reduce the rate of deferred appointments as providers continue treating patients through online medical consultations in Singapore.
Even during this unprecedented time, telehealth apps paved the way for the healthcare industry to thrive through many benefits, such as the three factors mentioned above. Not only will it enable physicians to continue treating patients, but it’ll also help maintain the stream of revenue for the healthcare sector.
During the Circuit Breaker period, most parents have been adapting to new routines in an attempt to keep their children entertained and occupied while working from home. After having the June holidays brought forward, preschoolers and primary school students found themselves returning to school – to an entirely new environment.
For example, assigned seating areas, the compulsory wearing of masks, and alternating between home-based learning and going to school. Of course, practicing good sanitary habits are just as crucial for your children to stay healthy and safe. But as parents, what can we do to ensure that our children remain happy and healthy?
Talk to your child about COVID-19
If you feel worried about how they are taking the pandemic, why not start with their understanding instead? Ask them questions on what they know and if they have any concerns. From there, you can correct any misconceptions they have or clarify their uncertainties. And if you don’t know the answer to any of their questions, be honest about it.
Throughout the pandemic, talk to them frequently about how they’re coping and feeling. At the same time, keep your child up to date about COVID-19 while encouraging them to ask you if they have any questions!
If you’re wondering how exactly to approach the conversation, here is a guide for you to follow! Feel free to edit it accordingly, based on your child’s understanding:
- Definition: COVID-19 is a virus that can make you sick. Those with COVID-19 can experience cough, fever and trouble breathing! For some kids, they might not show any apparent symptoms or only mild signs like a runny nose.
- Why it’s contagious: The germs from COVID-19 can remain on your hands. That’s why, if you touch your nose, ears or mouth with uncleaned hands, the bacteria can easily enter your body. Since the virus is so tiny to the naked eye, it’s essential for you always to wash your hands with soap or use a hand-sanitiser to disinfect and stay clean! And if an infected person standing very near you coughs or sneezes without a mask on, then that can also spread the virus.
- Precautions: There’s much news surrounding COVID-19, and that’s because it’s an entirely new virus that we’ve never seen before. Thus, this why there are so many experts around the world doing their best to learn about the virus for us to be safe! In Singapore, one example is how it is a must to keep our masks on all the time when we’re out in public unless we’re eating or exercising.
Stay alert for any signs of COVID-19 in your child
A quick look up at the Ministry of Health website can illustrate the common signs of COVID-19 in adults, but it’s also important to know how the virus looks like in children. Some of the most telling symptoms are:
- Dry cough
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Abdominal pain
Unlike most adults, a substantial number of children won’t develop pneumonia. Instead, their symptoms are similar to typical childhood viral illnesses! Sometimes, they might not even have any signs indicating the virus.
But if your child is feeling unwell and experiences any of the symptoms mentioned above, you can talk to a virtual doctor in Singapore for an online consultation through our mobile app: MyCLNQ. And depending on the doctor’s diagnosis, you can immediately call for a private ambulance that is accompanied with medically-trained escorts for a seamless transfer to a nearby hospital or clinic.
Help them feel like they’re in control
Teach your child that their actions have consequences, but they have the power to control it. Explain to them that something as simple as washing their hands regularly helps curb the spread of viruses to others. Of course, if you lead by example, then they’re more likely to follow!
Keep in contact with loved ones
Encourage your children to reach out to their loved ones through phone or video calls. You can engage in old-school ways with handwritten letters, also known as snail mail! This way, they can unleash their creativity by drawing and writing.
Be sensitive to their emotions
During this unprecedented time, many adults may experience higher levels of anxiety and stress. Without you noticing, your children might be facing battles of their own. Since not all children respond to stress the same way, you can look out for increased feelings of sadness or worry, unhealthy eating and sleeping habits and if they’re facing difficulty concentrating.
Alleviate their worries by talking to them. Let them know that you’re always ready with your listening ears. By doing so, you’re encouraging them to verbalise their emotions. During this process, it allows them to reflect on their experiences.
Encourage them to stay active
With more pockets of free time, do you feel more motivated to workout rather than staying sedentary at home? Invite your kids with you! There are many videos on YouTube with workouts and yoga exercises that are both family-friendly and kid-friendly. Check out “Big W” and “Cosmic Kids Yoga” on YouTube, as you and your child stretch into a healthier lifestyle! This can also help to raise mood levels.
There’s plenty to be done. As parents, we must come up with a flexible routine that we’re comfortable with to facilitate the learning process in our children. However, caring for yourself is just as important! The stress and anxiety of the current pandemic can take its toll on you. Be aware of your feelings and turn to your loved ones for a listening ear or speak with a medical professional.
Through the accessibility of telehealth services through MyCLNQ, there’s no need to go through the hassle of scheduling an appointment and waiting through endless queue numbers to speak to a doctor! Now, you can choose to consult a doctor online instead and reduce the risk of being in close physical proximity with others.
When the Circuit Breaker measure was first announced in Singapore, schools had to transition to home-based learning and most offices operated from home. Now that we’re in Phase 2, most non-essential businesses remain physically closed as work from home continues, while students abide by a different set of schooling arrangements.
Throughout this period, we’ve seen many trends from getting creative in the kitchen to taking regular walks outside the park. It seems like the new normal is granting us the luxury of time for us to dabble in new hobbies or do the things we’ve always wanted but never had the chance to.
You might have kickstarted your Circuit Breaker by coming up with a list of activities you want to accomplish. However, not everyone is in the position to use this period as a means to upgrade themselves. In contrast, you might have felt unproductive instead. Here’s why we think unproductivity is completely normal during this crisis.
1. Increased workload
Just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean that you automatically have pockets of free time on your hands. In fact, it can be the exact opposite. You might have struggled with adapting to work-from-home arrangements. With entertainment options and family members around you, it might feel counterproductive instead. And once you can finally go back to doing work after some interruptions, you’ll need to put in additional effort to settle in the right mood.
2. Worries about the virus
The COVID-19 pandemic took us by surprise. Even now, scientists, researchers and healthcare professionals are still trying their very best to find a cure or vaccination for the virus. As time goes by, the news outlets are continually reporting on new cases cropping up in Singapore. It’s inevitable to feel stressed out over something that could potentially harm us, yet we have no control over. In turn, it affects our focus and in turn, our productivity to get things done.
3. Productivity is not the same for everyone
With the prominent presence of social media in our lives, we can’t help but compare our progress to others. Meanwhile, we need to remind ourselves that the content we see on social media is mostly curated. Of course, people will be more likely to show their happiest, joyful moments rather than sad ones.
Beat the unproductive bug
Your feelings and experiences are valid. But at the same time, staying in a slump for a prolonged period isn’t healthy for your mental health as it can bring about feelings of anxiety and stress. Adding on, it can lead to decreased motivation when working on your tasks. So, if you want to get back on track, here are some tips.
- Evaluate existing unproductive habits
Over time, we might have picked up on certain unproductive habits without us realising. However, you are in control of what you feel and think! So, you must be aware of them and how they affect your day. For example, if you’re worrying too much about the remembering the simplest of things, write down your tasks, ideas and thoughts. You can use your brainpower to something more useful like solving problems to help you in your work.
- Engage in your hobbies
Often, we tend to forget to take breaks. And when we fall into a daily routine, it can lead to us feeling burnt out. To boost productivity, try engaging in your favourite activities for one to three hours during your rest days. It can help you to feel more energised and rejuvenated, so you can focus your energy doing your daily work task on working days.
- Talk to someone
Instead of bottling up all your feelings, it’s good to say them out loud so you can acknowledge and validate your emotions. Sometimes, you may also get a personal advice that may be helpful to your situation. However, if you feel uncomfortable to share your problems with someone in your life, reach out to a professional. They can provide a listening ear and guide you through the process of working out your feelings and how you can navigate the problem.
Feeling unproductive is a normal experience, but we shouldn’t take a long time to complete what we have to finish; otherwise, our tasks would end up snowballing. Instead, work on acknowledging your feelings before taking a break, and then getting back to your task!
If you’re feeling the stress and blues of working from home and staying indoors during this COVID-19 period, and are having a hard time managing it, there are telehealth services available for virtual consultations with a professional. Check out our MyCLNQ mobile app, available on Google Play store and the App Store, to help you consult a doctor online from the comfort of your own home. Without the trouble of waiting through long queue systems or traveling a distance to the clinic, you can talk to an online doctor conveniently through video, Tele or chat via your mobile phone.
Alternatively, you can also turn to these helplines to get the help you need for your emotional or psychological well-being during these stressful times.
National Care Hotline: 1800-202-6868
TOUCHline (Counselling): 1800 377 2252
Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222