Telemedicine refers to the practice of caring for patients remotely through the use of technology. As a subset of Telehealth, Telemedicine has seen strong continuous uptake since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, as consumer perception changed and more patients feel comfortable seeking out medical services and attending clinical consultations virtually. It is no surprise how quickly it has transitioned from a “good-to-have” to a necessity.  

Telemedicine Reduces Risk and Exposure to Infection 

With social distancing and patient safety becoming primary concerns during the pandemic, Telemedicine provides access to a safe interactive system that can be used to triage patients and determine the urgency of care. In addition, Telemedicine also offers convenience to those who may require regular follow-ups with their doctors without having to attend in-person. This is especially ideal to meet the growing needs of the elderly population.  

We spoke to one such clinic who has adopted Telemedicine since May 2021 and their thoughts on it.  

“Some of the key advantages to Telemedicine is the ability to better assess our patients as we get to know their living environment. It also helps to reduce the spread of infectious diseases as they don’t have to go to contagious places like hospitals to seek medical treatment,” shared Dr Teo Wee Sim, Residential Doctor at Princeton Medical Pte Ltd. 

Dr Teo Wee Sim, Residential Doctor at Princeton Medical Pte Ltd

Limitations to Telemedicine 

While such digital solutions offer convenience and reduced risk exposure, it does have its limitations. Certain medical diagnosis cannot be done virtually and require in-person consultations.  

“We try our best to help by asking multiple questions to really understand the medical prognosis. However, if we feel the patient requires urgent or further medical care, we do advise them to visit the hospital or the Accidents & Emergency (A&E). We also believe that there are some patients who would prefer to wait out for their condition to worsen before seeking medical assistance. With Telemedicine, we are able to intervene early, before their conditions deteriorate,” added Dr Teo.  

The clinic has seen a 35% increase in productivity since they adopted Telemedicine and is able to increase the clinic’s capacity to attend to more patients. Telemedicine has also facilitated consultations where clinics may be understaffed due to current deployments to vaccination centres.  

Tap on Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) 

The team at SME Centre @ SMCCI is spearheading digital adoption amongst the healthcare industry to ensure sustainable growth of clinics in the long run. Our Group-based Upgrading Project (GBU), supported by Enterprise Singapore, aims to help clinics deliver remote continuity of care while mitigating risks to COVID-19 exposure.  

“With the support of the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG), eligible clinics can receive up to 80% funding. This funding support is valid up until 11th October 2021, so we do urge clinics to reach out to us and we will guide them through the entire application process,” shared Yiting, Senior Business Advisor at SME Centre @ SMCCI.  

Learn how you can receive up to 80% funding on a Telemedicine solution to ensure your clinic’s sustainable growth.