Saturday, 11 July 2020

OCBC Bank launches healthcare app to provide access to large panel of telehealth doctors

OCBC Bank has partnered with seven medical groups to launch the HealthPass by OCBC mobile app, providing access to more than 100 general practitioners (GPs) and specialists to address the healthcare needs of all Singapore residents over the age of 18, including non-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. 

The consultation fee is kept flat at $14.36 (SGD 20) for each telehealth and in-clinic visit to a GP during normal operating hours. Patients pay a flat fee of $71.78 (SGD 100) for the first telehealth or in-clinic consultation with any of the 63 specialist doctors from 21 specialties, including gynaecology, paediatrics, cardiology, dermatology and oncology, which are among the top fields of specialist medicine Singaporeans often seek medical advice for. Medication and diagnostic procedures are charged separately based on current practices.

Singapore Medical Group, one of the partners for HealthPass by OCBC, estimates that there has been a 60% surge in specialist tele-consults since COVID-19 began. Apart from Singapore Medical Group, the other medical partners for HealthPass by OCBC are StarMed Specialist Centre, Thomson Medical, Faith Medical Group, OneCare Medical Group, Etern Medical and True Medical.

The flat consultation fees especially benefit individuals or families without existing private coverage for outpatient clinic visits and individuals with longer-term medical needs.   

HealthPass by OCBC integrates directly with the healthcare partner’s clinic management systems, and information is only accessible by users and their doctors, which provides personal data privacy and security. Patients can also access digital medical certificates (MC), 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 gives users access to more than 100 merchant offers for wellness products and services. Patients also do not need to make physical cash or card payments. Once a credit or debit card is added to the app, payments to clinics and the online store are processed digitally, and the app helps users to track all costs in one place.

Telehealth essential in stemming spread of COVID-19

As Singapore enters a safe re-opening phase from the recent ‘circuit breaker’ period, and with the Multi-Ministry Taskforce recommending that individuals continue to minimise physical medical visits whenever possible, convenient access to doctors through telehealth will help to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Consulting a doctor through telehealth safeguards individuals more susceptible to the effects of the virus, such as the elderly, those with underlying conditions and expecting mums, allowing them to seek timely medical help with relative safety.

It also helps doctors to 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 pre-book an appointment to visit a GP or specialist clinic. Visits by appointment enable clinics to better manage patient traffic, minimising waiting times and ensuring physical safe distancing is practiced. 

Pranav Seth, the head of digital and innovation at OCBC Bank, said, “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. 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. Notwithstanding that, in-clinic visits are still necessary for certain medical treatments. As a result, we will onboard more clinics and healthcare providers on the HealthPass by OCBC app to ensure at least one clinic in the proximity of everyone’s home and workplace,” Seth added.

A complete ecosystem with valued health and wellness partners

Singapore Medical Group (SMG)’s managing director Christina Low said, “At SMG, our core value has always been providing quality healthcare to our patients. This partnership uses technology to support a new model of care in the community, enhancing patient service and driving superior user experience. This solution connects the community to a vast pool of over 50 SMG and partner specialists as well as primary care physicians, through hassle-free online in-clinic appointment bookings and teleconsultations coupled with digital payments for seamless service.”

Low also said, “Aside from encouraging a stronger relationship between providers and patients, this engagement will also incite patient’s participation in their own health journey, and, ultimately, improve health outcomes. We have decided to partner with OCBC in this initiative as we are confident that they will be able to drive an accessible, affordable and patient-centric journey."

In addition to telehealth and in-clinic and services, HealthPass by OCBC also partnered with CXA to provide HealthPass users with access to more than 100 merchant offers through the app’s wellness store. 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.

Founder and CEO of CXA Group Rosaline Chow Koo said, “An OCBC and CXA partnership will be able to attract the best range of affordable health and wellness providers for the consumer base. As we continue to directly integrate with the clinics, tele-doctors, e-pharmacy and health screening providers, we can bring more value to the consumer by potentially reducing the cost of the healthcare value chain.”

HealthPass by OCBC is available for download on iOS or Android devices updated with the latest operating system software.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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