Video consultations (ViCON), where patients participate from the comfort of their homes are no longer uncommon. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in the use of digital technologies and virtual connections due to the social distancing norms. In today's fast and evolving digital world, digitalisation has brought about much convenience and become an integral part of all our lives.
ViCON for chronic conditions was first rolled out in SingHealth Polyclinics (SHP) in 2020, when the Circuit Breaker was announced by the government. It is mostly suitable for patients who are stable and do not require a physical examination. Fast forward to today, our ViCON services have expanded to include services offered by our Nurses and Allied Health Professionals, such as Medical Social Workers, Physiotherapists, Dietitians and Pharmacists, as well as other services such as Family Planning and General Medical Conditions.
ViCON is a viable option for patients who wish to receive timely care from home, providing the benefits of face-to-face interactions without the need for physical presence and save on travelling time between home and clinic. The service also allows patients who are unwell to rest at home and reduce contagion-transmission in the community, for example on public transport or in the clinic waiting areas. Beyond that, patients also enjoy other conveniences, including paying for their consultation online, and having their medicines delivered directly to their homes.
We spoke to more than 200 users of SingHealth Polyclinics' ViCON services, 95% of them found it more convenient than in-person consultations, and are satisfied with the overall service. A female ViCON patient, 52, shared, "It was not convenient for me to travel to the clinic as I was having diarrhoea, so I was glad that I could stay at home and consult the doctor. The whole experience was very convenient and effortless."
These benefits of ViCON have always been apparent, but they became crystal clear when the COVID-19 pandemic hit our shores. With the call to reduce unnecessary travel and work-from-home arrangements implemented, "seeing a doctor" from home to avoid risks of infection in a hospital or polyclinic quickly became popular.
With Healthier SG, SHP will continue to leverage ViCON services to bring added value and greater convenience to our patients. Read on to find out more about the different types of video consultation services available at SHP.
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