Tele-Consultation: What and How Effective is it

Tele-Consultation: What and How Effective is it

(Article updated on 3rd October 2018)

We often have a mental image of a person walking into a clinic when someone says that they’re “visiting the doctor”. We’d imagine that the doctor will perform physical examination on the person, diagnose the illness, then prescribe medication if needed.

Now, try to picture the “visit” as a virtual one: a person heads to a website, enters a chat room, and starts chatting with a doctor. The doctor replies the texts with medical advice, and sends an attachment of a signed prescription for the medicine needed. Sounds futuristic, isn’t it?

Except that the future is actually now.

Malaysian Director General of Health, Datuk Dr Hisham commenting on Malaysian Healthcare Apps September 2018, “There is also the challenge of uberisation of healthcare where patients are linked to healthcare providers via a technology platform. This may range from a physical service to a complete online virtual healthcare services, even across the border. These require regulatory framework and practising guidelines to ensure patient safety, quality of care, confidentiality and accountability.”

You’ve probably heard of tele-consultation in its other names, such as tele-diagnostics or tele-medicine. The concept of getting medical advice and prescription from a doctor without being physically present in a clinic may still sound foreign for some Malaysians, but this method of obtaining diagnosis and medication is predicted to increase in popularity by the millions before we reach year 2020.

How is it done?

Image credit: Monash University

Tele-consultation is as simple as the example illustrated earlier. Go online, head to the website that provides online medical consultation, and chat with the doctor as you would in an actual clinic. In some cases, a video call could even be done so you’ll be talking to the doctor in person – minus the physical examination, of course. The doctor will then explain the illness to you, or provide advice on how to deal with it. You’ll be given a prescription, which you can use to obtain the proper medication from any pharmacy near you. Some platforms will even deliver it to your home or office.

In some cases when a physical examination is required due to the severity of the illness, or if certain symptoms need physical examination, an appointment can be fixed on the spot as well.

How effective is it?

Image credit: Healthcare Touch

A few studies have been conducted to find out if tele-consultation is as good as it sounds. One study tested its effectiveness in three different medical fields (cardiology, dermatology, and diabetology) and found that tele-consultation is rated as high as 95% in usefulness.

It has proved to be most useful in the field of cardiology as management of emergencies is much better than physical examinations. When it comes to dermatology, they’ve reported more accurate diagnosis as well.

With such high effectiveness in specialised fields like diabetology, it’s believed that tele-consultation will be proved even more useful when it comes to dealing with non-chronic illnesses, most of which will not require physical examinations.

What are the benefits?

Image credit: Astia Health

No more numbers and queues! That’s one of the major benefits of tele-consultation. As a patient, you’ll save lots of time as you’ll have direct access to doctors almost immediately. This is great news for patients with disabilities, or those who live in rural areas. As long as there’s a solid internet connection, you’ll be able to get medical attention really soon.

It also saves you a lot of money by reducing the unnecessary visits to the emergency rooms. Sometimes, people get admitted for mild symptoms that can be easily controlled by themselves without the need for medication. However, the emergency attention and consultation given often result in a hefty bill. Through tele-consultation, patients can have their symptoms checked immediately at a minimal cost without incurring travel expenses unnecessarily.

Of course, tele-consultation is not meant to totally eliminate physical examinations. Physical care and consultation is still required for chronic illnesses, or for symptoms that require face-to-face examinations. Tele-consultation exists with the aim to provide more people with the proper healthcare that they need. Real time care can be given to more patients – online and offline – as waiting rooms have shorter queues for emergency cases, and outpatient cases can be settled without the need for people to go through the hassle of traffic and queues.

As such, with an effective solution for tele-consultation, patients who tend to forget/miss their regular checkup and appointment can be reminded through this system and soon our healthcare sector will move towards preventive health services instead of treating a disease.

Reference: Malay Mail

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Is There a (Virtual) Doctor in the House?

Is There a (Virtual) Doctor in the House?

Thank you Smart Investor for the write up about Teleme! Read about Teleme’s services, the people behind Teleme, areas of medical specialty and what lies in the future for Teleme on Smart Investor.

Stop looking for parking spot in busy hospitals or clinics and skip the long waits at the doctor’s office and see what Teleme can do for you!

Download the full article below in PDF following the link below.

Smart Investor – 64-65•SI Apl18

 

Download Teleme’s mobile app to consult a health practitioner online at your own comfort and save your time from those long waits in clinics/hospitals!

 

Teleme’s #ThankYouMom Campaign

Teleme’s #ThankYouMom Campaign

 Terms and Conditions of Teleme’s #ThankYouMom Contest (“Contest”):-
1) Contest is organized by Teleme Technologies Sdn Bhd (“Organizer”) in conjunction with Mother’s Day.

2) This Contest is open to all users online residing in Malaysia only (“Participants”).

3) By participating in this Contest, Participants will be deemed to have read, understood and expressly agreed to be bounded by the Terms & Conditions of this Contest as stated herein and any additional terms and conditions stipulated by the Organizer (as may be applicable) including the decisions of the Organizer in all matters related thereto.

4) Puras Essential Oils, Pure Touch Clinic Bangsar South, Enigma Malaysia and Cratze Art are only the sponsors for the prizes and not part of the Organizer.

5) This Contest starts on 16th April, 2018 and ends on 6th May, 2018 (“Contest Period”). The announcement of the winners (“Winner Announcement”) will be on the 7th May, 2018 on Teleme Malaysia’s Facebook page. The Organizer reserves the right to amend or extend the duration of the Contest Period and the Winner Announcement at any time as it deems fit.

6) To qualify and participate in this Contest, Participants must do the following Contest Requirements as stipulated above.

7) The Contest Grand Prize consists of the following:-

  • Puras Essential Oil Set worth RM707 (Frankincense, Clary Sage, Geranium, Peppermint & Lavender)
  • Beauty/Aesthetics Cash Voucher worth RM500 (For listed services provided by Pure Touch Clinic Bangsar South)
 8) The Contest Consolation Prize consists of the following:-
  • Beauty/Aesthetics Cash Voucher worth RM300 (For listed services provided by Pure Touch Clinic Bangsar South)
  • Puras Essential Oil Set worth RM166 (Peppermint & Lavender)
  • ENIGMA Nail Art Cash Voucher worth RM100 (For manicure services provided by Enigma Malaysia)
  • ENIGMA Salon Cash Voucher worth RM100 (For hairdo services provided by Enigma Malaysia)
  • Art Jamming Cash Voucher worth RM100 (For art jamming session provided by Cratze Art)

9) The Organizer’s decisions in relation to all aspects of the Contest are final, binding and conclusive under any circumstances and no correspondence nor appeal will be entertained.

 

 

10) Only Participants who comply with these terms and conditions shall be eligible to join the Contest. Participants who failed to fulfill these terms and conditions will automatically be disqualified from the Contest without notice.
11) The Organizer reserves the right to substitute and/or replace the Contest from time to time without any prior notice to the Participants.

12) Participants may be contacted, at any time deemed appropriate by the Organizer, via email or any other mode of communication deemed appropriate.

13) The prize and vouchers are not exchangeable and/or transferable, and cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash.
11 Things You Can Relate To If You Google Your Symptoms

11 Things You Can Relate To If You Google Your Symptoms

Image credit: The Purple Fig

 

Admit it, we’ve all Google-d something like “runny nose greenish mucus” at least once before to find out what’s wrong with our bodies. Some people want to ascertain the seriousness of their ailment before deciding whether or not to visit the doctor; others just prefer to self-diagnose and head straight to the pharmacy to save on the consultation fee.

If you’re one of those who like to consult Dr. Google about your symptoms, you’ll most probably be able to relate to these:

 

1. You don’t know where to start reading

 

There’s just too many links with the keywords you searched for.

 

2. Information Overload

Too. Much. Information. To. Digest.

 

 

3. When Google tells you that you most probably have a type of chronic illness

4. You go into denial

NO. NAH AH. NOPE.

 

 

5.You start reading up more links to prove the previous one wrong

There must be an exception.

6. You start getting more confused

 

 

 

7. Feeling scared

Because… what if?

 

 

 

8. Or feeling sad

9. You kinda give up searching after a while

10. You just want to lie in bed and not move

11. Then you find out from an actual doctor that it’s just a cold

But that day Google said… ok nevermind, as long as you’re fine.

As much as we would like to see Google as the keeper of all knowledge, not all of the information you find there are accurate or true. Googling your symptoms will only cause unnecessary stress as it sometimes assumes the worst and you’ll be in doubt over what to do. Always check with a doctor about your symptoms – they’re more reliable and you can have your queries addressed then and there.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Why Google your symptoms when you can speak to a specialist anytime, anywhere? Teleme is a platform which offers video call or chat messenger to users to get online consultation from certified doctors. Message a doctor here to ask about the ailment you’re experiencing, and they’ll reply you as soon as they can!

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I underwent Lasik surgery in Malaysia and I was able to attend follow-up consultations because I currently live in New Zealand. However, upon returning to New Zealand, I managed to consult my doctor through TeleMe’s online video consultation platform and it went smoothly. I highly recommend TeleMe’s service to everyone !

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Patient, From New Zealand

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TeleMe is an excellent concept with good service! It saved me a lot of time, as I did not have to wait in the hospital to see a specialist. Thumbs up!

Reanne Ng

Banker, 26 Years Old

This Healthcare Startup Will Make Your Life More Convenient

This Healthcare Startup Will Make Your Life More Convenient

You’ve been hearing it all over the news, on Facebook, Twitter and the likes… startups are sprouting like mushrooms all around the region. It seems that the world of innovation isn’t about to hit the brakes anytime soon, and the healthcare industry is quickly following suit.

I got to give credit where credit is due though. Thanks to entrepreneurs that strive to ‘make the world a better place’, our day-to-day lives are perpetually made more convenient. Remember back in the day, when you would have to walk down the street in the sweltering heat to hail a cab. Who in the world would have thought, one day you’d be able to order a personal chauffeur via mobile?

Well, two individuals did, and they stemmed up enough courage to take the plunge! Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick turned the idea into a reality, which was a stepping stone towards revolutionising the traditional cab-hailing system. And today, we have Uber (and of course the Asian counterpart, Grab). But what I’d like to highlight is this… people like you and I gave the bizarre idea a chance. I mean come on, the thought of hopping into a stranger’s car would have seemed extremely daunting back then, and yet, you gave it a shot.

It comes as no surprise that the healthcare industry is intent on following suit, to use technology to significantly evolve and improve the delivery of care. To put simply, Telemedicine is the usage of communication technologies and digital information such as your computer, tablets and mobile devices to manage your health and well-being.

Here comes the introduction, TeleMe is a healthcare startup that utilises technology to connect you to doctors and pharmacists. Think – you can now talk to a doctor online and have your medication delivered to you. Convenience at it’s best.

HOW DOES TELEME MAKE YOUR LIFE MORE CONVENIENT?

1) Unsure of which doctor to consult? No problem, let us connect you to the most suitable one within minutes!

When you wake up in the morning feeling absolutely under the weather, and it is impossible to get to work… you take the day off to rest, right? But no, instead of resting, you’ve got to get up and drag your feet to the doctor’s to get yourself diagnosed for an MC.

Don’t you hate it when that happens? But this is where TeleMe comes to play.

  • Get onto www.teleme.co
  • Type out your symptoms and click on ‘Talk To A Doctor’
  • We will connect you to the most suitable doctor in minutes!

Note: I know this begs the question in many of your minds, ‘how can a doctor diagnose me without physically touching me?’ Technology constantly breaks traditional barriers, and I am convinced very soon, technology that enables remote body checkups/scans will be employed. But until then, home thermometers and basic healthcare kits can assist your doctor with more accurate diagnosis, in relation to your usual cold, flu and fever symptoms.

2) Don’t want to wait for hours in the hospital? Problem solved – book an online consultation with a doctor!

  • Pre-Consultation
    Something feels off somewhere, but you aren’t sure. It’s that buzzing headache you’ve been experiencing for days, a lower back pain that doesn’t seem to go away, perpetual bouts of indigestion and acid reflux, or a recurring sore throat that keeps getting worse. Many a times, symptoms like these show and you worry a little, but at the same time, feel it isn’t serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital. So, you just put it on the back-burner. Here’s the problem – that little discomfort you’ve been feeling could be a sign of an underlying issue, and sometimes, ignorance is not bliss. With TeleMe, you can book an appointment and engage in a teleconsultation with a doctor/health practitioner to discuss what you’re going through and discover available options to move forward (for a much cheaper price than that at the hospital). What’s great about this is, you’ll be able to gain peace of mind, move in the right direction and save yourself a trip to the hospital. You know what they say, better safe than sorry.
  • Post-consultation
    I have a back problem (even at my young and tender age… hah, who am I kidding) and I used to have to go to the hospital every once a month for follow-up, refill of medication or to collect test results. It was a pain, if you ask me. Taking a day off just to commute to and fro the hospital (don’t let me get started on traffic), wait for hours even though I’ve made an appointment with the specialist… and then to only have a brief 5-minute consultation. Say what? But now, if I have to see my doctor 10 times in the span of 10 months, I get to do 5 consultations online. How wonderful is that! TeleMe does not substitute traditional doctor’s consultation, but what it does is complement the system – to make it more convenient for people like you and I whenever possible.

3) Ran out of medication and in need of a refill? But too lazy to drive all the way to the hospital for another appointment with the doctor?

There are days when you wake up and realise you’ve ran out of prescription medicine. And the only way to get a refill is to make your way to the hospital, wait to see a doctor to get another round of prescription.

How about getting yourself a prescription on-demand. How does it work? Just get on TeleMe and request for a refill for an existing prescription. You can snap a picture of your medication and upload it to our system and voila! It’s really that simple. Alternatively, if your doctor has issued you a prescription, you can order your medication on TeleMe.

You can either choose to have your medication delivered to you or pick it up from your nearest selected pharmacy.

4) Too lazy to run to the pharmacy to buy your essentials?

Now, you can do it online. Buy your cough syrup, anti-dandruff shampoo or health supplements from www.shop.teleme.co, and we’ll have ’em delivered to you! What’s even better – you won’t need to pay a penny for delivery, because it’s on us – for a limited time period!

 

On our online store, we have curated a selection of the most effective products and off-the-counter medication for a variety of categories. For example if you’re down with a cough and sore throat, just click on that category and there you have it – medication that will make you feel better instantaneously!

5) Are you googling for answers to your health related questions? How about asking a health practitioner for free?

When we feel unwell, most of us would turn to Google for answers.

Here’s the problem with googling health symptoms, anyone can publish content online, therefore, when you google for answers, the search engine does its best to pair results that match the search term used, without factoring credence and crediblity. Your answers can come from a variety of sources from reputable medical sites to Wikipedia articles and open forums. Some of these information maybe entirely inaccurate.

On top of that, googling health symptoms can cause anxiety. I don’t know how many of you can relate to this, but I sure can. Results that relate to a form of cancer or suggest surgery would usually be the case, and it can potentially paralyse you with fear and serious anxiety – especially true for people who are already afraid of health problems. This phenomenon is so common, it has a name – cyberchondria.

Cyberchondriacs turn to the web for comfort about their health issues, instead of certified health practitioners. Because the internet provides information covering the least to most severe cases of medical conditions, it becomes very easy for us to feel paranoid – convincing ourselves that the situation is far worse than it actually is.

So, why ask a stranger (in the form of Google) for answers when you can ask a panel of qualified doctors and get an accurate and credible answer within minutes for free on www.teleme.co?

6) Join the online healthcare community!

Think of it as the health version of the Facebook community. Here you can send a doctor a favourite request (just like sending a friend request on FB), ask questions, receive expert advice and find solutions from health practitioners and peers within the community. Feel comfortable talking about health issues you or your family are facing, and find solutions from experts and peers within the community.

 

JOIN THE FAST-GROWING HEALTHCARE COMMUNITY FOR FREE!

teleme-doctor-online

Sign up on www.teleme.co and voila! Be part of the new normal as we move forward in redefining the delivery of healthcare in Malaysia. Invest in you and your family’s future and join our community at www.teleme.co.

Download Teleme’s mobile app below

 

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