Healthcare apps: Healthcare on-the-go on mobile devices

Medical applications bridge the gap between patients and doctors, users and medical information, leading to their increasing prevalence and popularity. Davene Lye surveys the app stores for five most useful healthcare apps.

Mobile healthcare apps provide a range of medical services to patients on their mobile devices. Image source: MaNaDr.

Mobile healthcare apps provide a range of medical services to patients on their mobile devices. Image source: MaNaDr.

With a simple tap on a smartphone, one can now access a world of healthcare and wellbeing.

From e-booking systems to video consultations with doctors, basic healthcare has been made more accessible to patients – all thanks to the rise of mobile health (mhealth) technology.

To date, approximately 61% of people worldwide have downloaded an mHealth application, signalling the increasing use and prevalence of such applications.

Here are five mHealth applications used in Singapore which have been gaining popularity.

MaNaDr

MaNaDr is more a healthcare platform than just a mobile app.

The app fronts an entire healthcare ecosystem that connects patients, families, and friends to a trusted network of doctors and other healthcare providers.

MaNaDr - A mobile healthcare platform is owned by Mobile Health Pte Ltd (“Mobile Health”), a company set up by a group of Singapore doctors to harness the power of technology to make life-long, healthcare more affordable and accessible to all. Image source: MaNaDr.

MaNaDr – A mobile healthcare platform owned by Mobile Health Pte Ltd (“Mobile Health”), a company set up by a group of Singapore doctors to harness the power of technology to make life-long, healthcare more affordable and accessible to all. Image source: MaNaDr.

Features include making mobile appointments, Tele-Consults (both video call and text chat), and a real time smart newsfeed which provides timely alerts, information on disease outbreaks as well as patient education.

There is also a doctor’s discussion forum focusing on drugs and major diseases of interest, such as Diabetes and Osteoporosis.

Also included is ManaPharma, a service that offers bulk purchases to more than 50% of the GPs in Singapore, to date.

Doctor Anywhere

Doctor Anywhere provides virtual medical consultation for patients from the comfort of their homes.

It connects users with qualified doctors through video consultation.

Doctors can then provide advice on suitable treatments and prescribe medications to treat their patients’ symptoms.

Doctor Anywhere - Your virtual medical consultation. Image source: Doctor Anywhere.

Doctor Anywhere – Your virtual medical consultation. Image source: Doctor Anywhere.

Specialist referrals and electronic Medical Certificates can also be issued by doctors.

Other than treating common medical symptoms, the doctors listed under the app can also guide users on paediatric care and mental wellness.

Without the inconvenience of travelling to a clinic, and the hassle of queuing for long hours, patients can be assured of achieving adequate medical help for their symptoms.

Less mobile patients will also benefit from such an app, the alternative method of medical care, home visits, being often more expensive.

MyDoc

Founded by doctors, MyDoc targets mainly business and insurance companies, connecting employers and insurers with doctors through 24/7 online consultations.

MyDoc - Healthcare for corporations. Image source: MyDoc.

MyDoc – Healthcare for corporations. Image source: MyDoc.

This round-the-clock consultation with general practitioners lets users speedily address their health needs.

The company also conducts health screenings for small and medium-sized enterprises in Singapore.

Both test results and follow-ups with doctors can be viewed and arranged within the app.

By storing medical entries and diagnostics in the app, users can keep a personal health record, and share it with their healthcare practitioners.

Such records are especially useful for users to keep track of their medical history, and to monitor their health.

miHealthCare

Developed by Integrated Healthcare Information Systems (IHiS), miHealthCare gives useful information on public hospitals and polyclinics in Singapore.

Such information includes these institutions’ clinical services and admission procedures, making healthcare services and information more accessible to the public.

miHealthCare - Information resource on public hospitals & polyclinics in Singapore. Image source: miHealthcare.

miHealthCare – Information resource on public hospitals & polyclinics in Singapore. Image source: miHealthcare.

Patients can make strategic, time-saving decisions with the Queue Watch feature, which allows them to view queues at Polyclinics and some Specialist Outpatient Clinics.

One of its features, Mobile Appointment, enables patients to view, postpone, and cancel their appointments.

Hence, through collating vast and scattered pieces of health information and integrating it together with e-appointment features, miHealthCare not only allows users to access crucial healthcare services at the tip of their fingers, but also to conveniently manage their appointments.

RingMD

RingMD serves as a directory for licensed Singapore doctors, welfare experts, and therapists.

Patients can easily search for their desired practitioners through the app, and be connected with them through online sessions and consultations.

RingMD - Directory of licensed Singapore doctors and medical practitioners. Image source: RingMD.

RingMD – Directory of licensed Singapore doctors and medical practitioners. Image source: RingMD.

Consultation advice, medical notes and medical certificates will be sent directly to users. E-bookings can also be made directly through the app, making it more convenient for users.

Online therapy sessions are also available for those in search of mental well-being.

Accessibility and convenience are thus the two most appealing features of such a platform, which brings healthcare directly to patients whenever and wherever they need it.

Smart Healthcare for a Smart Nation

All in all, as Singapore aspires towards becoming a Smart Nation, the healthcare sector too will likely see a shift towards the creation of more mobile platforms to connect doctors to patients and service providers, such as the applications covered above.

While the functionalities of each application may differ, they all serve one common purpose – to create a more integrated, convenient and accessible healthcare system for all users.

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