Long waiting time is a common and persistent pain point for healthcare institutions in Singapore, including neighbourhood clinics. So what if you can cut the queue and get the medical consultation you need in a shorter amount of time, 24/7?
Ever since MOH started the regulatory sandbox for telemedicine and mobile medicine, there has been a few start-ups that have emerged to fill the gap that could potentially resolve current healthcare challenges.
One of them is Speedoc.
Speedoc is a 24/7 house call service that one can use to seek medical consultation or treatment in the comfort of their home.
CEO and Founder of Speedoc, Dr Shravan Verma said:
“After working as a public hospital doctor for five years, I noticed a gap in the market for non-essential A&E visits, for minor cases such as coughs, colds and constipation. My team and I created Speedoc as a solution for patients to receive medical attention at any time of the day. Our goal is to be a health-tech company that helps shift advanced medical care ‘from the hospital to the home’, especially in light of Singapore’s ageing population, which may find it increasingly difficult to visit hospitals and clinics easily.”
To date, the start-up has done 671 consultations and saw 524 unique patients since they started their medical services in January this year.
Within the ten month period, its mobile app also received 3,490 downloads with 3,051 users.
Common illnesses that the doctors at Speedoc had seen include respiratory infections, gastroenteritis cases like food poisoning and stomach flu.
According to Speedoc’s latest data survey, the demographics of their patients range in age between nine months old and 107 years old. Amongst them, 54.5 per cent were adults, 36.7 per cent were elderly and 8 per cent were children.
Locals also made up the bulk of Speedoc’s patient load with only 29 per cent being expats and tourists, and the rest of the 9 per cent being certification of cause of death (CCOD)cases.
All request for medical consultations or treatments are booked through the Speedoc mobile application that’s available on the App Store and the Google Play Store, or its patient support line.
To request for a doctor, there are three key information that one needs to complete and that is to indicate the location of the patient, who is the patient, and the reason for the request.
Once these information is filled up, the app will reflect the consultation fee and the payment options, which include cash, credit/debit card and PayNow. One thing to note is that the consultation fee excludes the cost of medication to which Dr Verma shared that the price is normally lower than retail.
After the payment is confirmed, the user will see the doctor assigned for the case and the duration it takes for them to reach the location. Users can also use the chat function to communicate with the doctor while he/she is on the way to the patient.
The minimum consultation fee is $150 between 8am and 8pm, $200 between 8pm and 12am, and $250 between 12am to 8am. A $30 surcharge applies for house calls to locations in Jurong Island, Sentosa and Changi Airport.
Some of the features that the Speedoc app offers include:
- Geolocation technology – matching patients with doctors who are nearest to their location, which helps to reduce waiting time.
- Post-Visit Chat – patients can continue to chat with the doctors on their condition until the doctor discharged the patient.
- “Favourite” a doctor – patients can choose to bookmark or “favourite” the doctor they consulted with so that “the app will give higher priority to select the chosen doctor for subsequent requests.”
- End-to-End Encryption and Secure Cloud – to keep patient data and chats between the doctors and patients secure and safe.
Keeping up with the demands, Speedoc is looking to equip its mobile app with more features come 2019.
Dr Verma said:
“In the future, we want to make Speedoc into a medical super-app; besides being a platform for booking house calls, we are working to implement in-app follow ups, and have plans to open up a chat and video-call module by early 2019. For now, our main priority is to grow our customer base through hospital and insurance partnerships, and to prepare to scale up our business when more customers come on board, as we plan to grow by two or three times by the middle of next year.”