Digitisation of medication data. In the Philippines, handwritten paper logbooks of patients’ medical data have long been a problem in the health industry. Pharmacists waste significant time filling in logbooks manually while it is almost impossible for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to monitor reports from active pharmacies spreading all over the country. Tapping into this potential, a start-up company called mClinica created a mobile app that digitises prescriptions and keeps track of patients’ medication data. It offers a win-win solution for everyone: patients who use the app will receive discount on their medicines, drug companies can monitor their sales and devise programs to boost their sales, and – most importantly – the app generates new insights that may save lives. This helps the government to better understand and address public health problems. As a result, mClinica won the 2016 Pierre Fabre Prize for e-health innovation, and was adopted as a part of modernisation strategy of the Philippines’ FDA in late 2017.
More systemised preventative care. People nowadays are more aware about how lifestyle may affect their health, and start-ups are racing to offer different health apps to cater for this growing demand. One example is Cardiatrics, a Singaporean-based digital platform, that helps people to design a lifestyle plan, mitigating their risks of chronic illnesses, such as heart conditions and diabetes. Founded by a team of cardiologists, dieticians, exercise specialists, and psychologists, Cardiatrics offers comprehensive services from risk assessment to personalised preventive treatment. In addition to preventive care, the app also links patients to their doctors, so the doctors can provide feedback and effective monitoring post clinical medication. This helps to ensure that patients adopt healthy lifestyles to maintain their conditions. Cardiatrics now play an integral role in Singaporean medical treatment, as doctors may prescribe the use of the app alongside medication.
An integrated and accessible health platform. In a busy city like Jakarta, people are not really keen (and do not have time) to wait for a doctor’s appointment. In other cities in the country, people may lack access to doctors or hospitals due to underdeveloped infrastructure. The consequence of both situations is that Indonesians cannot access health information effectively and efficiently. MeetDoctor was created in 2011 to address this challenge. It connects patients with doctors from all over Indonesia, and features online consultations, medical information, and health services directory. The online consultation is free and open to all MeetDoctor users, and all questions are answered by verified doctors. The doctors also review articles published on the site. Meanwhile, the directory will help patients to find nearby doctors and health facilities. Named as one of the finalists for Asia’s Top 50 Apps in the 2011 SingTel Innovation Exchange, MeetDoctor reportedly has gained US$100,000 seed funding that will be used to develop a virtual chatroom for online private consultation and add a booking feature – very potentially making it the Indonesian version of the US-based ZocDoc.
Image credit: Vermont Technology.