We launched our instant call feature in Singapore one month agoThere's been a lot of interest and we've received many questions! The intention of this blog post is to answer some of the most common questions about telemedicine services and virtual care in Singapore that you've thrown our way.


***Access to healthcare is one of the most important issues facing the human race today. We are working hard to improve it, but we can't do it alone. Simply sharing this post using the social media buttons on the left-hand side will make a big difference. Together, we can make the world a healthier and happier place. Thank you for doing your part!***


"How to consult doctor?"
All you have to do is create a free account and then each time that you want to talk with a top Singapore doctor you just pay $20. You will then immediately connect with the doctor via a video call from your mobile phone, computer, or any web-enabled device. We've partnered with one of the most prominent healthcare groups in Singapore in order to ensure you always have access to the best doctors. The doctors will provide you with medical advice, and depending on your condition, they may also be able to write you a signed medical certificate (MC) to get you the time you need to rest and recover. Starting in January 2018 they'll also be able to issue you an online prescription that will result in the medication being delivered right to your door (sign up here to be notified when this option is introduced).
Doctor working with a tablet computer in his office.jpeg
 
"Diagnosis can do over video call?"
You can find a doctor wherever you are! Visiting a doctor in-person versus consulting one over telemedicine is usually not very different, for neither the patient nor the doctor. After all, the vast majority of diagnoses made by Singapore licensed physicians result solely from the consideration of the patient’s health history and their account of the symptoms they report during their consultation.
 
An experienced licensed doctor is typically quickly able to determine the severity of your condition just from speaking with you: whether that be in person or through a video consultation. 
 
An example of why physical in-person consultations are unnecessary as a first step in the treatment of common acute conditions is auscultation– listening to sounds made by organs (such as your lungs or heart) with a stethoscope. Although a common practice by doctors for suspected upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), it is only really important for patients with asthma. If a patient doesn’t have asthma, auscultation does not allow a doctor to come to any conclusions. It is also worth noting that doctors are not very accurate in their diagnoses based on auscultation, and are becoming less so.
 
With this in mind, it seems more reasonable to have your preliminary consultation at home, or wherever you are. If the online doctor thinks your condition warrants further investigation and care, they can then direct you to other services, as they would have done anyway had you consulted a GP in person. If you need help with knowing when to consult a doctor online, check this and this out.
 
"Is the medical certificate (MC) ‘legit’?"
Yes. It is the same as one from any GP clinic in Singapore. Doctors are only allowed to issue MCs when they believe the patient is sick. This is the law, as enforced by the Singapore Medical Council– applicable to all doctors whether they perform their consultation in-person or online.
 
Woman working overnight with tablet pc and sitting on bed.jpeg
 
"Medication how?"
Currently, when a patient is in need of medication, the doctors advise patients to purchase over the counter drugs at reputable retail pharmacies, such as Watsons or Guardian. Since the most common issues are acute self-limiting conditions (things that will get better by themselves without medicine), our users have been happy with the current arrangement. Obviously, medicine can help expedite your recovery process, but it is not always necessary or advised. That being said, we want your healthcare to be even better. In January 2018 we’ll be introducing prescription drug delivery to further improve quality and convenience of care. You won’t even have to leave your home to recover from a sickness. That seems to make a lot of sense...
 
How will the drug delivery work?
  1. The doctor writes you a prescription as a result of your consultation.
  2. You review the prescription and agree to additional costs of the medication and delivery fee.
  3. A courier delivers the prescription medication directly to your door within a few hours.
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"Chronic conditions how?"
There is a lot of technology being developed around the globe aimed at remotely managing chronic diseases. However, this technology is still in its infancy and its efficacy is still being questioned. Telemedicine technology for managing chronic conditions seems to mostly come in the form of wearable devices that will constantly monitor patients' vitals and other information pertaining to their specific disease. Preliminary results do suggest that these sorts of devices can be very helpful in generating positive health outcomes, but at the moment it still does not have the seal of approval from major health organizations. Hopefully this will change soon. 
 
What Are The Rules? written on a chalkboard.jpeg
 
"Legal in Singapore or not?"
Yes.
Compared to other countries, Singapore’s MOH has made great efforts to guide companies contributing to virtual care. The National Telemedicine Guidelines (NTG) is a detailed guide that helps service providers ensure the safety, quality, and propriety of their services. Due to the evolving needs of an aging population and as part of the government’s smart nation initiative, the MOH is adopting a supportive stance towards online consultation technologies.
 
Additionally, all doctors in Singapore must adhere to strict ethical and professional standards in order to be licensed by the Singapore Medical Council (SMC). The combination of these requirements prevents online consultation providers from offering services that do not comply with the standards set forth by the SMC.

"Where to start?"

All you have to have to do is click here, or the button below, to speak to a doctor online. Then there are 3 simple steps. You'll have signed up and seen a doctor in a matter of minutes. For more help with knowing when to see a doctor remotely, click here.

telemedicine services and telemedicine consultation

Please keep the conversation going! Thousands of Singaporeans have been sharing their opinions with us. The engagement on social media and in-person has been great so far, but we want to help you live even healthier lives. A big part of that is hearing your concerns. Through the comments section or our social media channels, tell us what would help you or what we can do better. Get your friends involved so they can do the same. Together we can make Singapore a healthier and happier place.


Consult A Doctor Now

We're trying to make healthcare more accessible and convenient for everyone. In some places, like Singapore, this means making your primary care experience much more convenient. In other places, such as rural India, this means helping people see doctors for the first time in their lives. We think this is important stuff. We're always looking for ideas that could help more people. If you have any cool ideas, we'd love to hear from you! And when you're sick and need a doctor, remember that RingMD is here for you, wherever you are. 

We're also focusing on increasing access to mental healthcare. If you're thinking "I need a therapist near me" but don't know where to start, try the RingMD therapist directory. We will help you find the right therapist for YOU!

Lastly, if you're a doctor or wellness expert considering offering virtual care services, here are some arguments to consider. Thousands of people a month, in Singapore alone, search for things like "doctors near me" or "gp near me", if you're looking to grow your practice this is a great way to do it.