One of the worst things when you're ill is having to go to the doctor's.
You're feverish, sweaty and hacking up half your lungs, yet you still have to drag your sorry self to the clinic, where you're probably going to be infected with other viruses.
But what if you could get your checkup right from home?
This Singapore startup can offer you that very experience.
MYDOC FOR E-CHECKUPS
Founded by Dr .Snehal Patel and Dr. Vas Metupalle, MyDoc uses telehealth to "connect patients and medical providers" on a digital platform.
MyDoc's most active users are patients with chronic illnesses or those who require post-health screenings.
So far, the platform is capable of facilitating checkups and prescribing online MCs. As for meds, their ePrescription service allows patients to pick them up at local pharmacies, the main pharmacy partner being Guardian.
"Telehealth is perfect for managing up to 75 per cent of all clinic visits," says Dr. Patel. "Most patients can provide sufficient information via a video consultation."
But they do not intend to replace clinic, he clarifies.
"There is still a need to draw blood, do tests [and] in the case of emergencies, we recommend visiting a clinic or hospital."
"However, we know telehealth can work well through caregivers, to help provide care to high-risk elderly patients."
"The cost of elderly care is expected to rise to S$66 billion by 2030. Much of these are due to frequent doctor and clinic visits, and can be alleviated with telemedicine."
The platform is synced to laboratories, so reports and scans can be sent out doctors quickly. This reduces the waiting time and solves the problem of physical deliveries.
Meanwhile, the founders also see MyDoc as a potential career option for doctors.
"We match supply and demand so doctors can control their own schedule and patients. This allows doctors on MyDoc can maximise their time to provide high-quality care to as many patients as possible."
ADDRESSING MC ABUSE?
MyDoc does not impose quotas on MCs given out, but doctors reserve the right to not issue MCs.
Meanwhile, patient information is automatically sent to the company's HR. From there, companies can make their own decisions on MC abuse.
The online MC system is designed to help corporates, not individuals, so as to prevent service abuse. Currently, "we're focused on the corporate aspects," says Dr. Patel.
"But we will explore rolling out public services if there is ever a need."
Despite the controls, it still seems like there is space for abuse, especially if the company is not particularly strict on MCs.
As 'patients' do not need to visit the clinic, it might seem like an easy way out of a day's work.
I'm willing to bet all of us have tried to chao keng our way out of work sometime in the past, myself included. Would an online platform make it more attractive for you to try it?
After all, it might be easier to lie across the screen than face-to-face.
While we do not discount the possibility of abuse, we think the pros still outweigh the cons, especially for people who really need it.
MORE THAN THE FLU
MyDoc has already partnered with Guardian to form The Guardian Community Health service, a space where parents could get advice for children, and they do not intend to stop there.
"We see this as a growing partnership," Dr Patel shares. "There are many additional services and features we're looking to introduce."
"Besides Guardian, we're looking to bring on new partners to covers areas such as fitness, sports recovery, nutrition etc."
"This is part of our initiative to introduce digital health services to a wider audience and to help improve the overall industry.
If you'd like to experience a video consultation with your doctor, here's the MyDoc website.