In the last few years, we have all heard of the massive hit that’s been played out by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on our world and the lives of individuals. In 2020 alone, the number of cases reached over 3 million globally. One of the regions hardest hit was Singapore, which saw around 75,000 cases and over 2,500 deaths.
In response to the pandemic, Singapore introduced a number of lift some initiatives, such as the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme, the Saving Granny Suits scheme, the Mandated Retirement scheme, and the Cash Paycheck scheme.
These and other initiatives helped to cushion the blow to Singaporeans’ finances during a time when many businesses were forced to close their doors due to precautionary measures.
The global health and biomedicine industries have been thoroughly transformed by the online health sphere, which boasts an extensive and rapidly expanding library of online courses, e-learning programs, and podcasts.
As people around the world seek answers to their health questions and seek better ways to stay fit and healthy, online learning and wellness platforms have risen to meet the need.
One of the industry leaders in the field is iHis, a premier online learning platform in the health and biomedicine industries that was launched in 2011 and is headquartered in Singapore.
The company offers a diverse selection of online health and wellness programs that cover everything from basic science to clinical practice, as well as the specialized terminology that is associated with each field.
Singapore is a city-state in Southeast Asia, famous for its beaches, pristine environment, and wealth. Established in 1965, the country has gone through rapid economic development, resulting in average income levels that are among the highest in the world.
Furthermore, with a very high level of English education, it is one of the most competitive countries when it comes to attracting international students.
As a result of its highly educated populace and emerging status as a hub for healthcare research, medical tourism, and pharmaceuticals, it is not surprising that many major corporates base their Asia headquarters in Singapore.
The iHis campus, for example, houses the prestigious International Health School (IHS), in addition to several international and local medical and health-related organizations. In other words, it is the perfect environment for a business that caters to the health and biomedicine industries.
Businesses Adapt And Thrive
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore’s technology scene continued to flourish. In fact, the 2020 edition of the International Health Technology (IHiT) Awards saw over 60 nominations, with a total of 14 awards given out, most notably the Innovation in Health Technology (IHiT) Prize, and the IHiS Healthcare Leader of the Year Award.
One of the businesses which benefited the most from the pandemic closures was IHiS, a leading provider of managed healthcare services in Singapore.
Pandemics And Managed Healthcare
Singapore is not the only country to have experienced a pandemic, and it’s not the only country to have adopted a managed healthcare approach. According to global healthcare strategist Ana Langer and her team at the Institute of Medicine (IOM),
“A pandemic is just one of the many potential threats to healthcare which a managed healthcare approach can address.”
Singapore implemented a number of liftsome initiatives which helped to cushion the blow to its finances. They also implemented a number of corporate-level measures, including bonuses and paid leave. As a result of these measures, employee engagement (particularly amongst senior management) surged.
According to a survey conducted by Red Ventures, 89% of respondents said they would recommend healthcare organizations implement a managed healthcare approach in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why A Focused Approach To Digital Healthcare?
Singapore’s approach to healthcare is highly regarded, and in 2020, for the first time in the country’s history, life expectancy actually increased by two years.
This is largely thanks to the Singaporean government’s focus on digital healthcare. In fact, Healthcare Improvement Scheme (HIS), Singapore’s healthcare scheme, is implemented entirely online and covers over 300,000 Singaporeans.
To ensure consistency of care and quality of information, the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) mandates that all healthcare organizations use the same eHealth software, the My Health app in its entirety.
This includes medical records, hospital visits, medications, and immunizations. In addition, e-consultation, an emerging healthcare model where physicians offer remote patient consultations, is also widely used in public healthcare facilities in Singapore.
A Focused Healthtech Approach
In times of emergency (as we have now), healthcare and healthtech firms must adapt, innovate, and provide services that help to save lives and alleviate suffering.
While the COVID-19 pandemic showed that traditional healthcare models are no longer sufficient, we must not lose sight of the fact that healthcare is still largely delivered face to face, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications and DIY treatments are commonly used.
Healthtech firms, such as IHiS, have a key role to play in the healthcare of the future, particularly in areas such as telehealth, mHealth, and e-consultation.
Digital Healthcare Delivery Models
As a leading healthcare technology firm, IHiS specializes in telehealth, mHealth, and e-consultation. Here are some of the digital healthcare delivery models which IHiS utilizes, or considers when developing and applying for new projects:
Telehealth, the use of remote healthcare services, has rapidly gained popularity in recent years, with almost every major healthcare organization in the world embracing (or considering) the idea.
According to PwC International, by 2025, there will be more than 20 million patients using telehealth globally, and the number of patients accessing medical services over the phone will account for 17% of total outpatient visits.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth gained a lot of popularity, with 84% of respondents in a Red Ventures survey saying they would recommend their healthcare organization invest in telehealth services in the wake of the pandemic.
IHiS specializes in the development and application of telehealth solutions, with the company producing over 400 products, including virtual health camps, secure messaging platforms, and mobile health apps. The firm also provides consulting services, tailored training, and 24/7 support for healthcare providers seeking to improve their telehealth capabilities.
Mobile Health (mHealth)
mHealth, the use of mobile devices (e.g. cell phones, tablets, and smartwatches) for healthcare, grew as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to IDC Research, the mobile health market is anticipated to grow globally from 2020 to 2025, reaching a value of around US$16.9 billion, with Asia-Pacific accounting for almost half of that value (US$7.8 billion).
The mobile health market is predominantly driven by the growing population of the elderly globally, as well as the growing preference for digital health. This and other demographics have a greater need for remote healthcare, due to difficulty breathing (particularly in winter), poor eyesight, and lack of access to healthcare services.
IHiS is a global leader in the development and marketing of mHealth solutions, with the company being part of the MAPI (Ministry of Public Health Product) initiative, which helps to make over 20,000 healthcare applications globally per day.
E-consultation, the remote medical consultation via online tools (e.g. web conferencing platforms, video consultations, and e-mail-based doctor visits), is also widely used in public healthcare facilities in Singapore.
This article was intended to give you a thorough introduction to IHiS, a company that is transforming the world of online learning in the healthcare and biomedicine industries. Furthermore, as a key player in these industries, it is important to understand the difference between technology-enabled solutions and how cloud-based platform plays in the field.