Get the doc on the phone: Medshield uses tech to enable healthcare for all

SPONSORED | Through telemedicine innovations such as SmartCare, @MedshieldSA is proving that technology can make healthcare more widely accessible, affordable and convenient.

2021-12-01 11:15:00 AM

SPONSORED | Through telemedicine innovations such as SmartCare, MedshieldSA is proving that technology can make healthcare more widely accessible, affordable and convenient.

SPONSORED | Through telemedicine innovations such as SmartCare, the Medical Scheme is proving that technology can make healthcare more widely accessible, affordable and convenient

A nurse conducts the physical exam and will contact a GP if required through the use of VideoMed technology.A pharmacy with SmartCare-enabled facilities then becomes a convenient one-stop shop: once members have seen a nurse or doctor, they hand in their scripts and immediately receive their medication, all in about 45 minutes.

Furthermore, by providing an unlimited number of nurse consultations for all its members, across all its plans, Medshield has helped reduce the number of emergency-room visits to hospitals, including over weekends.Qualified nurses have undertaken roughly 58% of general examination consultations, meaning patients are adequately treated. These consultation included prophylactic preventive measures, contraceptive management and the self-management of over-the-counter medicine.

GPs have conducted the other 42% of consultations, usually when members need treatment for acute upper respiratory infections or some sort of essential primary hypertension.Overall, six out of 10 people were therefore adequately helped by a nurse.Why is the SmartCare solution so innovative? SA has roughly five doctors for every 100,000 people. We have to balance our resources to give patients easy access to healthcare professionals. There is an even smaller number of specialists, so we must optimise the healthcare value chain accordingly. headtopics.com

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Medshield has continued to make the most of telemedicine in different ways.In 2020, it offeredWhatsApp Docas a free medical advisory service. If members were not sure whether they had to test for Covid-19, they could use the WhatsApp line to consult a doctor on symptoms, self-isolation, PCR tests and so forth.

More than 43% of the WhatsApp Doc consultations were about Covid-19 advice; only 7% were not related to Covid-19.In 2021, Medshield took things a step further by launching Virtual Family Practitioner Consultations: members simplyand can then see a GPfrom wherever they are via their smartphone, tablet or computer.

The consultation does not require any travelling time or loss of work hours, and members can still access quality care and treatment. More citizens still need accessSA has a world-class private healthcare system on a par with some developed countries. We have quick access to doctors and specialists, some of the best health policies and the latest technology.

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However, the country has been slow to fully embrace 4IR in healthcare, which has already become an integral part of several global healthcare systems. Only 9-million South Africans have access to private healthcare at present. We need to expand that to more people. headtopics.com

Technology can democratise private healthcare, making it more widely accessible and affordableThoneshan Naidoo, principal officer of Medshield Medical SchemeThe challenges include travel costs, loss of income due to lost work hours, language barriers, gaps in the quality of care, or a lack of access to the latest technology in rural areas.

However, this is also where the opportunities are. Technology can democratise private healthcare, making it more widely accessible and affordable.SmartCare is proof that technology can lower the barriers to high-quality private healthcare and save people precious time.

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The pool is still vast — SA has about 60-million smartphone subscriptions; wearable technology is continuously evolving; and broadband spectrum has been increased.While digital healthcare is not a substitute for a physical consultation, it is complementary enhancement and, ultimately, a win-win situation for all stakeholders.

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MedshieldSA For all 'members'.

Get the doc on the phone: Medshield uses tech to enable healthcare for allSPONSORED | Through telemedicine innovations such as SmartCare, the Medical Scheme is proving that technology can make healthcare more widely accessible, affordable and convenient

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