Covid-19 inspires an uptake in telemedicine across the Asia-Pacific region
The pandemic is particularly accelerating the adoption of telemedicine in Thailand, said telemedicine provider platform Doctor Raksa
More insurers in the region of Asia are offering telemedicine support to their policyholders, including insurance provider AXA. The company will allow access to AXA’s partner’s teleconsultation services in China, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan.
“During these anxious times, we want to support everyone’s mental wellbeing, as well as prevent infection. Our response focuses on ensuring continuity of service amid the disruption, by leveraging telemedicine and digital channels to support customers and patients,” said Gordon Watson, CEO of AXA Asia. “Telehealth has proven its essential value, as clinics and hospitals become overwhelmed, and supports social distancing to prevent further infection.”
Telemedicine is soon to become the new normal driven by the Covid-19 pandemic according to health tech startups. Jaren Siew, CEO of Doctor Raksa, which currently offers teleconsulting services with 700 physicians, estimates that the number of patients with access to telemedicine could reach up to 10 million within the next three to five years.
"Both public and private hospitals are interested in using our platform to provide service to patients, which would help reduce visits to hospitals," Siew said.
This month, Doctor Raksa started offering an online pharmacy service for doctors in Bangkok. "Soon we will work with X-rays and blood tests or other medical laboratory equipment to provide more complete preliminary diagnoses, merging online and offline medical services," Siew explained.
Piyada Donchalermpak, CO of Doctor Raksa, added that during the pandemic, more people aged over 50 are using the service. “Telemedicine service will gain more momentum within four years as the outbreak speeds up adoption”, she said.