Wednesday, September 02, 2020

New Opportunities During a Crisis


When COVID-19 hit earlier this year, it was the ‘push’ that SATA Commhealth needed to rethink the way they provide help to seniors and the needy. This lead to the SATA CommHealth mobile app, launched on 14 Aug, which enables patients to see doctors and rehabilitation therapists via tele-consultations and tele-rehabilitation.

With new control measures, distance, high cost of transport, or the absence of a caregiver, SATA was concerned that the new normal would make it daunting for the elderly and physically challenged to visit medical clinics for simple medical conditions like flu and cough, regular therapy sessions or even to replenish medications.

They recognised that services to digitally connect individuals and healthcare professionals would be more relevant now as they help to keep people safe, by minimising face-to-face interaction, while ensuring continuity of care.

With this in mind, SATA’s IT, clinical and operations teams that spearheaded this initiative made the app’s development a high priority. This was helped by the team’s familiarity with working remotely, as they had been collaborating with their partner, Assurance Technology, through virtual meetings from the get-go. Hence, their workflows were minimally disrupted even after safe-distancing measures were enforced on workplaces. These factors enabled them to launch the app on time.

The app, which is compliant with Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) requirements, was developed within seven months.

SATA clinical staff review a patient's clinical signs & symptoms via tablet.

This has helped their Doctors-On-Wheels (DOW) community programme, whereby a team comprising a doctor, nurse and care coordinator deliver medical care to the elderly and needy at Senior Activities Centres (SACs). On-site visits were halted early March this year due to COVID-19. With tele-consultations, the DOW teams have been able to continue regular follow-up medical reviews with patients that are supplemented by other health advisories and delivery of medications.

The same goes for their tele-rehabilitation service, which enables seniors to continue with their treatment while saving time and avoiding unnecessary visits to physical centres.By helping seniors continue their care and treatment while face-to-face visits are halted, tele-health technology can enable seniors to remain well in the community and age-in-place.

Tele-consultations are $15 for general public and $10 for CHAS (Orange, Blue, MG, PG), Public Assistance (PA) Card Holders as well as staff working in registered charities and social service agencies (just flash your staff pass).

Click here ( for more information.

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