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How employers can leverage telehealth as the new frontier for a hybrid workforce
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How employers can leverage telehealth as the new frontier for a hybrid workforce

We’ve been pushing forth the idea of working-from-anywhere. It’s now time to go in for seeing-mydoctor-from-anywhere. Here’s your guide to implementing a telehealth strategy.

This article is brought to you by AIA Singapore.

Modern-day corporate leaders spend plenty of time discussing the importance of having work and technology function close together like bevel gears, calling it the way forward to propel the economy, the market, and the workforce into the future. So, let’s take that a step further and see how health and technology working hand in hand can benefit us.

When health and technology come together, telehealth, also known as telemedicine, is born. Telehealth allows individuals to receive care from medical professionals through the use of two-way technologies, regardless of time and location.

Today, over half of insurers globally offer telehealth services across all types of healthcare plans. Of these, more than four in five insurers (85%) offer such services at no additional cost, with Latin America (87%) and Europe (68%) leading the way. Insurers in Asia Pacific (50%) were most likely to offer telehealth only for select plans, pointing to the potential for employer uptake in the years to come.

The potential (and benefits) of telehealth

Closer to home, Singapore-based WhiteCoat, a healthcare provider that offers on-demand telehealth services simply through a mobile app, has seen utilisation increase by tenfold in just the last 18 months, with teleconsultation experiencing a steep 3x growth.

Credited to be affordable, convenient, and reliable, the organisation is AIA's exclusive telehealth provider, and is available to all AIA Corporate Solutions members.

Through its system, insured employers and employees alike can access quality and high-service medical professionals, as well as healthcare partners to meet their every health need. These include:

  • Medical teleconsults (with GPs, paediatricians, and psychologists);
  • Chronic disease management (inclusive of home-based chronic testing services);
  • Specialist referrals, and
  • Home-based health screenings (for general maintenance of health).

Primary care, specialist care, and allied healthcare are all included in the telehealth brand's comprehensive suite of services.

Choon Yen Khoo, Head of People Operations and People Systems, Workato Singapore, attests to the range of health support provided: "I was impressed by WhiteCoat when I tried it out for myself for my eczema. Not only was I able to reduce my exposure to possible germs and viruses by not having to go to the clinic, I was also able to access a qualified doctor and have my medication sent to my place quickly.”

Not only does WhiteCoat deliver medication to patients in as quickly as within 90 minutes, the telehealth provider also provides unparalleled convenience to its corporate users.

“I started using WhiteCoat because the idea of being able to consult a trusted doctor without having to leave my home was such a great one to me,” says Jaime Lee, Founder & Creative Director, The Paper Bunny, who has since decided to introduce the service to all her staff members as part of their workplace benefits.

Telehealth analytics in your wellbeing agenda

In addition to reduced risks of possible transmission during physical visits, telehealth is empowering employers to have increased visibility into their workforce’s health.

Investment decisions are made easier when aggregated data can aid conversations on wellbeing. Employers can not only leverage in-depth medical analyses on the health of their workforce, but also review the state of their health to avoid any chances of sick building syndrome (SBS) from occurring.

In fact, employers can benefit from aggregated monthly utilisation reports. These include an overview of employee utilisation rates, information on average bill sizes, and the most commonly consulted health conditions to equip employers with insights to better understand employee behaviour, and to manage their overall wellbeing.

And this is what Goh Pei Hwee, Regional Benefits Consultant, Motorola Solutions Singapore, has vouched for. “Rolling out WhiteCoat at Motorola has helped our employees to access timelier medical attention, hence enhancing their overall wellbeing, as well as our overall work productivity,” she said.

Allaying employers’ concerns for a healthier tomorrow

The brand has an incredibly time-sensitive role to play in the current COVID-19 environment. As an MOH Home Recovery Programme telehealth partner, WhiteCoat is on standby for those who are placed on the Home Recovery Programme. AIA Corporate Solutions members are also encouraged to teleconsult a GP for medical advice, should they feel unwell after their booster shot.

Additionally, it works with AIA and MOH to cover the insured for teleconsult fees, medication, and delivery costs should they be afflicted with COVID-19.

Employers and managers concerned about easy access to medical leave certificates (also known as MCs) can rest assured knowing that WhiteCoat GPs issue MCs only when deemed medically necessary. In fact, less than half of consults have resulted in the issuance of MCs, after evaluations by the medical team. Evidently, the brand is working hard to ensure consistency in the application of medical standards, and also has built-in system flags to identify potential misuse.

With such a strong continuum of care in place, borderless health services for each and every employee regardless of time and space are now possible. Telehealth is a welcome solution that meets the needs of a hybrid workforce, providing increased accessibility to healthcare that is safe, personable, and from the comfort of the home.

We hope this guide sheds light on making telehealth an important component of your wellbeing strategy, and we wish you a healthier workforce!

Image / 123RF

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

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