Telemedicine Seen to Assist in Limiting Spread of COVID-19 and Decongesting Hospitals
As the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines continues to escalate, the general public may take advantage of telemedicine services to avail of medical advice, especially when staying at home or under quarantine.
Maridol D. Ylanan, CEO of Global Telehealth, Inc., which runs KonsultaMD, said telemedicine is a viable alternative to visits to hospital emergency rooms, which should be reserved for more critical situations.
Moreover, through telemedicine, customers can have 24/7 access to doctors while ensuring that they're not at risk of getting or spreading any disease since there is no physical interaction with medical practitioners and other patients.
“Telemedicine providers are here to give health advice. KonsultaMD, for instance, has a team of doctors who are fully equipped with the knowledge on how to deal with various medical concerns, including COVID-19. Through telephone triaging, the doctor can advise the customer whether they need to go to the hospital for further evaluation or testing,” Ylanan said.
In other countries like the US, telemedicine is already viewed as a key tool to help fight COVID-19 since the absence of physical interaction can slow the spread of the disease. The US National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also alerted US hospitals to be prepared to use this.
While telemedicine is not yet well known among Filipinos, KonsultaMD already introduced this innovative healthcare service five years ago. By dialing 79880 toll-free from their Globe or TM mobile phones or 02-7798-8000 from any landline, anyone may talk to a doctor to ask for medical information for primary conditions, maternity, pediatrics, mental health, COVID-19, health coaching, nutrition counseling, reading of laboratory and diagnostic results, and permissible medication, among others. KonsultaMD doctors can also determine the urgency of the situation, whether it is an emergency or not, through telephone triaging.
KonsultaMD offers unlimited immediate access to doctors 24/7 through flexible and affordable plans such as an individual subscription fee of P15 a week or P60 a month for Globe Prepaid and TM customers, deductible from their prepaid load.
For Globe Postpaid customers, they have the option to subscribe to a P99 per week plan which may be extended to one additional family member or P150 per month with four extensions, chargeable to their monthly bill.
Non-Globe and TM customers may also avail of KonsultaMD services through a one-year subscription of P150 per month for group or P60 a month for an individual, payable via credit card or mobile money and subject to regular cell phone charges if the call is via mobile.
Subscriptions may be done by visiting KonsultaMD and calling 79880 toll-free via mobile (for Globe/TM customers) or (02) 7798-8000.
KonsultaMD is under 917Ventures, the largest corporate incubator in the Philippines and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom.