KonsultaMD services to disrupt Philippine healthcare industry

May 3, 2016

KonsultaMD, the first venture of Globe Telecom into life services, is set to disrupt the Philippine healthcare industry with its 24/7 health hotline designed to make medical information more accessible, efficient, and affordable to majority of Filipinos.

KonsultaMD addresses two of nine areas in the healthcare spectrum identified by a global consultancy and research firm as having the biggest potential for disruption and transformation – "care anytime, anywhere" and "cost of care/operation innovations."

Currently, the Philippines has about three doctors for every 100,000 patients in rural areas and seven doctors for every 100,000 patients in urban areas. The lack of experienced healthcare professionals in addition to under-resourced public hospitals, poor health infrastructure, limited accessibility, and high cost of medical consultation induce the behavior among Filipinos towards self-medication.

Self-medication is a common practice in the Philippines where a large percentage of the population relies on folk medicines, unfounded advice from family and friends, traditional cures, or even the internet instead of going to a doctor or medical practitioner.

With KonsultaMD, Filipinos from all walks of life especially those at the base of the pyramid, will have access to a reliable source of medical information anytime they want and whenever they are in the country without spending a lot of time and money.

"We are addressing the pain points in Philippine health care by pulling together a team of skilled and licensed doctors who are readily available to provide medical assessment, basic healthcare and permissible medication over the phone. Not only do we feel that the local market is ready for this kind of service, we feel there is a great need for it considering the low doctor to patients ratio in the country," said Maridol Ylanan, CEO of Global Telehealth, Inc., an affiliate of Globe Telecom which operates KonsultaMD.

KonsultaMD provides straightforward help with health and medical-related questions. This includes medical information to common but important questions on pregnancy, infant and/or toddler care, fever and other general ailments, signs and symptoms, diet, and other concerns.

However, KonsultaMD does not replace face-to-face interaction between doctors and patients but only serves as a means of interim care so that the public can have immediate and affordable medical attention.

KonsultaMD is available to Globe and TM customers at affordable subscription plans. Globe Postpaid customers only need to pay a subscription fee of Php150 (USD 3.20) per month which can be used by up to four household members. Globe Prepaid and TM customers may subscribe for Php15 (USD 0.32) a week. Subscription fee is waived for Platinum Elite members. Calls using Globe or TM are charged Php1 (USD 0.02) per minute while calls within Metro Manila via landline are currently free. Non-Globe users have to pay the standard NDD rate for calls outside Metro Manila or regular mobile to landline rate, whichever is applicable.

All Globe consumer postpaid, prepaid and TM customers may subscribe by signing up at www.konsulta.md, by calling (02) 79880 or by visiting a Globe Store. Platinum Elite members may subscribe via their Platinum Relationship Manager. Non-Globe users may visit a Globe Store.

As early as 2012, Globe Telecom saw the potentially significant opportunity to make improvements to Philippine healthcare using technological advances. Collaborating with Salud Interactiva, one of the foremost companies in the integration and dynamics of healthcare services in Mexico, KonsultaMD was born in an effort to address these challenges.

"A great deal of planning and preparation has been done to ensure that the highest standard of quality service is provided to the Filipino people. Through Globe Telecom's ICT expertise and the choice of a great partner in Salud Interactiva whose 20 years operations in Mexico provides crucial guidance for us, we feel we are well-equipped to provide excellent service," said Ylanan.

At present, many mobile network operators around the world have already tried or started to offer healthcare solutions based on their local context. Globe Telecom's venture into telehealth underscores the important role telecommunications play in transforming the way healthcare is accessed using practical solutions for cost effective provisions of modern healthcare.