Doctor Anywhere, WhiteCoat, Doctor World: Can telemedicine apps save us money?, Lifestyle News


Opinions about docs fall firmly in one among two opposing camps. Both you’re a real believer of the ability of contemporary drugs and rush to the clinic on the first sneeze, otherwise you assume GPs are quacks and solely go since you want an MC.

No matter it’s, I feel we are able to all agree that seeing the physician in Singapore isn’t low cost. 

However now that there are such a lot of new “telemedicine” apps like Physician Anyplace, WhiteCoat, and so on., can Singaporeans now save time and cash on treating frequent sicknesses?

What even are telemedicine apps!?

Telemedicine apps, or “physician apps”, mean you can seek the advice of an actual physician both by way of video name or a message-based chat. After the session and analysis, you will get your meds and MC delivered to your property. 

Yeah I do know, it’s a bit of sketchy-sounding, but it surely’s undoubtedly handy… If the physician doesn’t misdiagnose you, that’s.

Ultimately rely, there are a minimum of 11 “telemedicine” suppliers in Singapore below the Ministry of Health’s watchful eye.

Of those, there are 7 which might be out there for normal sufferers to make use of for consultations: MHC CarePlus, Physician Anyplace, MaNaDr, Physician World, WhiteCoat, Ally, and Sata CommHealth

There’s additionally HiDoc, which is for seeing specialists as an alternative of GPs.

The others fall into totally different classes. For instance, MyDoc is a company-facing worker well being profit programme, so you possibly can’t obtain the app and get a session except your employer paid for it.

There’s additionally SpeeDoc and Rescu.sg, two platforms that target on-demand home calls. 

Lastly, Parkway Shenton can be listed on MOH’s record of telemedicine providers, however they’re nonetheless within the midst of rolling it out. 

ALSO READ: Telemedicine vs in-person doctors: Which is better?

How a lot do Physician Anyplace & different apps price?











Telemedicine app Price of normal session
Physician World $18 
Sata CommHealth $15
Physician Anyplace $20 
MHC CarePlus $12
WhiteCoat $25
HeyAlly $20 
MaNaDr Is dependent upon supplier

These charges are for probably the most primary of consultations. In some circumstances, limits could apply, e.g. quarter-hour, or 5 messages. In case you exceed them, you might be charged extra. I additionally didn’t the price of medicine as a result of it varies, clearly.

Primarily based on session charges, I might say that apps like Physician World and Sata CommHealth are pretty aggressive in opposition to “actual” clinics.

In fact, it’ll nearly definitely be costlier than going to the polyclinic (the place subsidised charges begin from $14 per consultation). However it’s a must to courageous the limitless queues for that.

In case you’re going to your neighbourhood GP, that’ll price extra like $25 for the session, which is on par with that of the most costly telemedicine app.

Although there are simply 6 choices, selecting a telemedicine supplier may be robust as there are lots of delicate variations to contemplate. I’ll undergo every app one after the other.

I’ve additionally included the present bank card promotions (if any) for each.

Physician World — $18 session together with supply

Doctor World is an app that guarantees 24/7 video consultations for the extraordinarily low price of $18, which incorporates free supply to your medicine. That is the most affordable all-in charge should you want meds. 

At such a low, all-in charge, you’d assume that Physician World is made up of unlicensed freelance quacks sitting at home in their T-shirts.

However no! Its docs are from reputed healthcare companions, most importantly the Raffles Medical chain of clinics. There are additionally smaller clinics (Drs Chua & Companions and Newcastle Clinic) on there. Not too dangerous.

Be aware that the $18 video session is capped at quarter-hour. Ought to your session exceed this timeframe, you could have to pay extra.

Physician World can be clear on what sicknesses may be recognized by way of video. These embody solely generic issues like menstrual cramps, complications and sore throats. 

Ought to the physician realise that your situation can’t be recognized on a name, he/she’s going to finish the decision and you’ll not be charged. You may learn more FAQs right here.

Physician World bank card promotions

None in the meanwhile.

Sata CommHealth — mounted charge of $15 session + $7 supply

One of many cheaper telehealth suppliers comes from Sata Commhealth, a longtime chain of clinics in Singapore.

The system is kind of easy. There is no such thing as a particular app to obtain. As a substitute, you merely provoke a WhatsApp video name and converse to whoever is on the market. The session prices a flat $15.

You could then be given an MC and prescribed medicine, or a referral letter to a specialist, which is then delivered to you at $7 per supply. 

Which means the full price per “go to” is $22 exluding the price of medicine. Cost may be made by bank card or Paypal.

The charges are surprisingly cheap contemplating it’s a longtime chain of clinics. Nevertheless, you possibly can solely name throughout working hours (Mon to Fri 8.30am to 5pm, Sat and Solar 8.30am to 1pm).

Sata CommHealth bank card promotions

None in the meanwhile.

ALSO READ: Guide to telemedicine providers in Singapore: Here’s how much it costs to see a doctor (virtually)

Physician Anyplace — $20 session, has $15 child session possibility

Doctor Anywhere is likely one of the first few telemedicine startups in Singapore, and it’s one of many slickest operations. Nevertheless, it’s not backed by any main healthcare family identify (in contrast to Sata CommHealth and Physician World).

The premise is much like that of Physician World, open the app and get related to an out there physician, who will conduct a video session. This prices $20 and consists of supply of medicine / MC.

Ought to your case be unsuitable for a video session, you’ll be knowledgeable throughout the first 2 minutes of your video name to see a “actual” physician. You’ll not be charged.

Physician Anyplace additionally gives a variety of specialized care from psychological wellness, diet and health, and power illness administration. Additionally they supply consultations for area of interest areas like cardiology, ENT, gastroenterology, and so on.

A pediatrics session prices $38 and is mainly a platform for brand spanking new mother and father to get fast recommendation for frequent child issues, like breastfeeding and natal care. That’s actually helpful, I think about. 

Physician Anyplace bank card promotions






Financial institution card or membership Promotion Validity 
PAssion card  $14 session charge with promo code PAGP
DBS/POSB $15 session charge with promo code DBS15

$100 session when video seek the advice of an authorized psychologist or counsellor on-line with promo code DBSMW

MHC CarePlus — $12 session + $10 supply

Beforehand, I wrote that MHC’s CarePlus services had been just for company purchasers. In case you’ve Googled them, you’ll know that their web site undoubtedly suggests it — a lot of the info there’s for workers of associate corporations and medical professionals seeking to be a part of their community. There may be (at the moment) nothing on their telemedicine providers for most of the people.

Nevertheless, a rep from MHC wrote in to share CarePlus is — shock, shock – truly out there for everybody to obtain. Session charges are a flat $12, and the docs can diagnose for frequent “non-serious” situations like flu, cough, chilly and the likes.

Do notice that surcharges apply:

  • Weekdays, 10pm to midnight: +$6
  • Weekdays, midnight to 7am: +$20
  • Weekends and public holidays, 7am to midnight: +$6
  • Weekends and public holidays, midnight to 7am: +$20

In abstract, the most costly timing is after midnight, the place session is $32. It’s $12 on weekdays throughout common hours, however should you “see” the doc after 10pm or on the weekends, it’s $18. And that’s excluding drugs supply…

Supply is +$10 (so complete $22 for normal session with drugs), however you possibly can select self-collection (free) should you really feel effectively sufficient to swing by a clinic. You need to use the app to discover a clinic close to you.

MHC CarePlus bank card promotions

None in the meanwhile.

WhiteCoat — $25 session, can prescribe power illness meds

WhiteCoat is barely extra subtle than the opposite apps I’ve talked about. Whereas the remainder are primarily for wholesome people who caught the chilly and desire a time off from work, WhiteCoat gives a bit extra.

You will get assist with extra advanced wants, like sexual well being recommendation, reviewing lab outcomes and journey medicine recommendation.

However probably the most fascinating service is power illness administration: WhiteCoat docs can prescribe medicine for diabetes, hypertension and excessive ldl cholesterol, presumably solely in case you are already recognized.

For the reason that session charge is an inexpensive $25, it’s fairly an honest possibility for these with these frequent situations and who usually are not so cellular. (Pondering of my mother and father and grandparents right here.)

Must you get a prescription, you possibly can select to purchase the medicine instantly from WhiteCoat and get it delivered at an additional charge. 

Be aware that the $25 session charge is just for their workplace hours (8am to 7.59pm from Mon to Sat). For after-hours session (8pm to midnight from Mon to Sat; 8am to midnight on Solar & PH) it prices $50.

WhiteCoat bank card promotions





Financial institution card or membership Promotion Validity 
UOB $15 session charge 

MaNaDr — no mounted charges, chat session out there

MaNaDr is just not a lot a session app a lot as a peer-to-peer app to attach sufferers to clinics or physician. You may e book a bodily go to in addition to request an e-consultation. Not like the opposite apps, MaNaDr gives chat consultations along with video calls. 

Chat consultations begin from from $10 for the primary 5 messages (however I’ve seen $20 too) and $0.70 per message subsequently. 

Video consultations, if out there, begin from $10 for the primary 3 minutes (however I’ve seen as excessive as $40). Subsequently, you may be charged at $0.50 or $1 per minute. Yikes, higher preserve it concise.

I personally don’t like that there’s no customary charge, however however, you possibly can select the physician. Plus, chatting can be cheaper than video consultations for easy, post-visit follow-up questions.

MaNaDr bank card promotions





Financial institution card or membership Promotion Validity 
DBS/POSB $15 video session charge 

HeyAlly — $20 session, can prescribe power illness administration meds

HeyAlly is likely one of the newer children on the block. Launched by Alliance Healthcare Group, HeyAlly is a cellular app you possibly can obtain. Like most different telemedicine providers, HeyAlly gives customary medical advisory and common consultations. 

What units it aside is that it additionally gives session for power illness administration. If in case you have been recognized with diabetes, hypertension and excessive ldl cholesterol, you will get your medicine from HeyAlly. 

For the reason that session charge is an inexpensive $20, it’s fairly an honest possibility for these with these frequent situations and who usually are not so cellular. (Pondering of my mother and father and grandparents right here.)

Must you get a prescription, you possibly can select to purchase the medicine instantly from HeyAlly and get it delivered without cost. Sure, you learn that proper, without cost!  

WhiteCoat bank card promotions





Financial institution card or membership Promotion Validity 
DBS $13.91 session charge 

Bonus: HiDoc — $120 session with a specialist

Okay, so the apps above cowl common healthcare wants like frequent sicknesses, post-natal care and power illnesses. What’s been lacking to this point is a platform for going to a specialist.

In case you’ve ever tried to see a specialist to your situation, you’ll know that it’s both a making an attempt or costly affair (or each).

For many Singaporeans, the usual route is to undergo the polyclinic and get a specialist referral from there. This lets you profit from a subsidised rate offered at most hospitals.

Nevertheless, if you wish to search a second opinion, you’ll very doubtless need to stroll in as a personal affected person and be charged a a lot increased charge. This will price over $150 for a consultation

HiDoc is an app that gives video consultations with specialists extra cheaply, rapidly and conveniently. You may select the specialist you wish to see, and it prices $120 for the preliminary session and $80 subsequently.

HiDoc additionally permits you to e book bodily go to appointments and purchase prescription medicine by way of their associate Watsons.

HiDoc bank card promotions

No present promotions.

Which bank cards ought to I take advantage of for reductions on telemedicine apps?

As you possibly can see, DBS/POSB at the moment has probably the most promotions with these telemedicine providers. So use a kind of playing cards for an instantaneous low cost.

In any other case, there aren’t many bank cards that reward you for swiping your medical payments. The one one which particularly lists “well being & medical” as a bonus class is the CIMB Platinum card, which supplies you 10per cent money again.

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However not all hope is misplaced: you possibly can attempt profiting from a loophole by utilizing an internet purchasing bank card. Technically, “on-line” is just not an MCC, so it is best to get rewarded for all transactions made on-line, whatever the nature of the enterprise.

(Until it’s explicitly said within the phrases and situations that solely a set few classes are eligible (like trend, groceries, and so on) or that medical bills are excluded.)

A preferred card for on-line purchasing is the Citi Rewards Card, which supplies you 10X rewards ($1 = 4 miles) for all on-line spending, besides journey.

Since DBS/POSB has probably the most promotions in the meanwhile, you possibly can think about the DBS Stay Contemporary Card too, which supplies you 5per cent money again for all on-line bills.

Telemedicine apps may save time & cash, however…

The session charges of Physician Anyplace and different telemedicine apps are engaging, however not dramatically cheaper than the charges at non-public GPs. 

Nevertheless, how a lot you’ll find yourself spending is tough to foretell, as a result of it relies upon so much in your medicine. You is perhaps prescribed no matter expensive drugs the physician needs to push.

However the primary draw for me can be the time financial savings. I perceive that there’s some ready time earlier than you can begin a video session, however a minimum of you possibly can lie in mattress comfortably. That’s infinitely preferable to the purgatory that’s the clinic ready room.

A least in principle, these apps can prevent each time and cash. 

… So what may probably go improper?

Danger #1: Misdiagnosis

One is the probability of misdiagnosis as a result of limitations of know-how. 

I don’t care what number of lenses your iPhone has. So far as I do know, Silicon Valley’s PiperChat isn’t but an actual factor, so web video chats are nonetheless fairly dangerous high quality in comparison with, , being checked out in actual life.

What if in case you have different signs which might be too delicate to be detected? , issues just like the odor of your breath in the course of the “aah” take a look at, that form of factor. I do know that the physician is meant to guage whether or not you’re even appropriate for a video session, however nonetheless…

In case you’re misdiagnosed, it’d end in added prices as you attempt to backtrack and get a second opinion or re-diagnosis.

Danger #2: Employer doesn’t recognise MC

I most likely gained’t have this downside since I work in a startup — we are able to hardly discredit a fellow startup’s credibility, can we? — however I think about that presenting an “digital MC” won’t go down so easily with some employers.

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Really, the federal government has been making an attempt to push for digital MCs. Now you can get a digital MC from government hospitals and polyclinics. This takes the type of a personalized URL, which may be forwarded to your organization’s HR division.

Nevertheless, I very a lot doubt that an MC issued by some unheard-of app can have the identical impact as one with a Ministry of Well being stamp on it.

So earlier than choosing a video e-consultation, it’s greatest to verify along with your HR group to see if that is acceptable.

But when the telemedicine business takes off, then this ought to be much less of an issue sooner or later. Simply consider how tough it was to assert Seize and Uber (RIP) receipts years in the past. The instances, they’re a-changin’.

This text was first printed in MoneySmart.



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