Singapore’s leading health technology company built teleconsult kiosks with integrated IoT devices during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MHC Asia Group has been recognized under the IoT Healthcare Technology category in SBR Technology Excellence Awards 2022. Now in its fourth year, the prestigious awards programme lauds companies who ride the digital disruption wave with technological innovations that have successfully transformed industries and business models, from merely adapting to the changing needs to going beyond expectations.
The COVID-19 pandemic caught the world by surprise, with its rapid spread putting a heavy strain on the healthcare systems of most countries. Despite stringent protocols enacted early into the pandemic, Singapore was no exception, with a sudden surge of cases in foreign worker dormitories across the country taking the nation by surprise.
This huge influx of infections, which happened relatively early during the pandemic while the country had just entered a lockdown, threatened to overly strain precious healthcare resources that were still in the process of being ramped up.
Recognizing that the biggest problem in the dorms would be effective triaging of cases, as a vast majority of the infected only exhibited minor symptoms, MHC led the initiative to build teleconsult kiosk with integrated IoT devices, greatly reducing the logistics and manpower needed to adequately provide the level of healthcare needed at the various dorms scattered around the country.
Leveraging existing resources along with easily sourced third-party hardware, MHC provides a timely and cost-effective solution to the problem. In a short period of time, the kiosks were prototyped and deployed at 130 locations around the country.
While the company already had a nascent mobile teleconsult platform in the early stages of being introduced to the mass market, MHC fast-tracked the integration of IoT devices to be compatible with the BetterHealth teleconsult mobile platform, with the focus being on tools to provide an effective evaluation of a patient’s COVID-19 symptoms.
With the data provided from an external thermometer, pulse oximeter, and blood pressure monitor, medical staff would be able to best deliver the appropriate amount of care based on the severity of one’s symptoms.
As there was an urgent need to improve the accessibility of healthcare in the dormitories before further deterioration of the situation, a conscious decision was made to use readily available products already on the market, rather than the development of proprietary devices. This allowed for the rapid deployment of kiosks across the island, with the time from conceptualization to execution taking only a bit over a month as the components could be sourced locally and instantaneously.
All in all, the project met its aims of acting as a timely solution to defuse the situation in these dormitories, by leveraging upon technology to greatly reduce the logistical and manpower resources otherwise required.
With the kiosks in place, teams could be dispatched surgically to aid patients in need of medical attention, rather than the alternative of having a full medical team at every dormitory in Singapore – something that would just not be feasible.
MHC is now looking at further enhancing healthcare accessibility to other communities that traditionally lack 24/7 access, such as factories and out of the way production plants. The health technology company believes that this concept can be expanded to serve humanitarian missions too, with the vision of providing some form of medical care to remote communities around the world.