Innovative telemedicine solutions demoed by startups during HIMSS22 APAC
Five startups based in APAC took the stage during the HIMSS22 APAC Conference this year in the hopes of gaining further traction for their businesses.
The Digital Innovation Showcase, organised by Zoom and HIMSS, required startups to offer solutions that leveraged video or video conferencing.
The winner of the Showcase would be recognised during the HIMSS APAC Awards Dinner along with the opportunity to have a 30-minute call with Brendan Ittelson, Chief Technology Officer of Zoom.
Judging the Showcase was a panel of six: Benjamin Lim, APAC Leader, ISV Platform Business Development, Zoom; Benedict Tan, Group Chief Digital Strategy Officer, SingHealth; Dr Tullawat Pacharapha, Chief Operating Officer, Vejthani Hospital; Jennie Kung, Senior Director, Mayo Clinic Innovation Exchange; Mohammad Adib Khumaidi, Chairman, Indonesian Medical Association; and Dr Dhesi Raja, Board Member, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation.
The session was moderated by Bruce Steinberg, Managing Director and Head, HIMSS International.
Smartfuture’s white-label telehealth platform
Jignesh Bhuta, Chief Operating Officer of Smartfuture first presented his startup’s patient app and doctor portal. He shared that once patients have keyed in their details on the app and selected their symptoms, they will be brought to a page where they can select a device used to measure their vitals.
“We’ve integrated [around 400] medical devices across various brands, capturing over 31 vitals, which includes both intermittent as well as continuous,” he added.
Once the patient has recorded their vitals using either video or picture format, the information will be stored in both the patient app and the doctor portal. The doctor can immediately see what the patient has recorded and conducts a video call with the patient. Following the call, the doctor is brought to a module where they can prescribe medication, issue a medical certificate, or provide a referral letter to a specialist.
“We complete this journey with all of this being emailed to the patient… We hope to make the patient-doctor journey a little more convenient,” he concluded.
Kung requested for Bhuta to share about the platform’s most common use case, to which he replied that most recently it was first responder cases.
“[We also see] a lot of chronic case management, and these programmes can range from three weeks to a year. Not only that, but when we first started, the platform was actually a self-monitoring health kiosk with Bluetooth-connected devices. So in terms of population health, we participated in a lot of community health projects and the vitals will be useful in drafting a lot of policies by communities, hospitals.”
AlteaCare’s integrated digital health platform
William Suryawan, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder of AlteaCare talked about their platform which connects patients across Indonesia with healthcare professionals in hospitals. To explain how AlteaCare works, he used the case study of a patient named “Junita”.
Junita – using AlteaCare – consulted a doctor based in Jayapura about her condition via video call, but she was not satisfied with the treatment recommendations and wanted to get a second opinion from a doctor based in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta. She forwarded her lab results, which were saved on the platform, to that doctor for a consultation. Satisfied with the treatment and drug recommendations, she chose to purchase them and have them delivered to her home.
“And so this can happen because AlteaCare is successfully integrated with the electronic medical records in the hospitals. So after a teleconsultation, a patient can access the summary of the medical record and forward their medical records to any doctor that they wish to have a second opinion from,” he concluded.
Khumaidi wanted to find out how AlteaCare differentiates itself from other telemedicine applications.
“Because AlteaCare is integrated with the system, doctors do not need to type information into the AlteaCare platform and can do that in their EMR or HIS. We successfully convinced the hospitals to open their API to external applications to make the patient journey smoother. [It’s also an] improved customer experience, if the patient wants to go to the hospital offline post consultation, all the data is within the hospital,” Suryawan explained.
DoctorTool’s digital ecosystem for healthcare providers
Rainaldo, CEO and Co-founder of Doctor Tool explained that his health tech startup provides a digital ecosystem for healthcare providers and citizens, citing that their more than 230 clients are spread across 24 provinces in Indonesia.
He demonstrated the product through a teleconsultation with a doctor, who could immediately see his medical history such as past diagnoses and prescriptions. In the course of the teleconsultation, he also used a blood pressure (BP) monitor – which was connected to the Doctor Tool Hub – enabling the doctor to see his BP reading. The doctor then provided him with a prescription, with the platform enabling him to opt for courier services or to collect his medication at a pharmacy.
“The Doctor Tool hub can connect with many devices, many sensors. We can use it in medical facilities. With this type of telemedicine, doctors can provide diagnoses and prescribe medications more regularly. We already successfully implemented this technology to help doctors from Indonesian universities [provide care] for families with babies or young children in rural areas in Indonesia,” Rainaldo said.
Tan wanted to know how if the patient could see what the doctor was typing during the consultation, and where the patient history comes from.
“I cannot see it during the call, but after the conversation I can have a look at the records,” Rainaldo explained. He added that the history that the doctor refers to is from past consultations on the app.
Kesia’s HIS with telemedicine feature
San Emirza, CFO of Kardia Group in Indonesia began his demo by stating that telemedicine is just a small feature of the Kesia HIS.
“In the remote islands in Indonesia, we don’t really have a good spread of specialists – probably a large number of GPs only. So [in Kesia] we have a feature within our EMR which allows GPs to consult specialists living in big cities like Jakarta,” he said.
Emirza explained that a patient could be consulting a GP about his condition, but if the GP did not have the right expertise – in the event of the patient being diabetic for example – a three-way call with a specialist could then be initiated.
“[Additionally] by regulation, the GPs are not allowed to prescribe some drugs – but the specialists are allowed to prescribe those drugs. The GPs living within the same region as the patient will then be able to issue the drugs to the patient,” he added.
Kung asked how they managed the process operationally – for example, making sure that the specialist is available.
“So there are actually booking systems,” Emirza explained. “And the specialist has to have some time dedicated to provide the service. Say they have a physical service for four hours; they’ll need to allocate one hour for telemedicine.”
MFine’s virtual hospital
“It all starts with the chatbot,” said Prasad Kompalli, Co-founder and CEO of MFine who joined the Showcase via Zoom.
He explained that MFine’s chatbot collects vital information about the illness of the patient even before the consultation.
“If somebody says [they have a] fever, then we ask more questions about it. If somebody says cough, we record the cough through the app – we are processing the signal of cardio to be able to assess whether it’s an upper respiratory or lower respiratory infection. We are doing all of this to have a pre-decision made before even the doctor joins the video call,” he explained.
With this information in hand, the doctor will then join the call to recommend a treatment plan for the patient. Three-way communication is also enabled in the event there is a caretaker involved in the scenario.
Kompalli added that using a mobile phone’s camera, the app is also able to measure a patient’s vitals (e.g., heart rate, BP, SPO2, etc.). With these vitals, the diagnosis becomes much more data-driven, and the doctor is able to diagnose at a higher quality.
Dr Pacharapha asked if MFine was interfacing with any medical equipment.
“We are not directly interfacing with any hardware at the moment. In the future, we want to connect with other devices like Apple Watches for example,” Kompalli replied.
Lim requested for Kompalli to share about the algorithm that the platform uses to distribute patients to doctors.
“There isn’t any algorithm in the sense that it’s based on filters that the patient selected. There are filters around who’s the closest doctor, who’s available, as well as whom you consulted before last time. And additionally some filters around what is their experience and how many patients have seen so far. We don’t do the matching. We actually provide this information, the patients decide on the doctor that they want to go to,” Kompalli explained.
Smartfuture emerged as the winner of the Digital Innovation Showcase. Commenting on the win, Lim said, “Congrats to the finalists. It was a tough decision for the panel, but it came down to the extensibility of the platform as well as the breadth of device support that differentiated Smartfuture. It has been a privilege to be part of the judging panel, and Zoom is keen to partner with providers to enhance and bring telehealth to the masses.”
Concluding the Showcase, a few of the judges shared advice and insights.
Expanding on her earlier question around operational workflow, Kung said: “How does that work from a tactical perspective? How do your clinicians actually interface? How do the patients interface? If the user interface is not a big, big part of your product build, it’s not going to be successful because as smooth and as seamless as your demo can be, if it gets to that point where it gets alarming, that popup is coming up and it doesn’t fit in the workflow and it’s [irritating] the clinician, you’re going to fail. Do not wait until the last minute to start testing and looking at that.”
Sharing about his approach to digital innovation, Dr Pacharapha explained: “When we think about digital transformation, we look for the benefit that we get, right? I do not start with technology. I first identify a need or use case, and then I look at the technology needed to deliver that.”
Echoing Dr Pacharapha’s point, Dr Raja said: “The biggest problems in the world are the best business opportunities. So start loving problems.”
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texasstandard.news contributed to this report.