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Singapore consumers willing to adopt self-directed healthcare driven by digital tech

Adrian M. Reodique | July 22, 2016
They are willing to use virtual-care technologies as a replacement for a face-to-face healthcare visit.

More than half of consumers in Singapore (54 percent) are willing to use virtual-care technologies as a replacement for a face-to-face healthcare visit, if that would enable them to be seen sooner.

This is according to the new report by Accenture titled "Innovation-Powered Healthcare in Asia Pacific" which polled 2,250 citizens (750 each) in Australia, Japan, and Singapore.

In a press release, Accenture said findings from the report showed signs of a sizable gulf between the expectations of patients in Singapore and the health services they received.

It was found that only few of the polled consumers in country were "very satisfied" with the quality of the healthcare they receive (19 percent), and the convenience of services (14 percent).

More than three quarters of the respondents (78 percent) said they trust themselves to take charge of their own health, and wanted more options for self-managing their healthcare (74 percent).

For example, 80 percent of Singaporean respondents said they would use a virtual assistant to help manage their healthcare needs such as identifying costs for a treatment, finding the right treatment option, or managing an appointment or referral.

According to Julian Sham, M.D., who leads the health practice of Accenture in the country: "Demand for self-service technology is helping Singapore become a breeding ground for health technology start-ups and government-funded initiatives."

The report revealed that consumers are most willing to adopt digitally enabled changes to the healthcare system that can improve the time they spent in waiting rooms (63 percent), and the time it takes to get an appointment (44 percent).

"Integrating self-service technology into the existing system will further enable patients to take charge of their health and interact with the system on their own terms.  By implementing digital technologies more broadly, the health industry will be able to augment human labour, personalise care and free-up time for clinicians to focus on where they're needed most.  That's the real innovation that digital technologies can provide," Sham added. 


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