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Telemedicine's Breakaway Moment (w/ Dr. Snehal Patel)

by Steve Stine

If this conversation with MyDoc CEO, Dr. Snehal Patel is any indicator, the Coronavirus pandemic has given the healthtech sector and unasked for boost. From Singapore to China, telemedicine is taking a load off bricks & mortar hospitals scrambling to care for Cvoid-19 patients.

In Singapore alone there are nearly a dozen tele-medicine providers. Download an app, register, and within minutes, your in video consultation with a live doctor. He or she can diagnose and prescribe what you need. And here’s the best part, any medication, if required, can be delivered to your home. It’s simple, and affordable, and yet, some habits die hard. For many, there’s face-to-face appeal of a doctor’s visit. Some discussions are simply better had in private. Doctors are trusted with the most sensitive – and in some cases – life confronting matters.

But more than that, the story of telemedicine calls into question the larger tale of a healthcare system gone rogue. Infectious diseases – as recent circumstances have shown – still pose a real threat. And yet, the lion’s share of government and private sector investment has for years been directed at the treatment of chronic ailments. Perhaps this pandemic is just the jolt governments in the region need in order to rethink the future of healthcare.