Raffles Medical Group seeks to expand in Singapore

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, private healthcare provider Raffles Medical Group has launched a 24-hour telemedicine platform in a bid to increase its share of Singapore’s market and expand overseas to China.

Through RafflesConnect, patients will be able to get round-the-clock consultations with doctors who have access to their medical records at the company’s flagship hospital. After diagnosis, prescriptions can be delivered directly to their address. The service will initially available only in Singapore, but there are plans to expand it to China later this year as a key part of a drive to access the country’s huge and growing market.

“In the past we were limited by time and space and you had to come to the hospital,” said Loo Choon Yong, executive chairman of Raffles Medical. “But with technology, we can reach out and advise patients at home.”

Raffles Medical has not disclosed the amount it has invested in the platform, which was created in partnership with Doctor World, a local health care startup founded in 2017. Beta tests have been underway since November.

The article says that the launch comes as the Singapore government looks to regulate the growing telemedicine sector. Several platforms have been launched offering consultations and electronic medical certificates, but industry players have warned of many potential dangers regarding quality of care and data protection.

Raffles Medical opened its first hospital in China earlier this month in Chongqing, and plans to open a second in Shanghai in the second half of this year.