Integrating tech into healthcare: Quality HealthCare revamps app to help Hongkongers stay healthy

With the pandemic on all of our minds, more and more attention has been placed on personal healthcare. To meet people’s increasing needs for reliable services, the healthcare industry has been looking for innovative ways to use their resources more effectively. Last month, Quality HealthCare launched an improved app with additional functions, hoping to better serve patients as we head into a new, digital, and sometimes socially-distanced future.

In October, Quality HealthCare strengthened its digital offerings by launching an enhanced mobile app alongside new virtual initiatives.

Launching an improved app
Aimed at making healthcare access easier and safer without compromising on quality, efficiency or reliability of services, the enhanced app offers a wide range of functions, including e-ticketing for general practitioner consultations and e-booking for other services such as specialists, traditional Chinese medicine, physiotherapy and dentists.kv qhms app launch 1“The launch of the new app is part of our long-term plan, but the pandemic gives us the opportunity to accelerate the development process and drive our teams to explore new services that directly meet the evolving needs of our customers,” tells Elaine Chu, general manager of Quality HealthCare.

“We are working towards our vision to enhance the delivery of healthcare services by embracing digitalisation and an innovative mix of online-to-offline solutions.”

Apart from the functions of e-ticketing and e-booking, the app is also capable of providing in-app video consultation services, which reduces the need for non-essential clinic visits.

Seeing a doctor in person has been a norm over the years and such practice poses a challenge to the company. However, Chu says video consultation services provide a convenient alternative for people with packed schedules or specific consultation needs such as reduced mobility.

Convenience is one of the factors that prompts patients to use this service. However, it can also address the public’s need for safer yet more efficient services, as they would rather avoid visiting healthcare facilities during this time or may have certain symptoms that would make video consultation services preferable to coming in for an appointment.

Speaking of marketing the app, Chu tells that the company will reach out to patients, corporate clients and the public across multiple touchpoints.

It will be mainly marketed through Facebook as well as direct notices sent to customers. At the same time, Quality HealthCare will also arrange introductory sessions with ambassadors in the workplace to guide users through the set-up process and demonstrate the app’s services.

Alleviating HK’s healthcare system pressure
Before the pandemic, Hong Kong’s public healthcare system was already feeling the pressure due to factors that include an aging and growing population. With COVID-19, there are concerns that one bad wave could send the system into overdrive.

On the bright side, there are plenty of things that the government, industry, or even individuals can do to alleviate that pressure. On the industry front, players can help individuals stay healthy by offering them useful information.

“We advocate the need for strengthened prevention for greater overall wellbeing. To empower the public to look after their health, our enhanced mobile app provides them with access to personalised health tips and virtual workshop videos led by our network of healthcare professionals,” Chu explains.

A number of training videos will be offered to patients as advised by registered physiotherapists with an aim to empower their rehabilitation. Meanwhile, Quality HealthCare also rolls out in-app live workshops in November, covering Western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, physiotherapy, mental health and dietetics.

These workshops will feature medical professionals who will share vital information and advice as well as interacting with audiences in real-time.

The company has also participated in various public-private partnership programmes such as the Vaccination Subsidy Scheme, a scheme that provides subsidised seasonal influenza vaccination and pneumococcal vaccination to eligible Hong Kong residents through the participation of private doctors and initiatives by the Department of Health.

Other collaborations include the Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme, and the Health Care Voucher Scheme for the elderly. It also works with the Hospital Authority to launch the General Outpatient Clinic Public-Private Partnership Programme.
Nobody would contend that 2020 has been a difficult year. Looking forward, Chu says Quality HealthCare will continue advancing its digital transformation.

By the end of 2020, Quality HealthCare will establish a virtual care team, ensuring health-related queries received via the in-app chat room function will be answered instantly by a team of healthcare professionals.

“We plan to initiate more partnerships with corporate clients to better support them in maintaining a healthy workforce and workplace with professionally-designed health programmes. Another priority for us is to integrate our broad capabilities for a better patient experience for seamless, one-stop service across our network of clinics, with services now spanning Western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, dental services, physiotherapy, diagnostics and imaging, among others,” she concludes.