Tele-consultation, or telemedicine, allows your doctor to provide you with medical consultation and treatment when both you and your doctor are not physically present with each other. You can do this from your home without the need to travel to your doctor’s clinic.
This is made possible with interactive video technology that we are so familiar with nowadays. However, please note that tele-consultation has its limitations and will not substitute an actual clinic visit. It is also not suitable for all medical conditions.
New patients should generally have a physical consultation with doctors prior to using tele-consultation for future follow-up. For example, for patients with severe abdominal pain, severe or persistent vomiting, bleeding, chest pain, shortness of breath, etc are not suitable for tele-consultation and should see a doctor or attend emergency department immediately.
Dr Tan is also unable to offer teleconsultation to you if you reside outside Singapore and have not seen Dr Tan before. Our doctor will review your reason/medical issue at the time you are making a booking for tele-consultation to determine if you are suitable for tele-consultation.
During a tele-consultation, you and your doctor will be connected via a secure video call. Your doctor will obtain details of you, and your medical history and provide you with a medical opinion regarding your medical condition as well as treatment recommendations, much like what you would experience in an actual clinic consultation. However, unlike an actual clinic visit, a physical examination by your doctor is not possible and there might be certain limitations.
While there are many benefits to tele-consultation, please kindly take note that it is not equivalent to an actual clinic consultation in which your doctor comes face to face with you and can examine you physically. Your doctor may advise you to come to the clinic or visit any healthcare facility for an actual clinic consultation or medical treatment depending on the medical issue(s) you have.
There are potential risks associated with the use of tele-consultation. These risks include, but may not be limited to:
- In some cases, information transmitted may not be sufficient (e.g. Poor resolution of images) to allow for appropriate medical decision making by your doctor;
- Delays in medical evaluation and treatment could occur due to deficiencies or failures of the video or IT equipment;
- In rare instances, security protocols could fail, causing a breach of privacy of personal medical information;
- In rare cases, a lack of access to complete medical records may result in adverse drug interactions or allergic reactions or other judgment errors.
For best possible medical care, you should also visit your doctor’s clinic for an actual clinic review from time to time as advised by your doctor whenever it is feasible for you to travel.