SINGAPORE, April 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Today RingMD, a Singapore based technology company founded in 2014, announces its entry into a Regulatory Sandbox with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to prepare for licensing under the upcoming Healthcare Services Act (HCSA) in 2020. RingMD allows anyone in Singapore to pay a S$20 fee to instantly consult with a Singapore doctor via a video call. Any prescribed medication will be delivered directly to the patient, and any medical certificate (MC) or referral letter will be electronically delivered to the patients after tele-consultation.
RingMD enters the Sandbox as a part of its commitment to the public and its partners to provide a telemedicine service consistent with the regulatory ethos of MOH. Aggregated data from the Sandbox will help MOH better understand the telemedicine landscape ahead of the licensing of telemedicine under HCSA in 2020. This sandboxing initiative is a part of the new Licensing Experimentation and Adaptation Programme (LEAP) launched by the Ministry of Health. LEAP will provide a regulatory sandbox that enables new and innovative models and services to be developed and refined in a safe and controlled environment.
According to the Ministry’s own press release on the matter, "Telemedicine will be the first service to come under the LEAP programme. With our ageing population and rising chronic disease incidence, telemedicine brings new digital options that can empower and benefit patients and caregivers. It has the potential to become an impactful enabler in Singapore’s healthcare landscape." On their website, the Ministry further emphasizes the importance of this program: "Those utilising services from companies that bear the LEAP (Sandbox) logo will benefit from early access to new healthcare models while being assured that essential safety and risk mitigation measures are in place."
RingMD was founded on the belief that everyone on the planet should have access to quality and affordable healthcare. To date, the company has focused on making this a reality in emerging and critically underserved markets: forging partnerships with governments and large healthcare providers to improve access to healthcare for as many people as possible. The company’s focus has recently expanded to Singapore, its home market, with an instant call service: allowing users to easily consult doctors from home or work, and have any necessary medication delivered to them.
Justin Fulcher, RingMD’s Founder and CEO, believes the impact that RingMD can make in Singapore is substantial, yet very different from the effect it is having in emerging markets. "In Singapore, we will play our part to help increase the convenience of access to healthcare and to hopefully reduce the costs involved. Consulting with a doctor via RingMD costs just S$20 and is as simple as making a phone call: users are typically connected to a doctor within 60 seconds. According to the 2014 Ministry of Health Primary Care survey, 31,800 patients with acute self-limiting conditions (coughs, colds, sore throats, etc.) visit private GP clinics on a daily basis. That is over 9 million per year. In many cases, time off to rest and recover is the best medicine: all the patient requires is some simple medication or a medical certificate (MC) to allow them to rest at home, both of which can be provided by RingMD. The objective of our instant call feature is to target these acute conditions. This option of virtual care is important because patients currently have to travel to a clinic and sit in a waiting room surrounded by other sick people before they can consult with a doctor. We believe that technology can increase the convenience of receiving healthcare without affecting the quality of care, the safety of the patient, or the security of their personal data. We feel confident, and hope that the public is assured by our position as part of MOH’s Sandbox, that telemedicine can add substantial value to healthcare in Singapore.
"We are immensely proud that our service is a part of this MOH initiative. We believe our acceptance into the sandbox is a reflection of the hard work and dedication that everyone at RingMD has put in over the years. Being headquartered in Singapore, it is a pleasure to be of service to the government in providing our cutting edge telemedicine solution to the hard-working people of this nation for years to come."