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Diabetes patients will no longer have to worry about remembering what to do before their appointment. Neither will they have to be pressured over trying to recall all the advice and instructions given by the doctor during a consultation.
The MyVisit app, launched by Singapore General Hospital’s (SGH) Endocrinology Department, keeps track of all these and more, making the outpatient journey a less stressful experience. It helps the patients to not only plan their visit, but also allows them to take charge of their own health.
“Our goal is to empower patients, and give them greater knowledge and confidence in managing their own health,” said Dr Amanda Lam, Consultant, Department of Endocrinology, SGH.
Piloted in July 2019, the MyVisit app is embedded within SingHealth’s HealthBuddy app. Designed specifically with diabetes patients’ needs in mind, it includes features such as a pre-appointment questionnaire, a consultation summary, and test results history. “Giving patients easy access to this information allows them to monitor their condition better.
Previously we explain what the
test results and trends mean, but
now patients can view them on
their personal devices at their own
time,” said Dr Lam.
The app has more than 3,000
active users, and the department
is hoping to get more patients
Diabetes is a chronic illness
that has a significant degree of
complexity and requires a good
deal of patient involvement,
said Dr Lam.
“It affects nearly every
aspect of a patient’s life — the
activities you do, what you eat,
and what time you eat. A lot of
self-management is involved, so
we felt that this is the group that
would benefit most in terms of
being empowered,” she added.
With all the information about
their care at their fingertips,
patients will become more conscious
of their health management.
“Even the simple act of
answering the questionnaire
makes them realise what aspects
of care they should pay attention
to, and they look out for those
things as they go about their daily
lives,” said Dr Lam.
Doctors also find the
questionnaire handy. A quick look
at the responses before the patient
visits the clinic helps them zero in on issues of concern, maximising
face-to-face interaction time, and
making the consultation more
meaningful and efficient.
The team anticipated that not
all patients would experiment
with an unfamiliar app on their
own. So staff known as digital
ambassadors were stationed at
the clinics to assist patients who
were open to trying it.
“The ambassadors download
the app in front of the patients
and give them a visual walkthrough.
When patients realise
they can get more out of their
consultation through the app, it
becomes a bit easier to convince
them,” said Dr Lam.
As the app requires patients to
log in via the SingPass portal, the
team even set up password reset
stations on-site for patients who
have forgotten their login details.
Dr Lam foresees the app can
eventually be custom-built for
conditions other than diabetes.
But for now, the team is working
on improving the app for
“We are doing patient
surveys to better understand the
remaining unmet needs so that
we can tailor add-ons in future
iterations of this app,” she said.