Speedoc app lets you call the nearest doctor to your home
Doctor created app to cut number of people going to A&E departments in hospitals
Earlier this year, Ms Geraldine Lim, 43, spent two hours trying to convince her elderly uncle to go to the hospital.
He was bleeding badly after accidentally cutting himself.
When he refused to budge, Ms Lim's general practitioner (GP) advised her to call a doctor to her uncle's home, using the mobile application Speedoc.
Speedoc, which started operating last November, has had more than 1,000 downloads.
It now has about 22 doctors, mostly GPs who must prove their qualifications and undergo interviews before being added to the app. Around 120 house calls have been made.
Dr Shravan Verma, 30, who did an engineering degree before getting his medical degree at Duke-NUS, created the app.
His aim is to reduce the number of people going for treatment at the accident and emergency (A&E) departments in hospitals.
He told The New Paper: "I used to work at the National University Hospital, and I realised there was a gap in healthcare because so many people came to the hospital with conditions that could be treated outside."
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH) website, about 250 to 500 people visited a hospital's emergency medicine department a day in the last few weeks of March.
Speedoc joins other apps such as Jaga-Me in trying to bring healthcare closer to home. Jaga-Me ,which began in 2016, provides nursing for those who need post-hospital care. It has 300 nurses in its network.
Dr Verma said: "We cater to the elderly who might be afraid of going to hospitals or are immobile.
"There are also cases of children with conditions such as vomiting and stomach problems, or those with injuries such as burns, cuts, wounds and trauma.
"Sometimes, people go to A&E for giddiness because it is 2am and they are not sure what to do. The end goal is to bring more medical care to the home."
Simple procedures such as providing medication, wound stitching and setting up intravenous (IV) drips can be done at home, rather than having the patient rush to A&E and wait for hours to see a doctor.
The app will match doctor and patient based on location. In the future, it might also take a doctor's specialisation into account, Dr Verma said.
For instance, the app can match a child patient with a paediatrician.
He said the market rate for house calls is d $200 to $250, while Speedoc's doctors charge about $150. A trip to A&E might cost a patient about $120.
Ms Lim, who used the app for the first time to help her uncle, said: "I was impressed at how quickly a doctor came with all the materials for cleaning and stitching a wound."
The doctor prescribed her uncle painkillers and returned to remove the stitches on a later day.