May 03, 2020 / 14:41

Vietnam applies telemedicine platform to avoid Covid-19 community infection

Using the telemedicine platform, patients and clinicians can contact and consult via phone calls, text messages, so that they can avoid the infection but still get medical care.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has piloted a telemedicine platform to minimize infection in the context that the Covid-19 pandemc is ravaging the world.

In Vietnam, Covid-19 is still under control, with no fatalities as of May and no local infection cases have been recorded over the last 17 days. However, it is significant to be vigilant in case the outbreak spreads on a dangerously larger scale.

Health experts agreed that the telemedicine which can take full advantages of digital healthcare solutions in repelling the epidemic nationwide is crucial. The telemedicine helps reduce direct patient contact, decreasing the risk of infection for health workers.

It also aims to provide professional support for provincial and district hospitals and health clinics, especially in far-flung areas.

 

Patients are given long-distance medical examination and treatment with leading experts in geriatrics and cardiology of Hanoi Medical University Hospital. Photo: Nguyen Nhuan

Using the telemedicine platform, patients and clinicians can contact and consult via phone calls, text messages, so that they can avoid infection but still get medical care.

Patients who have successfully booked an appointment will be seen online by doctors. For critical patients, leading experts can promptly support doctors at provincial and district hospitals by remote consultation, prognosis and appropriate treatment for any patients.

Through the support of information technology, experts and doctors can see patients and medical parameters and conditions of patients from respiration to electrocardiogram so that they can make recommendations for colleagues of lower-level hospitals.

People get medical care without going to hospitals

Luong Ngoc Khue, director of the Department for Medical Examination and Treatment under the Ministry of Health, said that the application of information technology in telemedicine will help improve the medical system’s capacity to deal with different diseases.

The telemedicine uses various smart medical solutions, including teleconferencing, electronic medical records, and the cloud-based Picture Archiving and Communication System (Cloud PACS).

The telemedicine helps people easily monitor their health through applications or websites, connect with doctors via phone calls or text messages, book medical appointments and update information on treatment instructions.

The Ministry of Health has selected Hanoi Medical University (HMU) Hospital to pilot telemedicine together with a number of satellite hospitals, including Muong Khuong General Hospital (Lao Cai province), Ha Tinh City General Hospital (Ha Tinh province), commune health stations and patient homes.

 

Most people said they did not have to wait long to get medical checkups when using the online telemedicine. Photo: Dung Nguyen

The Ministry of Health has sent a dispatch to provincial Departments of Health regarding the telemedicine, requiring the higher-level health facilities to be responsible for supporting lower-level ones and counseling people in the localities.

Effectiveness of medical examination and treatment is doubled

The telemedicine will accelerate digital transformation process in the field of health care and improve the quality of health care services for people in the long term, local media quoted Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as saying at the launching ceremony of the telemedicine platform last month.

Phuc appreciated the fact that the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Ministry of Health have actively cooperated to promote digital transformation to double the effectiveness of medical examination and treatment.

The PM also expressed his hope that the Ministry of Health will soon deploy the application platform in all hospitals nationwide and step by step establish a health care and preventive medical system basing on digital technologies.

Vietnam provides free telemedicine during Covid-19 pandemic

On April 24, the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Health and the Voice of Vietnam signed a memorandum of cooperation to provide a free support package for online telemedicine during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 The application of VOV Bacsi24 for telemedicine on a smart phone. Photo: Ngan Nguyen

Accordingly, people can download the VOV Bacsi24 app from the CH Play or Apple Store, create an account and follow the instructions. People could also access the service through the website: https://vovbacsi24.com/.

When there is a need for medical consultation, examination and treatment, people can visit the hospitals available on the application with different specialties, they will be consulted and supported by highly-qualified doctors via free video call.

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said that the platform has been working stably and there are already thousands of doctors who are connecting and providing medical examination for tens of thousands of patients.

Tran Quy Tuong, director of the Department of Information Technology under the Ministry of Health, assessed that the telemedicine platform integrates specialized medical devices for remote medical examination and treatment, which helps many patients in far-flung areas be treated promptly and reduces the risk of infection, especially in the fight against Covid-19.

“Our expectation is that over 1,300 public hospitals across Vietnam can participate in the platform,” Tuong said.