Amid the influx of COVID-19 patients in hospitals, PhilCare — one of the Philippines’ most preferred health maintenance organizations (HMO) — has launched the country’s first-ever service that aims to provide utmost care for COVID-positive patients without leaving their homes.
PhilCare is now offering COVID Home Care Telemonitoring, an exclusive online consultation service for members who tested positive for the viral disease.
It allows affected members to receive advice from PhilCare’s Home Care doctors through video call, thus saving them from the need to visit the hospital and from spreading the disease, given there are now more infectious variants. It also saves their loved ones from possibly getting infected.
Based on the PhilCare CQ Wellness Index, which was conducted during the first lockdowns in 2020, seven out of ten Filipinos said that they were afraid to go to a hospital or clinic for fear of contracting COVID-19. Interestingly, nine out of ten said that they were afraid of a “second wave” of the virus.
COVID-19 cases in the Philippines began resurging last March, a year after the World Health Organization declared the pandemic.
Concerned patient-members will need to have with them a copy of their COVID-positive confirmatory RT-PCR or antigen test results to avail of the service. It also has to be indicated whether they have mild or moderate symptoms, or are asymptomatic.
Mild COVID-19 symptoms include the following: 1) fever below 37.8°C, 2) loss of sense of smell or taste, 3) muscle aches and headaches, 4) sore throat or runny nose, 5) absence of marked breathlessness, and 5) normal or fairly normal appetite.
Moderate COVID-19 symptoms, meanwhile, include the following: 1) more troublesome cough than those with mild symptoms, 2) fever of at least 37.8°C, 3) breathlessness during exercise or walking up the stairs, 4) slight soreness in coughing, 5) feeling tired, but still able to move comfortably, and 6) eating impeded by breathing.
Concerned members may, then, avail of this service by accessing DigiMed PLUS via PhilCare’s website at www.philcare.com.ph and clicking “Member Gateway” under the Gateway menu. Members registered in the Member Gateway may then log-in, while unregistered PhilCare members just need to sign-up.
Once inside the Member Gateway, members should select “DigiMed PLUS,” then onto “Do Digital Consult.” Afterwards, they should select “COVID Home Care Telemonitoring” to set an appointment with a doctor for a video consultation, then indicate “COVID Positive Telemonitoring” as their chief complaint before confirming their respective requests.
“We recognize how difficult it has been for many of our fellow Filipinos, especially those positive with COVID-19, to get the medical care they need with the emergency rooms becoming crowded and our healthcare system becoming overwhelmed. Our aim for the COVID Home Care Telemonitoring is to help alleviate that burden and provide Filipinos with the same quality of care possible without leaving home,” said PhilCare President and CEO Jaeger L. Tanco.
“The ability for people to engage with doctors quickly and seamlessly through smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets marks a significant shift in modern healthcare. This venture is not just about helping solve health concerns but doing it as fast and as efficient as possible with the technology as the driver,” he added.
The COVID Home Care Telemonitoring is just one of the services under PhilCare’s new Home Care umbrella of services, which includes its Home Care Medical Service and its MedHub Mobile clinics, open to both PhilCare members and non-members.
The Home Care Medical Service makes PhilCare the first HMO in the country to offer services such as laboratory, ECG, chest x-ray, and even COVID-19 testing (RT-PCR and antigen) right at your doorstep.
Mobile MedHub, meanwhile, is PhilCare’s clinic on wheels that aims to bring medical consultation services closer to homes and offices within Metro Manila. Aside from consults, the MedHub Mobile clinics also offer basic annual physical examination (APE), ECG, pap smear, drug testing, and onsite vaccination.
“We are thankful to have launched the PhilCare CQ Wellness Index last year because it enabled us to better respond to the medical needs, not just of our members, but more importantly, of the general populace. The findings of this groundbreaking study on the state of health and wellness of Filipinos amid the pandemic drove us to develop new programs that address their concerns in this crisis,” Tanco said.