Parkway Holdings surfs into cybermedicine to assist people in managing their own health

Singapore 28 July 1999 Parkway Holdings Limited has unveiled a novel personal health care service through the introduction of cybermedicine which is also known as "c-Med" in short. This new service will be made available to the market through a joint venture between Gleneagles Hospital Ltd and Interactive Health Services Pte Ltd. Parkway Holdings Limited, one of the leading private health care providers in Asia, is currently poised to break new grounds in the health care and lifestyle market in Singapore and the region.

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Parkway Holdings Limited has unveiled a novel personal health care service through the introduction of cybermedicine which is also known as "c-Med" in short. This new service will be made available to the market through a joint venture between Gleneagles Hospital Ltd and Interactive Health Services Pte Ltd. Parkway Holdings Limited, one of the leading private health care providers in Asia, is currently poised to break new grounds in the health care and lifestyle market in Singapore and the region.

The pioneering c-Med service is aimed at helping people improve an important aspect of their lifestyle in health. Use of c-Med is not restricted only to patients. The service can be used by people from different age groups and occupation. The age of information technology has resulted in the fact that people have to undertake multiple tasks and various roles in their daily lives. This inevitably translates to less time for oneself and family and with it, a rapidly rising level of stress.

Health related diseases like heart attacks, asthma, hypertension and cancer while becoming as common as colds and coughs, are potentially potent life threatening illnesses. Ironically, despite the investments and emphasis on medical research globally by governments and corporations, no cures have been found. This leaves all of us with one alternative, to better manage our lifestyles focusing on prevention and early detection. As a result, over the last few months, the Parkway Group has been actively expanding its range of health care services.

The latest to join Parkway's fast growing list of new health care developments is "c-Med", a breakthrough in personal health care services that combines the know-how from information technology, telecommunication and health care. The introduction of c-Med will change the way health care has been traditionally perceived and managed. In short, c-Med is a fully new lifestyle, consisting in a telecommunication-based health care service which can be made available to people who need to constantly monitor the state of their health.

Once a user is signed on, he or she will be able to call into the c-Med centres across the island to obtain a latest report on their health. Initially c-Med will introduce equipment specially designed to help people with cardiac problems by allowing them around the clock access to a team of professionally trained caretakers. At a later stage, the c-Med services may be expanded to include equipment which can help monitor blood pressure and respiratory problems. With the rising costs of medicare, c-Med will play an important role to help people constantly monitor their own health.

c-Med will be particularly useful to patients requiring post hospitalisation care after they have been discharged from hospitals. c-Med will help both patients and their doctors monitor their conditions regularly and constantly while reducing their length of stay in the hospital. In this way, c-Med can be considered as a virtual medical and health monitoring system to both users and patients. More importantly, through the use of information technology and telecommunication, c-Med knows no geographic boundaries. The service can be used anytime and anywhere, if the telecommunication facilities are available.

c-Med is not a totally new concept to the market in Singapore. A few years ago, c-Med already entered the Singapore market in the form of Tele-Medical Services. At that time, the equipment was still more cumbersome and the market entry totally new. Over the last few years, the success of the range of services coupled with the technologically improved equipment, c-Med is now ready to be introduced to a broader spectrum of the market in Singapore and the region. The complex issues which surround the health care needs of the rapidly ageing population in Asia, are fast becoming a primary problem for many governments in this part of the world.

c-Med is one of the avenues that will help the elderly to care for themselves. One of the useful services that c-Med has the capability of providing is the emergency alert service, where the centre is able to respond to emergency calls from users. Through c-Med, the elderly can assure themselves that they have medical attention on an "as required" or an "on-call" basis at their disposal. This will enable them to lead more independent lives but with the assurance that they have a readily available health care service when the need arises.

The potentials that c-Med can provide to subscribers are limitless. With the use of state-of-the-art technology , c-Med will help improve the quality of health care aimed at improving the life expectancy of the population as the world moves into the 21st century. The latest developments within the Group are not only aimed at keeping it highly competitive but it also supports the vision of the government to develop Singapore into both an IT intelligent and IT intellectual country. Presently, the Parkway Group Healthcare network serves the health care needs of many countries in the region, according to Mr. Tony Tan, Managing Director of Parkway Holdings Ltd.

A broad range of health care services and hospitalisation facilities are now at the disposal of many people across Asia especially in countries where there are rapidly growing needs for proper health care facilities. The new vision of providing geographically borderless health care services to the people across Asia and the world is fast becoming a reality with the introduction of cyber medicine or c-Med. People will no longer be obliged to wait in queue or for appointments to consult their physicians. In turn, travellers will no longer need to worry about accessibility of medical services, as Mr. Tan believes.

The c-Med service will put at the users' disposal, a virtual medical centre with quick time response to any enquiries or call for assistance, irrespective of time zones and geographical barriers. For the Parkway Group, c-Med not only brings with it a state-of-the art health care system, it also marks the beginning of the global health care supply chain management system. The clever combination of cybermedicine and a strong health care supply chain management system will not only reinforce Parkway's current position as a leading private health care provider but more importantly, it will place the Group in a strong position towards becoming a total solution provider in the health care industry across Asia and the world, as stated by Mr. Tan.

Parkway Holdings Ltd. has a network of 22 hospitals and diagnostic centres across 9 countries in Asia and a heart hospital in London, United Kingdom. The total assets of the Group amounted to approximately $1.8 billion, last year at December 31st 1998 and its shares are listed on the Stock Exchange of Singapore. In turn, Interactive Health Services is a system integrator and developer company, focusing on the integration of telemedicine and Internet medicine. It is the exclusive representative and distributor of Card Guard Survival Technologies to Asia.


Leslie Versweyveld

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