In an age where technology is at the forefront of innovation, every industry and field is ripe for a digital transformation. Industry 4.0, or the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, has manifested itself most notably in the service sector, with ride-hailing apps revolutionizing transport. In recent years, healthcare has become another field in which digital awakening is well underway.
Join Vietcetera as we meet up with the team of physicians at Jio Health - a pioneer of digital health/telemedicine in Vietnam, to learn more about the unseen hardships healthcare professionals often face, as well as the positive changes that the digital transformation has brought about.
Limitation of traditional healthcare - physicians open up about their professional struggles
A heart of gold
Dr. Huong recounts her experience when she first started practicing medicine, a career path that her family had nudged her along: “A mother sobbing by the side of her 20 year-old-son who was discharged because he was beyond saving. Couples trying and failing for years to conceive a child.”
“These are just a few examples of the heartbreaking scenes that I witnessed during my time in medical school. Such sobering experiences ignited within me an appreciation for the medical profession and gave me the motivation to pursue a career in it.”
The fundamental role of the obstetrics department where Dr. Huong works is to provide constant health monitoring for expecting mothers and newborn babies. With limited visiting hours, concerns about not being able to be by her patients’ side around-the-clock used to plague her waking hours.
“Patients, even after being examined and instructed by their physicians, still require technical guidance or harbor inquiries on unusual symptoms that arise during treatment. This is especially true for expecting mothers, who during their terms are more conscious and concerned of the changes in their bodies and that of the baby growing inside them. In such instances, only the physicians can alleviate their motherly anxiety,” explains Dr. Huong.
To better support her patients, Dr. Huong has taken the initiative to communicate directly with them through text message and calls. However, the sheer number of appointments she attends daily has turned recalling and keeping track of every single case into a mental challenge. Thus, she struggles to be as attentive and supportive of her patients as she had wanted.
A life dedicated to patients
“When I first became a medical student, I thought that I would be able to help the sick by studying really hard. But as classes started, our mentors wouldn’t tire reminding us that we would in fact learn the most from our patients. At the time, I wasn't convinced if experience trumped academic knowledge.”
“Yet, after nearly 16 years of academic and professional career, my mentor's message has finally sunk in. I now hold it dear to my heart, reminding myself to work harder and to continuously improve myself as a professional, " Doctor Khoa told us.
Thoughtful and gentle in his demeanor, he's belovedly referred to by patients and colleagues as the “Friendly Doctor". For Doctor Khoa, engaging with his patients and knowing their life stories is vital to outlining an effective treatment plan.
The majority of his patients suffer from bone and joint conditions, making it a challenge just to move and walk. "I remember seeing patients who are my parents’ age, whose every movement is painful, making their way to me in anguish. Moments like these, I just wish that I could take their place, come take care of them myself and ease their pain.”
A passion for change
For Dr. Ngoc, when it comes to treating younger patients, one needs to be driven by compassion and the endeavor to bring them the utmost care. Though it's uncommon to see children waiting for check-ups with their parents on crowded benches, whenever that happened, Dr. Ngoc couldn't help but grieve at the sight.
Determined to find a solution to this limitation, she actively participates in training courses and conferences so that she can widen her horizon, cultivate her skills and build her expertise. She believes that the application of new technologies in medical examination, treatment, and operation is the key to improving patients' healthcare experience.
A breakthrough came in 2018 when Dr. Ngoc learnt of Jio Health, a healthcare provider, through a friend who was working there.
“I was extremely impressed with their business model from first contact, " Ngoc said. At the time, Jio Health was the first provider to offer home-visiting services by doctors. It was a direction that the Vietnamese healthcare system was heading toward, but few initial steps had been taken.
Later that year, Dr. Ngoc became a partner at Jio Health. Shortly after, she joined the team as full-time staff. It was Jio Health where she got the opportunity to meet and work with a team of more than 150 dedicated physicians (including Dr. Huong and Doctor Khoa). When devising treatment regimens, the team always relies on scientific evidence and abstains from overprescription. As Ngoc puts it, "Jio Health is a place where ideas for improving the quality of treatment and patient care can come true."
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Navigating healthcare in the age of digitalization
Through remote consultations , a service that Jio Health has worked on since its early days, Dr. Lan Huong can now facilitate more frequent and convenient communication with her patients utilizing the messaging and consultation function.
And be it an online or offline session, physicians can digitally document treatment histories, making it easy for both doctors and patients to track and manage health records, and access all the information necessary to monitor and treat the patients.
These features are particularly helpful for expecting mothers, as each antenatal visit often results in mounds of paperwork and test results. Patient records, previously a hassle to store and retrieve, are now seamlessly integrated into one application.
Jio Health also removes time and distance constraints, thus giving Dr. Khoa the opportunity to engage more actively with patients. For physical appointments at the clinic, patients can schedule a meeting prior to their arrival to avoid the queue. Whereas in cases where travel is inadvisable, patients can opt for home visits and have Dr. Khoa treat them at the comfort of their household.
In regards to today’s evolving pandemic environment, home visits also help to increase safety and minimize the risk of cross-infection. Similar to Dr. Huong, Doctor Khoa can monitor and support patients through remote health counseling.
Jio Health is also where Dr. Ngoc’s innovative ideas could be put into action. In addition to treating patients, Dr. Ngoc dedicates his time to researching countries with advanced healthcare systems and introducing their best practices in Vietnam and at Jio Health.
Dr. Ngoc shared her excitement about bringing high-quality healthcare to children through Jio Premium, an advanced healthcare program for kids rolled out two years ago. Still a work in progress, it takes after Bright Futures Guidelines providing a common framework for childcare by the American Academy for Pediatrics that’s being implemented nationwide in the US for pediatric care.
“And that's not all. Jio Health attaches great importance to increasing patient awareness, so that they keep track of their progress and adjust their habits and lifestyle accordingly to achieve optimal wellness. We also invest heavily in our team and frequently have industry experts come to facilitate training sessions. Not only does our team receive professional training, but they also attend specialized courses on communication, English for professional purposes, and CME (Continuing Medical Education),” added Dr. Ngoc.
The future is bright
The stories of Dr. Dang Khoa, Dr. Lan Huong and Dr. Anh Ngoc offer a glimpse into the world of Vietnamese medical professionals and daily struggles they face. Although many of their challenges remain unresolved, we’re closing with an optimistic outlook. We hope to see more groundbreaking and innovative solutions like Jio Health to take root, empowering physicians and supporting them in providing better healthcare to everyone in the community.
Jio Health, a pioneer of Vietnam’s telemedicine, is one of the very few names offering proactive healthcare solutions. Powered by a team of innovative physicians and professionals, the Jio Health’s healthcare ecosystem empowers physicians with technological innovations to complete their missions in the 4.0 age — To provide better healthcare for their patients; To assist them more closely; To execute ideas that would improve their patient's healthcare experience.
Jio Health offers a wide variety of services: the recently launched Premium Clinic, home visits, Jio Premium - a year-long healthcare package, healthcare for businesses, a mobile application (for remote health consultations, digital medical record keeping etc), online pharmacy. In addition, Jio Health partners with insurance firms to provide customers a path to easy and direct payment.
Fore more information about Jio Health, please visit the following sites: