Covid-19 might have made it more urgent for businesses to digitalise but for some, it’s also brought them closer to their goals, like WhiteCoat, the telemedicine company established in 2018 by founder and CEO Bryan Koh. Expect to get a consultation with a doctor — an in-house team works out of a clinic in Henderson — in 15 minutes and have the prescription delivered to your doorstep within two hours.
Although telemedicine has become the norm in these socially distant times, the early days were an uphill battle, Koh confides.
“No private or public healthcare provider had been able to develop a full end-to-end platform with the necessary safeguards and protocols to cover consultations through to medication delivery, or convinced the Ministry of Health (MOH) to regulate telemedicine.”
But that all changed when WhiteCoat became the first participant in a regulatory telemedicine sandbox organised by MOH in 2018. The following year, the company clinched another big win when it was appointed the exclusive telemedicine provider for AIA, netting them a potential customer base of 1.2 million.
Our goal is to take WhiteCoat from made-in-Singapore to across the region… to provide accessible and affordable healthcare to anyone, anytime and anywhere.”Bryan Koh
While WhiteCoat has scored successes during the pandemic, there are challenges ahead too. Consultations increased by 15 times in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period the year before. In fact, numbers in the first quarter alone “was more than double that of the whole of 2019,” to which Koh admits, “even we were caught off guard by the sheer speed with which the public gravitated to us”. Thankfully, he and his team were able to overcome the “overnight scaling and capacity issues”.
Koh plans to take WhiteCoat to other countries, not just affluent ones but also places where accessible and affordable healthcare is required the most. He believes that WhiteCoat’s telemedicine structure can help bring healthcare into the world’s most underserved communities.
“Covid-19 has brought forward the telemedicine revolution by at least a decade,” he says. “And our goal is to take WhiteCoat from made-in-Singapore to across the region… to provide accessible and affordable healthcare to anyone, anytime and anywhere.”
This story first appeared in the January/February 2021 issue of A Magazine.