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Covid-19 Medical Advisory Clinic to be launched by Doctor Anywhere

Adnan Kayyali

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Covid-19 Medical Advisory Clinic to be launched by Doctor Anywhere

Medical Advisory Clinic to be launched by telehealth startup, Doctor Anywhere. Partnering with major insurers such as AIG and Cigna Singapore, Doctors Anywhere will offer their services free of charge to their policyholders.

The Medical Advisory Clinic whose headquarters are in Singapore is a full suite service to those living in Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand. Users will be able to use the app to get in touch with doctors through video call and get a consultation within 5 minutes. Doctors will inquire about the patients travel history, contact with potential or confirmed cases, as well as symptoms of the sickness to determine the possibility of infection and triage the results.

If the assessment determines a person as non-infected, the patient can be prescribed medication to alleviate symptoms, which will be delivered to the patient’s home. If however a patient is suspected to be infected, the Doctor Anywhere Care Team will walk them through the next steps as well as call an ambulance to take them to the appropriate Covid-19 health center for testing.

Users outside the three countries can also access the Medical Advisory Clinic but it will only include the video call for symptom identification. The doctor can also provide advice and a memo for procuring medication locally.

Physician and Chief Operating Officer of Doctor Anywhere, Dr Kevin Kok, said that given that Covid-19 could potentially be contracted in healthcare facilities themselves, the Medical Advisory Clinic app would be the perfect answer. Doctors can diagnose and treat patients remotely with both parties under quarantine, bypassing the need for clinic visits entirely. Aside from Covid-19 consultations, he added, doctors are also needed to treat other conditions and illnesses through telehealth.

A larger telehealth trend can be seen clearly emerging around the world in a time of self-isolation and quarantine. Governments and private investors are seeing not only the monetary potential but the necessity of such digital transformations. The future prospects for such ventures seem promising.

Junior social media strategist with a degree in media and communication. Technology enthusiast and free-lance writer. Favorite hobby: 3D modeling.

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Philippines: NOW telecom will run as the fourth mobile operator

Ranine Awwad

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Philippines NOW telecom will run as the fourth mobile operator

On September 14, 2020, The National Telecommunications Commission NTC issued a provisional authority allowing NOW Telecom Company Inc. to install, operate, and maintain a nationwide mobile telecommunications system, according to Manila Bulletin.

NOW will run as the fourth mobile operator in the Philippines, offering mobile data, text messages, and voice calls to customers across the country. However, the telco is obliged to accelerate the installation of broadband data services in the suburban and rural areas. Moreover, each phase of project implementation will directly comply with the 70:30 ratio of urban to suburban and rural network rollout coverage, said Now Telecom in a statement.

The telecommunications company has already announced its plan to spend $713 million for its five-year wireless expansion in Metro Manila, according to Inquirer.Net. On the other hand, it will be moving forward to secure high-speed internet for its customers. “As the country’s fourth telco, NOW Telecom, an affiliate of publicly listed telecommunications, media, and technology firm NOW Corp, is currently setting the stage for its public listing as well as its 5G or fifth-generation network rollout”, said the Company.

NOW Group of Companies founder and Chief Executive Mel Velarde, said, “We are moving forward with the corporate restructuring of NOW Telecom to take it to the next level. NOW Corp. and NOW Telecom were the first to introduce 5G broadband speed of up to 2 Gbps [gigabits per second] direct to our existing enterprise clients”, according to Manila Bulletin.

NOW Telecom initially secured a franchise in 1992. Back then, the company was called InfoCom Communications Network, Inc., according to CNN Philippines. However, on February 22, 2018, the 17th Congress renewed the franchise for another 25 years through Act No. 10972.

NOW isn’t allowed to share or co-use its frequencies with other players, according to Telecompaper. The National Telecommunications Commission requires NOW to reach a total capital of PHP 15.9 billion for the first five years. Moreover, the company should invest at least 30% of its total Capex requirement for the first two years or PH 1.89 billion.

For the last two decades, the Philippines telecom market has been dominated by the PLDT-Globe duopoly. In 2018, DITO- the third telecom operator – received its franchise. However, in late August, and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s House of Representatives approved the renewal of its franchise for the next 25 years in a vote of 240 to seven with no abstentions, according to Developing Telecom. The introduction of Now Telecom into the Philippines’ market will allow competition among telecom operators and will enhance service developments in the country.

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Indian Innovation Chingari gains 30 million downloads

Karim Hussami

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Indian Innovation Chingari gains 30 million downloads

The government’s decision to ban an estimated 200 Chinese apps in India, including popular ones such as TikTok, Helo and WeChat, has presented opportunities for local talent. While many Indian startups received attention for their ingenuity in the recent few years, there was less room to dominate a market already saturated with bigger industry players. As such, changing circumstances may have prompted a wave of tech innovation that will foster growth in the local digital market.

The made-in-India short-video sharing platform, Chingari announced that it has reached more than 30 million organic users in just three months, with the highest percentage of users aged between 18 and 35.

India has emerged as the third largest start-up base behind US and UK, and such ventures are poised to grow 2.2 times to reach 10,500 by end of 2020 employing over 210,000 people, according to the “Indian Startup Ecosystem Maturing” report by Nasscom-Zinnov.

“The startup landscape in the country is becoming the epitome of innovation, with companies bringing out solutions that are aimed at solving locally relevant issues. Nasscom believes that the contribution by startups have been growing at a rapid rate,” said Nasscom Chairman C.P Gurnani.

Sumit Ghosh, Co-founder and CEO of Chingari App said that “The rise of Chingari App has a direct correlation with the advanced tools that we offer and the seamless creation experience that Chingari App provides. We provide excellent video and audio editing tools to our content creators and empower them with the best-Indianised filters for visual effects.”

What did Chingari do to attract more users? It has added AR (augmented reality) filters on its platform to give content creators more advanced front and rear camera tools to work with, according to the app.

“Chingari is all set to ablaze the market with new and unique AR filters and more interesting video-editing features that people will love,” Ghosh said.

In addition to English and Spanish, the Chingari content is available in Hindi, Bangla, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, Odia, and Telugu, the app notes. “Apart from India, the app is steadily increasing its user base in the UAE, the United States, Kuwait, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.”

The homegrown platform last week signed a music licensing agreement with T-Series. As a result of the partnership, all Chingari users in India, other Saarc nations, and the Middle East will get access to the music collection of T-Series.

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Ed technology developments in South Korea amid the Covid-19 pandemic

Ranine Awwad

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Ed technology developments in South Korea amid the Covid-19 pandemic

On September 21, 2020, Korean top mobile operator SK Telecom Co. has announced its partnership with the Gwangju Metropolitan Office of Education aiming to offer a remote education service for students stuck at home amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the operator, the service will be used by around 20,000 students at 312 schools in the city located 300 kilometers south of the capital. Based on the mobile carrier’s existing MeetUs Video conference platform, the service will make use of 5G and Artificial Intelligence technology to ensure high-quality video conferences and offer other educational features such as surveys and tests, according to The Korea Bizwire. MeetUs was launched in August and can be used to offer presentations and share content with around 100 people.

The company’s move comes after an introduction of mix and in-person classes in South Korea to curb the spread of the virus. At the end of August 2020, South Korea ordered the closure of all schools and kindergartens in the greater Seoul area, according to BBC.

SK Telecom is not the only Korean mobile carrier that introduced the remote education scheme. In fact, LG Uplus, considered the third-largest mobile carrier in Korea, has introduced a mobile app service for elementary school students. Moreover, KT Corp. has collaborated with Signong Group aiming to create educational content using Artificial Intelligence technology.

Online learning has become part of the educational process since the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Choi Won-hwi, who works in the South Korean education ministry division overseeing teacher instruction said, “We prepared for remote learning because of the Covid crisis, but now it will be a permanent part of the educational process”, according to The Wall Street Journal. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education has allocated more than $110 million for developing online learning tools such as textbooks. Moreover, the government has requested the telecom carriers to give free online access to educational websites for Korean students.

On September 11, 2020, the Ministry of Education announced its plan to transition to e-textbooks for third and fourth-grade students in 2022. Higher grades would be covered starting 2023, according to The Korea Herald.

Global education market intelligence firm, HolonIQ, states that the expenditure on education technology is expected to reach $341 billion by 2025.

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