Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Doctor On Call brings health care to smartphones, computers

Published:Wednesday | June 28, 2017 | 6:00 AM
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley (left) looks at the features of the Doctor on Call application, being shown to him by physician and head of the School of Public Health and Health Technology of the University of Technology, Professor Winston Davidson.

Jamaicans can now access reliable health care at a distance using the latest in information and communications technology (ICT).

This is through the Doctor on Call application (app), which allows patients to consult with their doctors and obtain diagnoses through videoconferencing.

The app was launched by physician and head of the School of Health and Health Technology of the University of Technology Professor Winston Davidson, and his business partner, Sanjeev Kumar Rangaiah, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston last week.

Science, Energy and Technology Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley commended the innovators of the "game-changing" app, noting that it represents a paradigm shift in the way patients access healthcare services.

"So many of our people are plagued by their inability to access top-quality health care because of distance, cost and a variety of other impediments, but this represents a whole new set of possibilities and treatment options," he said.

The minister said the app is in keeping with his 10-point plan for the ICT sector, which, among other things, seeks to have more Jamaicans becoming creators of technology rather than merely consumers.

Professor Davidson explained that the 24-hour app has a number of features, including patient follow-up, adjustment of prescription, and patient case management, among others.

He said the information and interaction between doctor and patient is confidential and can be accessed any time through cloud storage.

Opposition Spokesman on Science, Energy and Technology Julian Robinson, in congratulating the innovators, said the app will enable every Jamaican with a smartphone to access health care.

 

FREE OF COST

 

Doctor on Call can be downloaded free of cost from the Google Play Store for Android smartphones and tablet users, and at the Apple Store for users of iPhones and iPads by typing DoctorOnCallGlobal.

It is also available through Google Chrome for laptops or desktop computers at doctoroncalljamaica.com.

Patients who use the application will be required to pay for the service by Visa and Master debit or credit card.

Meanwhile, Wheatley said his ministry is moving speedily to broaden public Wi-Fi access in rural areas, through the Universal Service Fund (USF).

Some rural areas where the facility has already been established include Junction Square in St Elizabeth and Mandeville Square in Manchester.

"We're looking to go into Brown's Town in St Ann, and Portland. We're going into a number of deep-rural communities ... we are creating a truly knowledge-based and digital society," Wheatley said.

Public Wi-Fi networks have already been installed at several locations in the Corporate Area, including Devon House, Mandela Park, St William Grant Park, and Olympic Way.