Press Releases

Press Releases

NTUC Income pilots industry’s first tele-health programme to bring patient-centric and collaborative care to policyholders’ homes

31 May 2016 SINGAPORE, 31 MAY 2016 – NTUC Income (Income) has partnered Philips to pilot the insurance industry’s first tele-health programme, Orange Care, to support the recovery and overall health improvement of IncomeShield policyholders who were recently hospitalised due to a heart condition.

Leveraging Philips’ established heart-failure tele-health programme, Orange Care will adopt a three-pronged approach of monitoring, education and tele-support to care for participants. In this regard, Philips’ tele-nurses and doctors will engage Orange Care participants to better understand their own medical conditions, adhere to treatment plans and to lead healthier lifestyles. This collaborative approach aims to empower participants to better manage situations that most commonly cause heart patients’ conditions to deteriorate. The latter typically happens when a patient does not take medication correctly or consistently, fails to monitor weight daily and is lacking in the control of water intake and diet.

Mr Pui Phusangmook, Executive Vice President & General Manager, General Insurance & Health, Income, said, “Orange Care is a value-added service that takes a patient-centric approach in putting the health of our policyholders first. While the pilot focuses on heart disease patients, we believe that Orange Care has the potential to support the paradigm shift to more sustainable and preventive healthcare management for those with chronic medical conditions beyond heart disease. This is particularly important to Income, as Singapore’s largest Integrated Shield Plan provider, in view of our longer life expectancies and rapidly aging population.”

By 2030, the number of seniors in Singapore aged over 65 years will more than double to over 900,000. This means that one in five people in Singapore will be 65 and above by then compared to one in nine today . Longer live expectancies potentially come with the prospect of a multitude of health issues. This is further compounded by an increasing shortage of healthcare resources in Singapore which poses an urgent need for more efficient care models to deliver quality and affordable healthcare to the Singapore population.

“Philips is at the forefront of advancing hospital-to-home solutions. We are glad to have found a like-minded partner in Philips to pilot a new technology-led care model that is sustainable in Singapore via Orange Care,” Mr Phusangmook added.

During the one-year pilot programme, Orange Care participants will receive a personal health tablet known as the Philips eCareCompanion, a digital blood pressure monitor and a weighing machine. These devices assist participants in the daily measurement of their weight, pulse and blood pressure – three vital indicators which are automatically uploaded to a central monitoring system managed by tele-nurses and doctors at Philips’ Continuous Care Monitoring Room. They monitor participants’ vital statistics, intervene early and proactively provide support when signs of deterioration are detected. This ensures lapses and potential medical issues are addressed in a timely fashion so that the participant’s overall medical condition is stabilised and well managed.

To ensure a good user experience amongst Orange Care participants, trained technicians from Philips will install the devices at participants’ homes and familiarise them with the use of the devices and requirements of the programme. The eCareCompanion and accompanying educational materials, including videos, are delivered remotely to the participants and are available in three languages – English, Chinese and Malay.

Mr Fernando Erazo, Head of Healthcare Informatics Solutions & Services, Philips ASEAN Pacific, said, “Philips is committed to bring innovation and quality improvement to patient care and we aim to establish a new care model in Singapore that is both scalable and sustainable.”

“Medical insurance is a vital element of our healthcare ecosystem,” Mr Erazo added. “The collaboration is a showcase of how Philips partners like-minded and forward-looking organisations like Income to introduce innovative solutions that will benefit Singapore’s health system and patients. This is a ground-breaking initiative for Singapore and will serve as a model for the rest of the region where we are looking to roll out similar partnerships.”

“Orange Care aims to make participants feel more supported and confident in managing their own medical conditions in the comfort of their own homes. When they see positive effects of adhering to treatment plans and making lifestyles changes, they are more likely to stay committed. This has an immeasurable impact on their quality of life as it improves not only their physical health but also their morale as they decrease the burden of care on their family members. Orange Care is another example of Income’s innovation in uncharted grounds to maximise value to our policyholders,” said Mr Phusangmook.

The pilot aims to enrol participants on a first-come-first-served basis from June 2016 and is by invitation only.