AXA Asia, which is part of global insurer AXA, has announced it will be offering free teleconsultations to approximately 6.5 million people in Asia, including under-served patients in remote, rural areas, with limited healthcare access. AXA plans to extend these services further, including in South East Asia.
Through a strategic alliance with Tencent Trusted Doctors, the largest online medical service provider in China, AXA provides 24/7 access to teleconsultations through a dedicated hotline for AXA customers and employees seeking advice and support. The online platform is supported by 450,000 professional medical doctors and psychologists. A dedicated Mental Wellness Helpline via chat and video on WeChat will also go live in May, providing additional support as society begins to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
Halodoc, AXA’s Indonesian telehealth partner, has seen usage skyrocket over the past month. With a lack of medical staff and protective equipment, and less than 4,000 hospital beds for seriously ill COVID-19 patients, Indonesia’s 270 million people need telehealth more than ever. The government’s virus task force said on 27 March it would add links on its website to 20 telehealth services and create a digital call center to direct traffic. Halodoc, which has 12 million monthly users, also offers medicine delivery through partnerships with pharmacies, laboratories and ride-hailers. AXA has made a free teleconsultation program available to more than 2.6 million existing customers, as well as new customers, for a limited time period in Indonesia.
AXA Philippines has extended free medical teleconsultation services to all life insurance customers, as well as select general insurance clients, reaching 750,000 customers with its partner MyPocketDoctor. In Japan, 24/7 health and medical consultation call services “T-PEC” and online services “DoctorsMe” are currently available free of charge to all policyholders, insured persons and their family members. These services provide consultations by healthcare specialists including physicians and nurses about COVID-19. In Thailand, Krungthai-AXA Life offers telemedicine to policyholders currently using services through its partners BDMS network hospitals and Praram 9 Hospital.
THE LARGER TREND
Last month, insurance company AIA Singapore announced that it will cover the costs of 50,000 video medical consultations provided by WhiteCoat, a Singapore-based tele-medicine provider for all its HealthShield Gold Max policyholders, MobiHealthNews reported.
AIA Thailand also partnered with True Digital Group and Samitivej to launch a free-to-use teleconsultation service, dubbed the Virtual COVID-19 Clinic earlier this month. The service is available for use from 8 April to 10 May 2020.
ON THE RECORD
“During these anxious times, we want to support everyone’s mental well-being as well as prevent infection. Our response focuses on ensuring continuity of service amid the disruption, by leveraging telemedicine and digital channels to support customers and patients. Telehealth has proven its essential value, as clinics and hospitals become overwhelmed, and supports social distancing to prevent further infection. A key advantage of telehealth is also its ability to provide care to patients in vulnerable, rural areas, which lack sufficient healthcare access,” said Gordon Watson, CEO of AXA Asia.