Healthcare and education SMEs to receive additional digitalisation support

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) further expanded the range of pre-approved digital solutions on 15 May to help Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the healthcare and education sectors manage the impact of COVID-19.

The new teleconsultation (video) solutions and Learning Management System solutions will enable healthcare and education providers to deliver their services remotely so that they can better serve their patients and clients for greater convenience and safety.

These pre-approved solutions under the SMEs Go Digital programme qualify for up to 80% subsidy from the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) until 31 December 2020. The expanded suite of pre-approved solutions follows IMDA and ESG’s announcement on 17 April to offer new pre-approved remote working solutions that are bundled with laptops, to support businesses with their work-from-home arrangements.

“COVID-19 is accelerating the transition to a new model of service delivery using digital solutions. To help healthcare and education sector providers continue delivering much-needed services, we have included teleconsultation (video) and Learning Management System solutions in SMEs Go Digital, so that these solutions can enjoy up to 80% support from the PSG,” said Ms Jane Lim, Assistant Chief Executive, Sectoral Transformation Group, IMDA.  

“Digitalisation will continue to be an important enabler for all businesses even after COVID-19. We are happy to collaborate with industry partners to support our SMEs to go digital and adapt to the new normal,” she added.

Mr Ted Tan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever for businesses in service sectors, such as healthcare and education, to find new ways of serving their customers.”

“We hope these digital solutions that support the delivery of services to customers virtually will enable our healthcare and education businesses to continue running their operations, and help retain their workers. It can also strengthen their capabilities for the long-term”, he continued.

Teleconsultation (video) solutions for the healthcare sector

Due to the need to minimise movement and the safe distancing measures put in place due to COVID-19, healthcare institutions and doctors across the acute, primary and intermediate and long-term care sectors are starting to incorporate live video consultation into their practice.

Live video consultations can be a safe alternative to in-person consultations when used by appropriately trained providers for suitable patients and clinical conditions. This also improves patient engagement, care accessibility and outcomes.

Video consultation offers patients with non-emergencies and chronic conditions the option to receive care in the comfort of their homes. For doctors, video consultations can help them connect easily with patients and enable continuity of care during this COVID-19 period.

To make such technological solutions more accessible to healthcare practitioners and institutions, IMDA and ESG have worked with the Ministry of Health to pre-approve three teleconsultation (video) solutions under PSG. More solutions will be added over time.

Learning Management System for the education sector

In the education sector, the COVID-19 situation and safe distancing measures have led to preschools, schools, education centres, and Continuing Education and Training (CET) providers progressively taking their lessons online. Many also use virtual meeting platforms to conduct virtual lessons with learners.

To support education centres and CET providers in delivering online education content for their learners effectively, IMDA and ESG have worked with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) to pre-approve two Learning Management Systems. Education centres and CET providers can use these solutions to create native online content, take and record attendance digitally, as well as issue digital certificates.

They can also deliver both online and blended (mix of online and classroom) learning programmes to cater to the varied needs of different learners.

Call to “Stay Healthy, Go Digital”

Similar to other pre-approved solutions, SMEs can apply for PSG support through the Business Grants Portal. The pre-approval of these solutions are in line with IMDA’s call for businesses to “Stay Healthy, Go Digital”. They complement the Government’s COVID-19 measures, providing support for businesses to embark on digitalisation to offer their services and products online quickly.

As part of its “Stay Healthy, Go Digital” outreach, IMDA has also been adding more resources for businesses to help them digitalise during this period. This includes educational guides, webinars as well as a list of digital solutions offered by the industry, for the industry.