How COVID-19 led Telehealth Industry to grow in Indonesia?


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The outburst of COVID-19 has led people to maintain physical distance from each other. Governments and hospitals in Indonesia have made their moves to contain COVID-19 from spreading in hospitals and clinics. These measures have given the telemedicine industry room to expand more. The telemedicine industry is on a rising curve as it has proved to be transformational when it comes to limiting the contact of patients and doctors with each other. Patients can avail of medical consultations easily by connecting with medical practitioners virtually.

Many telemedicine platforms such as Halodoc and Alodokter have been used tremendously nationwide to seek consultations. The telecare platforms enable people to consult various doctors via chats and audio and video calls. The medicines prescribed by the doctor can be delivered to their places. In case of necessary physical examination, the apps also, allow patients to book appointments for in-person consultation and laboratory facilities.

The president of Indonesia Joko Widodo has shown keen interest in the growth and development of telemedicine platforms. He guides the people of the nation to avail virtual medical services through modern technology as a successful measure against COVID-19. Indonesia’s leading telehealth service providers are noticing massive demand out of the blue. Furthermore, Halodoc offered a helping hand to patients who wanted to make appointments for a rapid test of COVID-19 by introducing a service that enables them to book consultations for real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests online at 20 hospitals in West Java. COVID-19 pushing the growth of telemedicine has impacted the telehealth market, doctors, and patients in various ways. Let’s study their impact:


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Impact on the market: Accelerated growth of virtual healthcare in Indonesia

Hospitals overwhelmed due to COVID-19 find an escape through virtual healthcare. A massive number of patients requiring health consultation are preferring telemedicine apps instead of in-person consultation until necessary. This has been a turning point in the medicare industry.  As per new reports, these scenarios could contribute to the leading telehealth company becoming the next multi-billion dollar organization.

A recent study named “30 Consumer Behavior Shifts” by Inventure Indonesia, a business consultancy and research depict that the post-COVID-19 period would lead to boosted growth of telehealthcare businesses, and as new-entrepreneurs would enter the market to tap the business opportunity, the competition will also be tougher. Further, the report of the study states that telemedicine apps are making consumers experience healthcare at affordable prices from the comfort of their homes without wasting their time waiting for doctor’s appointments. Once the consumers are equipped with such services, the market would tend to expand creating hope for the telehealth leader to become the next unicorn.

Since the beginning of 2020, the Coronavirus or COVID-19 has been continuously bugging our lifestyles every single day. Thousands of people in Indonesia, as well as the world, have lost their lives suffering from this killer virus. In this pandemic situation, health checkup has become so tough for normal people. No one wants a gathering to stop this virus from spreading. This is where the telemedicine industry has started stretching its legs. Here in Indonesia, health care apps such as Halodoc and Alokter are facing tremendous demand for such services. The above massive demand for telehealthcare services is the result of the urgency of routine checkups while avoiding contact with other patients and doctors.

e ever-Increasing demand for telemedicine services

According to a leading telecare app Alodokter, March 2020 has witnessed more than 33 million active patients using the app and 61 million patients visited the website for virtual medical assistance.

Agustine Gunawan, the vice president of Alodokter, mentioned previously that their application has noticed 1.5 times jump in their number of subscribers since the outbreak of the global pandemic. He also mentioned that people have now started consulting about non-Corona virus issues as well which indicated the increasing faith of users in telemedicine apps and services. Furthermore, research by McKinsey and Company revealed that around 44% of people who dropped their in-person routine appointments were looking forward to telecare consultations. Among these, around 24% of people receive the care as well.

Impact on patients: Accessible and safe  healthcare at affordable costs

Many patients witnessed telecommunication for medical consultancy as a convenient and safe tool. People can solve their COVID-19 related issues and seek guidance regarding various non-COVID-19 problems as well.

As per WHO’s statistics in 2017, for every 10k people, Indonesia had just 12 beds in hospitals and only 4 doctors. Indonesia is an archipelago of 17000 islands with a population of 273 million people. The doctors and hospital beds ratio concerning the total population was very low. If you compare Indonesia with other countries in the same year, then you will find out that Singapore had about 6 times more doctors and almost 2 times more beds available in the hospital for every 10000 people. Thailand has about 8 doctors and 24 beds in the hospital for every 10000 people. Therefore, it is pretty common for Indonesians to wait for hours for the doctors to come. And after that, the patients need to spend a few more hours getting diagnosed and prescribed by the doctor. But as the telemedicine service has arrived, the patients do not have to stand in the queue at the hospitals. They can consult with the doctors online. If the doctor thinks that you need further diagnosis or treatment in the hospital then only you can book a bed in the hospital and go there. The telemedicine service also helps you in delivering your medicines to your doorstep in just a matter of time. The authority of Indonesia supports this new trend because it reduces the pressure in the hospitals of the country.

Cost-effective medicare solutions for patients

Online consultation has reduced the patient’s cost by around 40%. Before telehealth, the patients had to do lots of expenses apart from the doctor’s charges and hospital charges. First of all, they need to travel to the doctor’s clinic or the hospital, and then parking, childcare, and most importantly precious time. People from the rural area had to do overnight journeys to come to the urban hospitals. But now it’s all easy. All you need is just a smartphone or tablet or laptop for the initial diagnosis.

Impact on doctors: Unravel a new customer base with remote medicare services

1. A new business opening

If you see telemedicine as a business, then you can find out that, these days, this industry has been stretching its legs throughout the country. Moreover,e medical providers have the opportunity to extend their customer base geographically and in numbers also.

Improvement of patient engagement

People of Indonesia know that there is a huge shot-fall in hospital beds and doctors compare to the population. So the healthcare system of the country wants that the patients must learn to take care of their own. Telehealth has already made this happen. As the patients can get in touch with the doctors and get remote monitoring regularly, they started becoming much conscious about their health.

2. Increase of practice efficiency and workflows in the clinics

Telehealth has brought pace in workflows in the clinics. The companies are taking every case seriously and try to deliver as fast as they can. Because they know that if the patient doesn’t get the fastest service from the company, then he or she might switch to some other. That brings more efficiency and accuracy in the work in a lesser time frame.

3. More Revenue

It takes less time to diagnose a patient as the patient is meeting on a video call or chat. And that reduces the overhead cost per visit. This means more patients can consult with the doctor in less time and with lesser charges. Telehealth can also provide a better model of diagnosis with modern technology to attract and retain customers.

4. Cost-effective

As telehealth comes to the market, the cost of a doctor’s visit has been reduced enormously. The average cost of an emergency room is around $1,750 and a doctor’s chamber is $150. Whereas the cost of an online doctor consultation costs as low as $79. This means whenever a patient switches from an on-site visit to an online visit, the expense cost is being saved around $87. With this amount of savings, the doctors have the opportunity to take fewer visits from the patients.

5. Improvement in the quality of the healthcare system

As per Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), telehealth service has improved the healthcare structure mainly in rural areas. The online diagnosis process can save the patient from getting serious. Also, it reduces the in-person visit to the hospitals and clinics. Moreover, the patients are getting doctors’ advice without traveling to the bigger cities.

6. Lesser no-shows for the patients

As per the case study on a children’s hospital in Nebraska, there are more numbers of no-shows as the rural patients had to do overnight journeys in search of some care and treatment. Therefore, the organizations were getting more revenue from the no-shows and compromising the quality of care. After telehealth has come, the rate of no-shows has been reduced to 50%.

Top 5 Best Healthcare Apps in Indonesia

Whatever tests or checkups you want to do, with a single tap on your mobile phone, the services will reach your doorstep. You will have the opportunity to have a chat with the general physicians and take some advice related to your health issues. In one word, health care apps bring you closer to your health buddy in this pandemic situation. Just like every other country, so many healthcare apps have grown in Indonesia. But, it’s all about trust and dependability. When it comes to your health issues, you will always find the best doctors and healthcare services in the city or country.

Here are the top 5 best healthcare apps in Indonesia:

1. Halodoc: Halodoc app offers you a complete package for your health care solutions. The app offers you to consult with general physicians and specialist doctors. They will chat with you and do the initial diagnosis of your problem. The app also allows you to make video calls or phone calls to discuss with the doctors directly. Whatever medicine you order on the app, it will be delivered securely with a sealed package at your doorstep within 1 hour. Halodoc also ensures the authenticity of the medicines. If the doctors ask to do lab tests for proper diagnosis, you can also do it from here. Just book the test from the app and the executive will come to your home with proper protection and collect the sample from you. You can check the report in the app in a few hours. Halodoc app is available for both Android and iOS.

Know more about Halodoc here: Halodoc Business Model & Features List

2. Alodokter: Alodokter has been serving the people of Indonesia since 2014. With the experience and highly qualified doctors, this mobile app has become one of the most trusted online health care platforms in the country. Above 20 million people are active in this app every month. The most exciting facility provided by this organization is that you can have a chat with the doctors, general practitioners, or surgeons for free. Alodokter has more than 500 different types of reputed doctors and specialists who are members of this app to help you anytime and anywhere. All the doctors and practitioners here are certified and they will help you with the best diagnosis and solutions for your health problems. Whether you are using an Android phone or an iPhone, Alodokter is available for both platforms.

3. GrabHealth – An initiative by Good Doctor: GrabHealth is another popular health buddy in Indonesia. This app allows you to have a Q&A session with the most trusted doctors in the country. It also has an online store for health products. GrabHealth ensures the authenticity of all its products and the packages they deliver at your doorstep are completely sealed. The company thinks that normal people must have some knowledge related to health and different health issues. That’s why they have made a segment in the app where you will find various content related to health, fitness, and lifestyle. All of them are written by experienced professional doctors. Good Doctor’s GrabHealth has a wide reach to the geographical boundaries of Indonesia. They are also looking to reach medical service to the doorstep of every Indonesian. This app is also available for both iOS and Android.

4. Klikdokter: This app is an information hub and educational portal for the people of Indonesia. Klikdokter.com is filled with tons of information related to health, health issues, fitness, and lifestyle. The app helps people to learn how to live a healthy and stress-free life. Klikdokter is being run by a team of professional and experienced doctors, The Medical Council of Indonesia (KKI), the Indonesian Medical Faculty Alumni Association (FKG ILUNI), the Medical Association of Indonesia (IDI), and some other medical and health organizations. The app offers 24/7 health consultation for free, the Directory of diseases, the Directory of Drugs, and the Fertility Calendar. You will find this app both in PlayStore and AppStore.

5. YesDok: YesDok is more efficient to save both time and money for you. During this pandemic situation, no-one is comfortable going to the doctor’s clinic in-person. For small issues they want them to be treated remotely. YesDok is designed for exactly this way. When you are facing some health problem, first you ask the doctor via YesDok and consult with him or her. If it is necessary to visit the doctor physically, then only go to the clinic by booking an appointment slot. Whenever you need to go for surgery, always take a second opinion from YesDok’s highly experienced professional doctors. Above all the main feature you will get in this app is 24/7 free consultation with the doctors. You can talk to them in chat/call/video call format. During the discussion, if the doctor asks for a photograph of your issue or the previous prescription, you easily switch to your camera option, without disconnecting the call and sending it directly. YesDok is also available on both Android and iOS. Based on the services and facilities, these are the 5 topmost healthcare apps in Indonesia. Apart from them, another app which is becoming so popular nowadays is Pro Sehat. This application offers the facility of doctors on call for vaccinations and immunizations. They also provide home service for lab tests, physiotherapy, healthy food products, herbal medicines, and medical devices. But this app is available only for Android devices. So to fight against COVID-19 and survive in the pandemic, these health buddies will give the ultimate solutions for the people of Indonesia.


We can say that COVID-19 has pushed people to adopt telemedicine and virtual medicare solutions. The efforts of the Indonesian government are also appreciable for introducing patient-friendly apps quickly to cope up with the worst scenarios. The telehealth industry is still growing and unfolding itself as COVID-19 is towards the end. Even, in the post-COVID-19 period, a large number of patients will continue to avail online medical assistance due to its convenience and cost, and time effectiveness.

We hope this article was useful and informative for you ?

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