Published on 18 Mar 2022

Students expand free telehealth services

Community telehealth service

Following a successful pilot, a free health monitoring initiative led by graduate students from NTU Singapore has been expanded to the residents of Bukit Gombak, in partnership with South West Community Development Council (CDC).The Community Telehealth Service (CTS) now aims to provide free health screening to 2,000 people, doubling its target from the pilot in January 2021, which took place in Punggol. The service is conducted at easily accessible locations and is targeted at Singaporeans above 50 years of age, as well as those who have had their regular health check-ups deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second phase of CTS also includes monitoring for mental well-being, which has been a recent area of concern. A new study by the Institute of Mental Health pointed to a likely increase in mental health issues in Singapore amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

CTS’s second phase is run by nine students from the NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Programme. Additionally, 15 student volunteers from NTU and 50 more from the public were recruited to help.

The check-ups take place in specially constructed telemedicine booths that leverage the latest health technologies to test for chronic conditions via retinal scan, diabetes, as well as obesity. In addition, the student volunteers administer a questionnaire to help assess the mental well-being of participants.

The AI eye health screening system is provided by Singapore start-up EyRIS with camera support provided by Mandarin Opto-Medic Co. Called EyRIS SELENA+, it uses an automated camera to take several images of a person’s eye and its artificial intelligence-powered system then processes the retinal images to examine for three types of eye disease - diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma suspect, and age-related macular degeneration.

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