GLOBE Telecom, Inc. (Globe) said the coronavirus pandemic brought an increase in demand for its telemedicine service in May.
“On increase in consultations, it did by over 450% in May as compared to January,” Globe said in a statement sent to BusinessWorld via phone message last week when asked for an update on its telemedicine consultations.
Globe has been pushing for telemedicine via KonsultaMD. “We will keep introducing new digital concepts to enhance people’s lives. I think the cycle of adoption and appreciation will be much shorter now given the pandemic,” Globe President and Chief Executive Officer Ernest L. Cu was quoted as saying in a news release last week.
“In many ways, the health crisis has given digital transformation a much-needed push. It has been a long process convincing people to adopt digitalization but I think this situation has made them realize that digital does work. It’s not only for millennials or for the young people, it is really for everyone since it provides a certain level of convenience,” he added.
KonsultaMD is an affiliate of 917Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of Globe.
QualiMed Health Network, owned and operated by Mercado General Hospital, Inc. in partnership with Ayala Land, Inc., has teamed up with KonsultaMD to enable its telemedicine service called TeleCheQ.
According to Globe, it is currently working on another partnership. “The other one is still for roll out, so we can’t disclose yet,” it said last Thursday.
Globe has announced its plans to “aggressively” build cell sites in the third quarter of the year, covering several areas in Metro Manila, north and south Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Mr. Cu said local government units should relax their permitting requirements so that telecommunications companies can fast-track the execution of their cellular tower projects.
“We are investing billions of pesos to connect the rest of the public to the digital world to enable things like working and learning from home and yet, there are so many obstacles along the way. I think it is really incumbent upon our local officials to provide telecom infrastructure to their constituents. Telco is like water or power. It is something that people need and want,” he said. — Arjay L. Balinbin