Innovation That Matters

Webcam tool shows which health clinics are crowded

Work & Lifestyle

Emergency rooms and health clinics are notorious for the long waits visits typically entail. That’s why InQuickER—which we covered last year—emerged to let patients reserve a spot ahead of time, and it’s also apparently why Singapore’s Ministry of Health has developed a service to give citizens a real-time view from home of how crowded clinics are likely to be. Part of the Ministry of Health’s eCitizen effort, Queue Watch is designed to provide health patients with timely information to plan their visit to any of Singapore’s many health clinics. A map on the site marks each of those clinics with two symbols—a red circle and a yellow triangle. Clicking on the red circle for any given clinic reveals not just the number of patients waiting for registration and consultation, but also live webcam images showing the waiting areas for registration, consultation and pharmacy/payment. Webcam images are intentionally out of focus to protect patients’ confidentiality, the site notes. Clicking on the yellow triangle for a clinic, meanwhile, brings up information about its peak and non-peak periods. By giving patients the information they need to plan which clinic to visit and when, Queue Watch promises to help them minimize the time they’ll have to wait—and, at least as important—the frustration they’ll experience. Time to bring that type of transparency to clinics and government offices all over the world! Spotted by: Sharon Sng



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