Pick up health tips before seeing doctor


EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIVE: TV screens showing bite-size, health-related video clips are being progressively installed in the waiting rooms of SingHealth institutions. Inset photo shows Mr Yasuo Yokoi, the founder of Wellness TV worked closely with SingHealth to produce health programmes to entertain and educate patients in the waiting areas of the healthcare group’s clinics.

SGH ROLLS out Wellness TV in waiting areas.

Waiting to see the doctor, the patient faced his queue slip and the electronic queue number display on the wall.

Just then, an idea came to mind – one that would spawn a new business for Mr Yasuo Yokoi.

“Waiting time can be converted to learning time,” said the 59- year-old, who thought about how unproductive waiting time could be put to good use.

“Entertainment that promotes a healthy lifestyle for waiting patients,” he thought.

The concept began to take shape.

Mr Yokoi is the man behind Wellness TV Network, which is dedicated to educating and entertaining patients in the waiting area.

With a quarter of a century’s experience in advertising and another 11 years in broadcast media, Mr Yokoi certainly had the industry knowledge to set up a media company.

But for his idea to take off, he had to convince healthcare group SingHealth to agree to install a TV network, and develop medical content together by sharing health and medical information in a bite-size, easyto- understand format.

“I felt a video would be better received than printed material.

And I knew miniclips were the way to go.

Having many short clips to capture the various interests of different people is better than showing one long clip,” said Mr Yokoi.

That was in 2008.

Today, his partnership with SingHealth is stronger than ever.

Following the first screen installed at Singapore National Eye Centre in March 2010, Mr Yokoi has added more than 200 television and media player sets at other SingHealth institutions, such as National Heart Centre, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and SingHealth Polyclinics.

Tailor-made healthcare programmes are shown on screens to entertain and educate patients in the waiting area.

More recently, Wellness TV made its debut at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and its programmes can now be viewed at the Specialist Outpatient Clinics at Block 3 and the Obstetrics and Gynaecology clinics at Block 5, and will be progressively extended to other clinics.

On top of its original videos, Wellness TV has produced more than 100 Sing- Health clips with input from its doctors and other staff.

The video library is growing, with more than 200 clips to date, and ranges from more serious medical issues such as cancer treatment to lighter lifestyle tips on food and diet, exercise, hobbies, beauty and even cooking programmes.

A patient waiting to be seen at SGH’s Clinic G, Ms Choy Oi Lin, said: “I find the programmes educational and informative.

Before Wellness TV, the clinic used to show the news and some sitcoms, but I find these more useful.”

Mr Yokoi is passionate about the concept of Wellness TV and, in this, he has the support of his father who lives in Japan.

“My father’s mission for me was to contribute to Singapore society.

That’s what keeps me going and this is my life’s work,” he said.