Health care provider PhilCare partnered with Samsung Electronics Philippines Co. to offer the first near field communication or NFC-capable membership card designed to make the availing of health services from hospitals faster, more efficient, and close to paperless.

NFC, the radio frequency technology considered by experts worldwide as “the next best thing” in mobile transaction, continues its integration in the Philippines – this time providing a much needed upgrade in the way healthcare is delivered to thousands of Filipinos.

NFC, a form of wireless, radio-wave technology, allows two objects – a reader device and a storage device – to send and receive information via brief contact. In this case, PhilCare membership cards will simply need to be tapped on Samsung devices to ensure the secure transfer of data.

The NFC-capable card means to do away with the usual tedious process of availing health services from health maintenance organizations (HMO). In most cases, hospitals require cardholders to secure letters of authorization from their HMOs before getting medical services.

All these are no longer necessary for NFC-powered PhilCare cards as members only need to hand over their cards to any of the 200 service providers of PhilCare with NFC-capable phones from Samsung.

NFC-capable Samsung Phones

With a single tap, hospitals and clinics can now determine coverage and benefits of a member, as well as other details of the member’s account.

NFC technology is used by banks, retail, transport, and service providers worldwide and has been deployed to accommodate wireless payments.

Samsung smartphones have long been equipped with NFC technology, used for quick file transfers, payments and other transactions. Each mobile device is equipped with security features from the hardware level, and can be further enhanced with Samsung’s propriety security platform to protect such transactions from being leaked or breached.

With Samsung’s growing number of reliable nationwide service centers certified especially for Samsung Business, the company’s enterprise or business-to-business (B2B) arm, the partnership is expected to deliver even more advanced services in the years to come.

This new technology is the first of its kind in the Philippine health care industry and allows patient information to be updated in real-time, ensuring quick, efficient, and accurate service.

Mock-up of the NFC Card

Mock-up of the NFC Card

The launch of its new membership cards is only one of the many innovations PhilCare has set up to affirm its position as a pioneer in the health care industry.

In 2013, PhilCare launched its mobile application GO! Mobile, becoming the first HMO provider to bring the service to its members.

PhilCare’s Go! Mobile app is designed as a quick reference guide for members on their coverage and benefits while also giving access to complete lists of PhilCare-affiliated hospitals, clinics, and doctors.

Just last year, the mobile app introduced various updates in addition to being made compatible with iOS devices alongside Android devices. With GO! Mobile, PhilCare members no longer need to call any hotline for provider information since it is made available right at their fingertips.

In addition to its mobile app, PhilCare also recently launched its e-commerce website, becoming the first HMO provider to offer online purchases for its health care packages.