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Insights into Asia Pacific’s healthcare tech trends; key learnings from an integrated health management system leveraged in China
Technologies such as telehealth and remote monitoring were seen as low priority or ‘good to have’ by healthcare organizations such as hospitals or even relegated further down the priority list to become pilot or proof of concept projects.
However, these technologies have now come to the fore as healthcare organizations across Asia Pacific region have been ‘pushed’ to adopt them rapidly given the current business environment, described Roger Pang, managing director, Greater China at DXC Technology. Roger is also regional industry GM, Healthcare and Life Sciences, at DXC Technology – Asia.
Pang, who has over a decade’s experience in healthcare technologies and life sciences in the Asia Pacific region, shared his insights on the recent healthcare tech trends in Asia Pacific and some key lessons from DXC’s integrated health management project that was managed in Guiyang, China.
Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province in China, launched a regional data center in June 2018. This acts as the link to a national healthcare data network with the aim to provide a personalized health profile for each citizen.
Key Observations of healthcare tech trends in Asia Pacific
Despite the variance in healthcare tech trends between developed countries and emerging countries in the vast and diverse Asia Pacific region, Pang observed some consistent trends:
Healthcare organizations are looking at improving healthcare systems and operations, to drive cost efficiencies in data capture as well look into the improvement of digital technologies.
Hospitals in the region are also starting to look at solutions beyond the walls of the care facility to improve patient experience and explore new revenue models. This includes remote triage, telemonitoring and teleconsultation. However, the adoption of such solutions leads to increased security risks. Pang said that in his recent experience with several healthcare CIOs, strengthening cybersecurity measures with the increasing popularity of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is a key priority for healthcare CIOs.
With the increased usage of medical devices that is collecting patient data, there is also a lot of interest from healthcare organizations to leverage analytics and data sharing, which will also be used in research for both public and private healthcare stakeholders.
Key learnings from setting up an integrated management system in Guiyang
In Guiyang, China, DXC worked with the National Health and Family Planning Commission to develop a platform to connect more than 100 medical and healthcare institutions, covering more than seven million people. Pang explained the challenges faced by the city prior to the start of the project:
Firstly, there were repeated investments by the various medical institutions, which led to increased cost and wastage of resources.
Next, there was a lack of agreed standards on information exchange between the different healthcare providers and data was not effectively shared. This meant patients had to always answer the same questions when visiting different providers. This not only resulted in a poor continuum of care but also an overall poor patient experience.
To address these challenges, DXC partnered with the city of Guiyang to build an integrated and comprehensive healthcare information platform to promote convergence of health/medical data, the exchange of medical information and to support coordination between different healthcare institutions. A single, integrated health record was also created which facilitated the development of applications for remote consultation and close-loop referral systems.
Some of the benefits and lessons learnt from the project was the ability to achieve a comprehensive integrated health information system to provide continuum of care for the city’s residents. With this continuum care, a lifecycle health profile can be created for patients and this actually increases their trust/confidence in the healthcare system.
With the reduction of costs and streamlined data exchange, this also allows healthcare providers to promote and improve quality of health for a focused group of people with special healthcare needs.
As a result of the project’s success, DXC is exploring phase two of the project with Guiyang city – with the possibility of working with private stakeholders such as pharmaceutical companies to conduct analysis and research on rare diseases based on real-time big data/evidence gathered from its seven million citizens.