Frost & Sullivan defines digital health to include telehealth and healthcare IT. Telehealth covers video telemedicine, remote patient monitoring (RPM), and mobile health (mHealth) and healthcare IT (in the APAC context) refers to the software solutions deployed across hospitals in the region. It is difficult to generalize or summarize the digital health landscape across the region because of the wide variations in technology adoption, regulatory frameworks, and market sophistication among countries. As a result, vendors find it imperative to customize their go-to-market strategy for each country.
Countries like Singapore, South Korea, and Australia lead the way in terms of establishing the necessary regulatory backbone and ICT infrastructure that drive technology adoption. They have a strong penetration of electronic medical/health records and are investing in care delivery models that help to optimize health system resources and improve outcomes, such as, focusing on primary care and homecare, value-based care (VBC), and team-based care. Vendors, healthcare providers, and governments are working through public-private partnerships in these countries to pilot various technologies like telemedicine, home monitoring, patient engagement solutions, and disease management platforms to generate evidence of their impact on the health system. Simultaneously, these are also the countries that are pioneering innovation in areas like virtual reality (VR) and cognitive intelligence. Technological maturity comes hand-in-hand with interoperability challenges and cybersecurity threats. With the increasing digitalization and IoT and BYOD penetration in hospitals, cybersecurity will emerge as one of the key concerns for hospital IT decision makers in APAC. On the other hand, to prepare providers for future technologies, HIMSS will implement revised EMRAM criteria in 2018, which will include more robust requirements for imaging digitalization and cybersecurity.
The ground-breaking work done in these countries helps guide the way for emerging markets, such as, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, which are looking at technological innovation that will help them meet international care standards. Vendors hold strategic interests in these markets and work with government bodies to design and implement standards, consult on hospital IT adoption, and promote local vendors through partnerships.
The following research is a summary of key trends that will impact care delivery paradigms in APAC in 2018. It collates highlights from the HIMSS AsiaPac17 Conference and Exhibition, the Malaysia Telemedicine Conference 2017, and the HIMSS-Elsevier Digital Healthcare Awards 2017. It offers analyst perspectives on the challenges and the opportunities related to cybersecurity, AI, and IoT penetration, VBC models, patient engagement, and eHealth standards in the region. In conclusion, the study lists key technologies and companies that will introduce transformational solutions in the market in 2018.