According to VMware, Inc., digital-first patient services and experiences are paving the way for Southeast Asia's future healthcare landscape. In VMware's Digital Frontiers 3.0 Study, VMware discovered Southeast Asian consumers' enthusiasm for digital-enabled healthcare services, with 66 per cent preferring remote, video-call consultations with medical professionals over face-to-face consultations. With more patients expecting improved healthcare accessibility, timeliness, and accuracy no matter where or when they are, emerging digital healthcare innovations such as robotics and telehealth will be critical in shaping the future of digital healthcare in Southeast Asia.
More than half (54%) say they are comfortable and excited to have a more qualified doctor conducting invasive surgery via remote robotics than a less qualified doctor conducting it in-person.
This is higher than other surveyed counterparts: US (42%), France (43%), Germany (35%) and UK (46%).
More than half (55%) are also comfortable and excited with receiving a diagnosis from a powerful computer that can learn to detect anomalies such as cancerous cells, rather than seeing a human doctor.
61% also believe that digital healthcare services can provide more freedom to patients with chronic or long-term illnesses as they can live further away from a medical facility by depending on sensors and real-time data monitoring to predict when they will require medical assistance.
However, the same study found that only 36% of Southeast Asian respondents are happy to interact with healthcare providers digitally. To close the gap and drive greater digital healthcare adoption, healthcare industry incumbents and new entrants can leverage a more robust digital infrastructure and emerging technologies such as Cloud, modern apps, and big data to enable and provide better and more accurate healthcare services, paving the way for the region's new future of connected healthcare.
“New, immersive healthcare services such as remote medical consultations, wearable devices and supercomputers have redefined the way healthcare organisations and doctors interact with the patients and respond quickly to their needs – regardless of when and where they are. In the race for vaccines and other medical solutions, technology has also played an incredibly important role in tracking the spread, managing tests and improving the overall distribution flow,” said Devan Parinpanayagam, Country Manager, Malaysia, VMware. “To build a resilient digital health ecosystem in Southeast Asia, VMware is committed to providing leading healthcare services providers in the region with a robust digital foundation to accelerate innovations, scalability and agility in patient care and clinical research.”
Future-forward technologies are transforming healthcare
Optimism for technology to provide solutions for health-related issues in Southeast Asia remains high as consumers believe that frontier technologies will be the key to offering a solution in the next decade:
82% believe that we could arrive at a solution to reduce the spread of Covid-19 – this is higher than other surveyed countries: US (59%), France (60%), Germany (58%) and UK (58%). 80% believe that technology can improve the quality of lives for the elderly and disabled.
76% believe that technology can help improve mental healthcare – for instance, enabling virtual therapy sessions.
74% believe that we can significantly lower the risk of invasive surgeries.
With consumers embracing future technologies such as artificial intelligence (70%), 5G (78%), and facial recognition, the opportunity for Southeast Asia's healthcare sector to leap forward is ripe (75%). Indeed, more than one-third of respondents (37%) believe that 5G will be critical in enabling wearable devices to monitor their health in real-time, alerting medical professionals and allowing them to respond to any emergency.
In Malaysia, telemedicine and digital health services are growing rapidly as private healthcare providers find new opportunities to deliver patient-focused healthcare services anywhere. More and more healthcare providers such as Sunway Medical Centre Velocity (SMCV) are driving innovation within the industry, such as the launch of a teleconsultation service that allows patients to receive health advice from medical officers or specialists from the comfort of their homes. This is creating new possibilities for Malaysia’s healthcare sector:
More than half (57%) of Malaysian consumers are comfortable and excited to have a more qualified doctor conducting invasive surgery via remote robotics than a less qualified doctor conducting it in-person.
59% believe that digital healthcare services can provide more freedom to patients with chronic or long-term illnesses as they can live further away from a medical facility by depending on sensors and real-time data monitoring to predict when they will require medical assistance.
40% have said that 5G will be key in enabling wearable devices to monitor their health in real-time, allowing medical professionals to be alerted and respond to any emergency.
Build and sustain digital trust in the next generation of healthcare
To unleash the possibilities that technology creates in changing the world of healthcare, healthcare organisations should build trust in the next generation of healthcare innovations and consumers’ concerns of security and privacy.
With only 31% saying that the healthcare industry gives them assurance that their information is secure, the implication is clear for Southeast Asia’s healthcare organisations to secure digital health experiences and build trust amongst consumers to accelerate their adoption and confidence in these new innovations.
Technology underpins next phase of growth for the industry
To accelerate the transformation of digital healthcare services in Southeast Asia, VMware outlines key priorities to note:
Empowering healthcare organisations to build a multi-cloud and app future: Unlocking a multi-cloud future with app-driven innovations in a consistent and more secure environment that enables continuous innovation in the next generation of healthcare
Enabling innovation and productivity for a distributed workforce: Future ready workforce solutions will enable a seamless and more secure digital employee experience, driving greater outcomes in the new world of work
Intrinsic security for uninterrupted innovation: An intrinsic approach to enterprise security will provide an additional layer of robust protection for mission-critical infrastructures and patients’ personal data to build trust, fast-track healthcare innovation and resilience
Software-defined, high-performing network for real-time analytics and monitoring: Move high-fidelity, latency-sensitive data to the cloud and between edge locations to offer rapid, more securely deployed, and easily accessed virtual care solutions