HCM City banks on digital innovation, transformation in healthcare (Việt Nam News)

HCM City should invest in digital innovation and transformation in the healthcare sector to improve service quality by “making healthcare delivery more efficient and more accessible,” experts have said.

Digital innovations such as blockchain, cloud-based computing, virtual health, artificial intelligence and robotics, digital reality, and the Internet of Medical Things are key to improving healthcare services, according to a Deloitte Global report titled 2019 Global Healthcare Outlook: Shaping the Future.

The report, released recently, said digital technologies could help solve today’s problems and build a sustainable foundation for affordable, accessible, high-quality healthcare.

Global healthcare spending is expected to rise at an annual rate of 5.4 per cent in 2018-22, a surge from 2.9 per cent in the previous five years, it said.

“Ageing and growing populations, greater prevalence of chronic diseases, and exponential advances in innovative, but costly, digital technologies continue to grow healthcare demand and expenditures.” 

But adopting many of these innovations requires capabilities that fall beyond the traditional purview of healthcare organisations. 

It is vital to build eco-systems that embrace non-traditional players and sources of knowledge outside their own four walls, experts said.

Recently HCM City has invested extensively in smart healthcare development, focusing on a healthcare big data platform and the use of IT in hospital management and expertise management.

Tăng Chí Thượng, deputy director of the city Department of Health, said hospitals are required to create electronic medical records of international standard for patients.

Each citizen would have a single national patient identifier, he told a workshop on smart healthcare in the city recently.

The Thủ Đức District Hospital was the first medical centre in the city to get approval from the Ministry of Health to create electronic medical records, he said.

“Many hospitals are set to follow suit.” 

Since 2016, the department has been calling for the use of IT in hospital administration.

A lot of specialised software has been developed for managing medical workers, patient health records, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and health warehouses.

Many hospitals have adopted artificial intelligence to enhance their treatment quality, including robot-assisted surgery by Bình Dân Hospital and 115 People’s Hospital.

Experts said in a smart hospital the software is fully inter-connected to actively support technical and professional activities and improve medical examination and treatment and hospital management.

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Việt Nam News

5 March 2020

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