Five Digital Trends Shaping Asia-Pacific Health Care – Stella Ramette

What trends are shaping the future of health care delivery? Which opportunities are ripe for innovation?

With rising consumer demands, rapid advancements in technology and more complex care needs, health care organisations are under pressure to deliver digital-first, seamless, and connected experiences. 

Thankfully, innovation in digital health is flourishing in the Asia-Pacific region. But what trends are shaping the future of health care delivery? Which opportunities are ripe for innovation? And how can health care leaders ensure their organisations are equipped to take advantage of the emerging opportunities?

Trend 1: Rising Data Volumes Create Complexity

Data has long been a powerful ally for health care organisations in Asia-Pacific, helping us make better-informed clinical and business decisions. However, the rate of data creation has exploded. 

Consider these stats: Just over a decade ago, the world’s entire data storage capacity was around 487 exabytes. By 2025, it’s estimated that we’ll be creating the same volume in under two days

And if you thought the health care sector wasn’t to blame, think again. Of all industries, the health care sector is the leading generator of data, accounting for around 30 per cent of the world’s data volume

As data volumes continue to rise, so does our difficulty managing it. In 2022, health care organisations are searching for ways to integrate and harmonise their data to make meaningful connections that lead to actionable insights. 

One solution, according to Gartner, is an enterprise data fabric, a way to continuously identify and connect data from disparate applications to discover unique, business-relevant relationships between the available data points.

Trend 2: AI Adoption In Health Care Accelerates

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to make care better, faster and more accessible for all. However, significant concerns about patient safety and a lack of quality data have slowed the progress of AI initiatives in health care. 

However, fuelled by technological advances and greater investment in infrastructure to support AI, we’re seeing an acceleration in the adoption and application of AI technology in health care.

McKinsey’s analysis of The State of AI in 2020 found that health care organisations were leading the way in AI investment, with 44% of health care organisations surveyed saying they have increased investment in AI in each major business function.

With health care catching up to other industries in AI maturity, data will be both a critical success factor and a barrier to the successful application of AI. What foundations do we need to get right before we can realise the full potential of AI technology?

Trend 3: Interoperability Solutions Unlock The True Power Of Data

According to a Sage Growth Partners report, 51 per cent of health care executives say data integration and interoperability are the most significant barriers to achieving their strategic priorities related to data analytics.  

This is due to the amount of data being created and the number of sources that data is flowing from. Medical devices, patient records, hospital databases and data lakes all house crucial data within the health care system.

Without a way to connect these siloed data sources, accessing real-time data remains an uphill battle.

Standards such as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and tools such as Application Programming Interfaces are closing this gap in the explosion of data and sources in the region, making data more accessible, computable, and usable.

These two approaches will make synthesising data from multiple sources more achievable, providing the information needed to improve decisions and outcomes across the health care continuum. 

Trend 4: Telehealth Delivery Moves To Virtual Care Models

Telehealth isn’t merely a passing pandemic trend. It has become an important part of the way we deliver health care today. In the APAC region, health care professionals are embracing telehealth. The HIMSS 2021 APAC Health CIO Report found that 88 per cent of participants would continue to leverage connected health technologies following the pandemic.

But in 2022, telehealth is becoming more than a mechanism to deliver care outside the hospital. We’re seeing a shift towards virtual care, a more holistic way of treating patients outside the hospital. Enabled by connected devices, information systems and data, virtual care provides fast and reliable delivery of comprehensive information from across the care continuum. 

As we move beyond isolated video interactions and phone calls, the challenge is now how to seamlessly blend remote and in-person care. Finding ways to integrate telehealth into our digital systems and enable it to meet individual care needs whilst improving patient access and experience is one of the key challenges facing APAC health care leaders.

Trend 5: The Rise Of The Internet Of Medical Things

Rapid innovation in medical technology has led to an increasing number of connected medical devices that are helping health care professionals generate, collect, analyse, and transmit data.

This connected ecosystem of data and devices – referred to as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) – is revolutionising the way health care is delivered. 

The IoMT has the potential to transform fragmented health care systems into a connected system of care powered by real-time patient data. This opportunity is not lost on health professionals in the Asia-Pacific region who are rapidly adopting IoMT solutions.

According to an IDC study of Asia Pacific health care providers, nearly 75 per cent of health care providers have already deployed an IoMT solution, .and one-third have strong plans to implement IoMT solutions in their care delivery system by 2022. 

But as the number of devices grows, so does associated data. This data deluge can be overwhelming for health care providers to manage and could prevent us from unlocking the full potential of IoMT.

To understand more about these digital trends and how they are shaping health care, download the free InterSystems e-book 5 Trends Shaping the Future of Digital Health in 2022 | Asia Pacific.

Stella Ramette is Director, Healthcare Customer Relations and Sales, Southeast Asia for InterSystems, a creative data technology provider dedicated to helping customers solve the most critical scalability, interoperability and speed problems.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.

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