The last two years have shown how important it is for the medical field to undergo a massive digital transformation. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, telemedicine has never been more important. The state of e-health in SEA was one that had to be expanded as soon as possible to accommodate patients for remote diagnosis and treatment.
In order to curb the spread of the virus, digital healthcare in SEA became increasingly important. Reports have shown that some telemedicine platforms saw a triple-digit increase in daily users in the first few months of 2020. New care models became more common, which would not have been utilized before the pandemic.
What is the current state of digital healthcare in SEA, and how can this be transformed to enable telemedicine to become a sustainable form of healthcare delivery?
The demand for digital healthcare in SEA has proven that consumers seek expanded access to clinical services. The healthcare industry has also witnessed a shift in ways of working and providing care, where doctor-patient experiences can also be enriched.
Telemedicine can also healthcare workers become more digitally savvy. Besides their expertise in their field or specialty, they can also start learning how to upskill and keep up with data-enabled technology to provide the best care for their patients. Investing in resources will allow them to become more ready for their patients’ needs.
In a YCP Solidiance insight article titled “Eldercare Services in Singapore for 2022,” it was reported that there is a gap in eldercare services that utilize technology. Telemedicine, as well as assistive technology, will be very helpful in this segment, since elderly Singaporeans, or other aged populations across SEA, will continue to benefit from these healthcare services even post-pandemic.
As pointed out in another YCP Solidiance insight article, “Digital Economy Growth in ASEAN,” there are now over 350 million digital consumers in the region. In order to sustain the digital economy, more vendors need to sustain the market and allow new players to enter different segments of the economy, e-health included.
There are plenty of opportunities for new entrants in the digital healthcare landscape in SEA. Even in a post-pandemic world, consumers are now aware of how they can receive screening, diagnosis, and treatment, without having to go to healthcare facilities. Startups that are interested in venturing into e-health in SEA will find that the market is ripe for more providers.
Government policies are also crucial in helping develop digital healthcare in SEA. There should be an assessment of existing systems and capabilities, process improvements, and public-private partnerships that will enable the market to cater to patients’ needs.
Banking on the success of the digital transformation of the region, digital healthcare in SEA can only grow more important post-pandemic. Expect more e-health startups to capitalize on the demand for these services, and watch the market grow to address various health concerns across different demographics in Southeast Asia.