By Stella Ramette, Director, Healthcare Customer Relations & Sales, South East Asia for InterSystems.
With rising consumer demands, rapid advancements in technology and more complex care needs, healthcare organisations are under pressure to deliver digital-first, seamless and connected healthcare experiences.
Thankfully, innovation in digital health is flourishing in the Asia Pacific region. But what trends are shaping the future of healthcare delivery? Which opportunities are ripe for innovation? And how can healthcare 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 healthcare organisations in APAC, 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 healthcare sector wasn't to blame, think again. Of all industries, the healthcare sector is the leading generator of data, accounting for around 30% of the world’s data volume.
As data volumes continue to rise, so does our difficulty managing it. In 2022, healthcare 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 healthcare 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 healthcare.
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 healthcare.
McKinsey’s analysis of The State of AI in 2020 found that healthcare organisations were leading the way in AI investment, with 44% of healthcare organisations surveyed saying they have increased investment in AI in each major business function.
With healthcare 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% of healthcare 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 healthcare 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 healthcare 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 healthcare today. In the APAC region, healthcare professionals are embracing telehealth. The HIMSS 2021 APAC Health CIO Report found that 88% 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 healthcare 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 healthcare 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 healthcare is delivered.
The IoMT has the potential to transform fragmented healthcare systems into a connected system of care powered by real-time patient data. This opportunity is not lost on health professionals in the APAC region who are rapidly adopting IoMT solutions.
According to an IDC study of Asia Pacific healthcare providers, nearly 75% of healthcare 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 healthcare 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 healthcare, download the free InterSystems e-book “5 Trends Shaping the Future of Digital Health in 2022 | Asia Pacific”.