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Digitalization is transforming Vietnam’s healthcare: YCP Solidiance
By Pham Nhat
Monday,  Mar 23, 2020,10:04 (GMT+7)

Digitalization is transforming Vietnam’s healthcare: YCP Solidiance

By Pham Nhat

Doctors at HCMC-based Cho Ray Hospital put a patient into a computerized tomography scanner. Digitalization is transforming the healthcare system in Vietnam – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Digitalization is transforming the healthcare system in Vietnam with the potential to empower patients, improve clinical outcomes, lower costs and increase efficiency amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to YCP Solidiance.

The Asia-focused strategic advisory firm said in its latest white paper that prior to the digital era, people were reliant on doctors for health information and had minimal healthcare decision-making power.

However, digitalization now provides people with access to healthcare knowledge, balancing the doctor-patient relationship with shared decision-making and allowing patients to manage their health conditions more effectively.

YCP Solidiance noted that digital technologies have improved patient health and wellbeing by increasing access to healthcare services, enhancing diagnostic and treatment accuracy, and improving the efficiency of healthcare service delivery.

Digital tools are deployed to transform traditional manual and labor-intensive work to automated work, enhancing time efficiency and cost savings.

The consultant said that amid the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, digital platforms have been utilized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health to provide information, raise awareness and educate people to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“Rising demand for healthcare services, overcapacity and financial autonomy policies faced by public hospitals in Vietnam have pressured them to shift toward digitalization,” according to the firm.

On the other hand, private hospitals’ need for better operational efficiency due to increased competition and a desire to bridge the reputation gap and fulfill demand for premium quality services are also pushing them to leverage digitalization.

The consultant claimed that local hospitals are in the early stages of going smart. While public hospitals aim to improve their operational efficiency and medical outcomes, private hospitals are making a digital push to enhance their value proposition.

Digital transformation is also making an impact on Vietnam’s pharmaceutical industry for patient education, healthcare professional engagement and government monitoring of drug prescriptions.

The ministry is currently pushing to connect all pharmacies to a national electronic database, with more than 80% of all pharmacies having done so already.

YCP Solidiance said medical device companies leverage digital technologies such as digital radiography, radiology information systems, picture archiving and communication systems, remote technical support and artificial intelligence solutions to improve patient outcomes.

The consultant pointed out that the health tech start-up sector currently still attracts less than 2% of the total investment in Vietnam, earning US$7 million last year, a relatively small amount compared with its regional counterparts.

“Vietnam’s deal volume is much lower than that of Singapore (US$125 million) or Indonesia (US$120 million),” the firm remarked.

The report stated that Vietnam’s digital healthcare sector has significant room to grow as it is in an early stage of development.

Investment opportunities will arise across at least three key areas in the healthcare market: the enhancement of patients’ experiences, improvement in diagnoses and treatments and the enhancement of operational efficiency.

The report suggested that it is essential for businesses to develop a digital healthcare strategy that not only makes sense for the business but also serves to advance healthcare in Vietnam.

“The strategy needs to be tailored to the diverse needs of patients and stakeholders across the healthcare system, from the busy central-level hospitals in major cities such as Hanoi and HCMC to the provincial and district level hospitals,” said YCP Solidiance.

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