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Technology to Bridge the Healthcare Gaps

  • Zann Lee
  • 01 Aug 2019

Rising healthcare costs, rising rates of chronic diseases and rapidly ageing population are some of the top issues impacting healthcare. The industry is underpinned with healthcare gaps and technology will be one of the key drivers in the future of healthcare, critical to enable bridging of these gaps. The power of technology to transform the healthcare industry is built on the foundation of empowered individuals, move towards value-based healthcare and lower healthcare cost.

Access Gap

Here’s the hard truth: An astounding half of the world’s population still do not have access to essential health services. In particular, wide gaps are prominent in the availability of basic healthcare services in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. Poverty in view of the rising cost of healthcare, lack of trained workers and many people living in remote rural areas are just some of the obstacles in access to such basic care.

Information Gap

With lack of information such as knowledge about pre-existing medical conditions, symptoms and past and current medications, and lack of transparency and access of records to patient, and a patient’s life can be put at risk when they are at different point-of-care when there is such a disconnect. Considering that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America after heart disease and cancer, bridging the information gap is paramount to mitigating human error.

Care Delivery Gap

Traditional healthcare models presents a disintegrated care delivery in view of an aging population. A lack of coordinated care and support for patients such as follow-up and visits their homes to ensure patient adherence to the recommended treatment and lifestyle changes is a gap in care delivery that results in soaring re-admission rates, evidently seen among elderly patients and those with chronic conditions.

Technologies/ Innovations are critical to drive the future of healthcare

We have arrived at an era of exponential technological advancement and the possibilities that innovation can affords us are endless.

In the heart of the healthcare ecosystem will be empowered individuals whose lifestyle are reshaped with the use of fast evolving technology to manage their daily life and therefore expects the same for managing their health and well being in the digital future. These individuals are more informed and actively engaged in self-directed care.

Technologies can help reduce the cost of healthcare through increasing efficiency of diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and monitoring of patient as well as effectively delivering care across the patient journey from institutions to home. Drone-based medical delivery systems, Telehealth and Telemedicine are some examples of innovations that are leading the way in bridging the access and care delivery gap, though wider implementation and adoption still needs to be pushed forth.

The wealth of valuable information in integrated health data can paint detailed portraits of individuals and populations to support clinicians in care delivery and therefore improve patient outcomes. This interconnectivity of data can plug the gap to improve care delivery and provide crucial information at various point-of-care and highlight any patient safety and risk indicators to the care providers.

Singapore is the healthcare hub/gateway to SEA markets

Asia Pacific has been taunted as an underserved region which makes up 51% of the world's population and the region is expected to surpass Europe as the second largest regional market in medical technologies. Business leaders are expecting an optimistic growth of 13% over the next five years in Southeast Asia.

Singapore, with its ideal position as a trade hub and hotbed for innovation, strong governmental support and access to a wealth of talent, plays a crucial role as the gateway to Southeast Asia markets for MedTech and shaping the opportunities to bridge the gaps in healthcare.

Taking a step to impact a change in the industry to bridge the gaps in healthcare, CAREhab 2020 is moving towards focusing on healthcare pain points in the patient journey from prevention to rehabilitation, and healthcare infrastructure and services surrounding the journey.

“We envision a collaborative platform that will allow health care providers to pinpoint real challenges, talk to and connect with the innovators, disruptors and tech organisations  to co-develop patient-centric solutions,” said Julia Kwan, who serves as the Cluster Director for CAREhab.

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