PH needs to strengthen ICT for home-centric health care: expert

By Rizal Raoul Reyes

Health care in the near future will be home-centric with patients adopting connected care technology to manage their conditions, an expert said.

Das: PH must realize that digital infrastructure can help disseminate health information to Filipinos.

Philips Singapore and emerging markets general manger for Suvendra Das

Singapore has already taken the lead in this sector, Suvendra Das, general manager for health systems at Philips Singapore and emerging markets, explained.

“In this setup, there should be seamless connectivity and digital shifting value from devices to software and services,” Das said in an interview last August 24 at the Bonifacio Global City.

With easy access to information, current consumers are more aware about their health needs. Therefore, the shift to value-based healthcare to reduce waste, increase access, and improve outcomes will result in home-centric arrangements, Das said.

But before the Philippines can begin to adopt this new trend, it needs to enhance its information communications technology (ICT) infrastructure to be able to deliver better health care to its citizens, Das said.

“ICT is needed to connect the health care services. It needs some highways to get the information and put it in the cloud,” he said.

Since the Internet has become pervasive, a robust ICT network is also important for countries like the Philippines in providing quality health services especially in the country’s far-flung areas.

“Just like in any major sector, the Philippines must realize that digital infrastructure can help disseminate information to the people regarding their health situation,” Das pointed out. “ICT will be a major enabler in analyzing data and the algorithms involved in the process of disseminating the information.”

In the initial transition of the health care to digital from the traditional system, Das said the industry will experience a generation gap as doctors belonging to the millennial generation will have to orient their senior counterparts about new trends and technologies. Nevertheless, Das said the number of digital natives in the medical field will grow and lead in the innovation.

Das said Philips will focus in promoting their health management services to the Asia Pacific region as its elderly population is forecast to triple from 438 million in 2010 to 1.26 billion by 2050.

Two-thirds of the world’s older persons will be living in the Asia-Pacific, with one in four people in the region expected to be over 60 years old.

“Existing health infrastructure can’t keep pace with the volume of demand and increasing expectations,” he said.

At present, the heath care system is Asia Pacific in facing challenges such as aging populations, rising rates of chronic diseases, and financial burden of care.

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