Asia’s Technological Advancement in Health Industry
When it comes to the healthcare industry, Asia has had remarkable experience of expansion over the years. Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan are some of the Asian countries that are known for their medically advanced facilities which attract patients from all over the world as medical centers.
One of the reasons why there is a rapid expansion in the healthcare industry in Asia is because of the emergence of health-tech. Medical wearables, centralized databases, medical applications, artificial intelligence (AI), and mobile developments, among other technical advancements, make up the health-tech business, which is continually growing and evolving.
The healthcare technology sector in Asia Pacific is expected to be one of the fastest-growing in the world, with a market value of $80.7 billion expected by 2025. The majority of this forecast is based on the Asian region’s aging population, which would benefit greatly from the progress of digital healthcare because it provides them with convenience and ease in getting medical help.
Today, we have witnessed that there are a lot of patients with pre-existing conditions that use wearable devices for them to be easily monitored by their physician. One example is a patient who has diabetes wearing continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) a device that can be easily transmitted to one’s smartphone or smartwatch and can be shared with their physician.
And due to the pandemic, many Asian countries have developed telemedicine to help their patients receive assistance from healthcare professionals through call or video calls. Before the pandemic had started, telemedicine had already existed but the COVID-19 pandemic had just developed its growth. Halodoc, a telemedicine application from Indonesia received several thousand consultations a day back in 2018. And because of the pandemic, they have more than 7.2 million users with 300% increase in their mobile application. This application has a feature with the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot to assist patients who are concerned about the COVID-19. Using this technology allows people to receive information they need immediately without waiting for their physicians to attend to them.
Artificial Intelligence is not just limited to chatbots and mobile applications, in fact the Philippines has been utilizing the development of Robot Roving Doctor (Rovidoc) in place of a doctor to minimize the exposure of doctors from COVID-19. In Wuhan, China where the virus started, their government had set up a hospital that was operated by robots and used internet of thing (IoT) devices. Patients wore wearable medical devices that recorded their temperature and vital signs which were monitored by AIs who notify the human medical team if someone is required to have immediate medical attention. The effectiveness of this field hospital in China as well as the Rovidoc in the Philippines, is a sign of things to come as technology advances throughout Asia. There are already AIs that are being used in surgeries to help doctors to help surgeons make faster and accurate medical diagnoses.
As technological breakthroughs pave the path for the developing health-tech industry, Asia’s healthcare business will experience amazing growth and transformation in the future. The public’s acceptance of these impending changes will have been put to the test unwittingly during the pandemic, which saw many people, young and old, welcome and adapt to changes in the healthcare system.