Financial intelligence for Asia's healthcare markets
 
 
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Analysis: Stay ahead or be left behind

Joseph Soon, global digital director at Bupa, explains why industry players must stay agile in the market and act fast to take every opportunity the digital age has to offer.

The digital revolution has fundamentally transformed how we all live. We see a trend across all industries to go digital to address the big challenges and find new solutions. In a world facing enormous health challenges, digitisation is seen as the foundation for solving some of the most challenging health issues by offering smart and efficient services to meet increasingly high demands and expectations from users.

Around the world, digital technologies are transforming the healthcare industry with quality and personalised care, promoting wellness, reducing cost and improving productivity. The intersection of devices, data and algorithms and new healthcare techniques are changing the way healthcare is being delivered.

Hong Kong is still in its early stages of digital transformation, and ranked fourth in Asia, according to a 2016 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Despite the challenges of bringing about changes, the government and the healthcare industry is actively embracing technology. The ghas developed a territory-wide electronic health record sharing system to allow healthcare professionals from both the private and public sectors to access patients’ health records through a shared platform, which fosters closer public-private partnerships, enhancing resource sharing and allocation. Healthcare providers have also started leveraging technologies that make healthcare services more efficient, more reliable and more customer-centric.

Digitised operations enhance efficiency by streamlining clinical workflows, which makes the delivery of quality healthcare easier and more productive for staff. Electronic record systems and clinical databases simplify consultations and minimise duplication of procedures. They also facilitate better cross-disciplinary communication and coordination in the provision of care for complex conditions. 

Digital healthcare must be designed to exploit recent advances in computing technology. Smartphones could become advanced tools in the hands of thousands of patients and clinicians. Equipped with the right software, they could provide easy to use, out-of-the-box solutions to major medical challenges – preventing the over-prescription of medication, promoting patient self-care, introducing positive lifestyle changes and warning of the early signs of health problems. In Hong Kong, there are already health service providers that are examining how digital healthcare tools might make customers’ and patients’ lives easier. Quality HealthCare’s new mobile app offers innovative ways for people to see their doctor. Customers can make best use of their time by managing their appointment on their mobile, and interact with doctors via video consultation for certain services. They can also access their health records securely and safely.

Digitalised operations are bringing healthcare systems new standards of customer choice, personalisation, ease and availability, with the emphasis on the customer being greater than ever. An efficient healthcare system of the future will empower medical practitioners and patients. Therein lies the challenge for each industry player to stay agile in the ever changing healthcare market, acting fast to take every opportunity the digital age has to offer. It is in each company’s interests to either to stay ahead of the trend or to be left behind.

Posted on: 22/05/2018 UTC+08:00


News

Chularat Hospital, which operates 13 clinics and hospitals in Thailand, intends to build the Suvarnabhumi Cancer and Radiologist Center Hospital, which will provide specialised medical services to general patients and counterparties in Samutprakan and nearby provinces.
Thomson Medical Group (TMG), Singapore’s second largest healthcare group, has reported EBITDA of S$23.4 million (US$17.1 million) on the back of total revenue for the first half of the year at S$105.5 million.
Healthcare services group Clearbridge Health has reported revenue of S$1.46 million (US$1.1 million) for the three months ended 30 June 2018. The topline growth is nearly four times the S$0.38 million achieved by the group in Q1 and mainly attributed to recent acquisitions including a medical centre in the Philippines in January and in Singapore and Indonesia in April.
Australian hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear delivered net profit of A$245.8 million, an increase of 10% on FY17, which was within the guidance range of A$240-250 million. Chief executive and president Dig Howitt said, “Cochlear continues to deliver on its objective of delivering consistent revenue and earnings growth over time.
Shareholders of Fortis Healthcare, the country’s second largest private hospital chain, have approved the US$584.1 million acquisition plan by IHH Healthcare, Asia’s largest healthcare company – 99.7% voted in favour of the deal.
Retirement village operator Summerset Group Holdings has announced an underlying profit of NZ$45.2 million (US$29.7 million), an increase of 27%, in line with the profit guidance provided in early July.
Leading fully integrated plasma-based biopharmaceutical company China Biologic Products Holdings has appointed Bing Li as chief executive officer. By assuming the CEO position, Li has moved from an independent director to an executive director of the board. Zhijun Tong, the former acting CEO, will continue to serve as an executive director of the board and president of the company.
Beijing-based paediatric healthcare provider New Century Healthcare has taken a 10.1% stake in Chiron Healthcare. Financial terms have not been disclosed.



Analysis

First you must find a clinic space from which to practice. The good news is that space is available at most hospitals. The bad news is that a 1,200 square-foot clinic space at Mount Elizabeth Hospital currently retails for around S$10 million, or US$7.34 million to secure a space less than half the size of a tennis court. By the time you add fittings, equipment and staff, your relationship with your bank manager will likely be under severe strain.
China’s hospital landscape is rapidly changing as operators and owners respond to shifting policy incentives, an aging population, the opportunity to serve Tier 2 and 3 cities, and shifts in consumer preferences.
Today, more and more people are suffering from serious, incurable, and/or rare illnesses. However, access to information on such conditions has been quite limited, to hospitals or internet surfing. Even though there were communities and organizations serving people with certain illnesses, information was not widely available, due to the general nature of the illnesses.
CR Phoenix Healthcare, China’s largest private hospital group, recently announced plans to restructure Beijing Jingmei Group General Hospital, a flagship hospital managed by CR Phoenix under its investment-operation-transfer (IOT) model.
Severe abuses continue in China's organ transplant system – including the sourcing of organs from prisoners of conscience on a large scale – despite Chinese government assertions of reform, finds a new study by the China Organ Harvest Research Center.
Asia Pacific's transition from a volume- to value-based care model has been highly challenging due to the need for large-scale regulatory changes and lack of a funding. Rising healthcare consumerism, digital health adoption, and the growing influence of medical tourism are setting a foundation for population health management, one form of value-based care that shifts the industry focus from episodic, individualised healthcare approaches to collective action against the cost and burden of disease in a society.
Leaders from New Zealand’s health technology industry are looking to Malaysia as a strategic investment opportunity to support the country’s rapidly growing healthcare market.
Ping An Healthcare and Technology, formerly known as Good Doctor, has signed contracts with nearly 200 large corporations, including Vanke, Greentown, Bank of China, China Telecom, China National Nuclear Power, Evergrande Group and provides services to nearly 1.5 million employees, covering 27 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
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