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HIAS: Telemedicine does not replace doctors

Despite all of the conversations about patient-centric technology, James Kilmister, development director at Civica, and chairman of the panel on “How tech and digitalisation can enhance operational efficiency and patient outcomes” cut straight to the heart of the matter. “How do you get it into organisations?” he asked.

Ronald Ling, chief executive, ConnectedHealth, said that technology needed to be both consumer and doctor facing. There has been a huge take-off of digital health in the US, indeed it is one of the fastest venture funded sectors because it is supported by insurers. “What the payer says the providers have to follow,” he said. Areas where this has resulted in cost savings are getting traction because of an active payer system. But, he emphasised: “Healthcare is a local game, it has to be significantly adapted to local markets”.

Peng Chung Mien, chief executive of The Farrer Park Company, explained how it has worked in Singapore. In one sense, he said, it was easy for him because he was a startup with a clean slate. “Business processes have been challenging,” he admitted. He specifically mentioned adoption by doctors. Older ones are happy with pen and paper, while it is easier to convince the younger ones. The new National Electronic Health System in Singapore is helping. “Doctors realise that it is top down,” he said.

For Michael Fernandes, partner at LeapFrog Investments, the difficulty is how to deliver healthcare in spaces that are not urban. “The biggest challenge is to connect the providers with the patients,” he said. He pointed out that although telemedecine has existed for a long time, it has often been impractical. It has been difficult to do bloodwork, for example and often results in the teledoctor recommending a trip to a conventional physician.

But the issue remains of how can organisations overcome a well-known aversion towards technology in older patients. “You have to design your products well,” said Ling. If they are to succeed, products in Asia have to recognise local conditions. There is the recognition that people get help from helpers and family members. Technology needs to recognise that. Above all, he concluded is the need to recognise that “technology will never replace the human, but it will improve the productivity of doctors.”

Posted on: 15/05/2018 UTC+08:00


News

StarMed@Farrer Square, the subsidiary of SGX-listed private healthcare provider Health Management International, has agreed to buy additional units in Farrer Square for S$36.7 million (US$26.7 million).
Orthopaedic specialists Asian Healthcare Specialists (AHS) has signed an investment agreement with Vanda 1 Investments, which is managed and controlled by Temasek Holdings unit Heliconia Capital Management.
Medical technology company Medmain has announced the alpha testing of its ground-breaking, pathology diagnostic software: PidPort. This was originally developed in Japan to enable precise and incredibly fast diagnosis of human body pathologies of all types, with most diagnoses completed in less than one minute. Medmain recently began testing the software in hospital sites in Japan, Thailand and Estonia.
Medical diagnostic imaging services provider Capitol Health has acquired a further two clinics in South West WA, which trade under the name West Coast Radiology and service the high-growth area surrounding Eaton (close to Bunbury) and Busselton.
China's Ping An Good Doctor (PAGD) announced its cooperation with more than 100 First-Class Hospitals at Grade III in China, including the 303th Hospital of Chinese People's Liberation Army, Qingdao Eye Hospital, the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University and the Third Affiliated Hospital of Southern Medical University, to build comprehensive "smart hospitals". At present, Ping An Good Doctor covers more than 1 million outpatients per day, effectively reducing the burden on hospitals, doctors, patients and the government.
Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group together with Meinian Onehealth Healthcare Holdings has invested in and become the single largest shareholder of Adicon, one of the largest independent clinical laboratory companies in China.
RepliCel Life Sciences, a company developing next-generation technologies in aesthetics and orthopaedics, has raised C$5.1 million (US$3.8 million) from YOFOTO (China) Health Industry.
China's Ping An Good Doctor (PAGD) has announced a strategic partnership with Zhongxin Pharmaceuticals. The two parties will build an online cardiovascular disease management centre in China.



Analysis

Abrar Mir is that rare thing in the healthcare sector: a voice of reason. It notable that when he speaks at conferences, the chatter outside the auditorium diminishes and seats suddenly become hard to find. Part of this is thanks to his position as managing partner of Singapore-based private equity fund Quadria Healthcare, which he co-founded in 2012. But as much of it is due to his quiet authority and passion, as it is to the US$1.5 billion he has under management across the Asia Pacific region.
SOHO Global Health was founded in 1946 in Jakarta by Tan Tjhoen Lim as an injectables-focused pharmaceutical company. Today it is one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution businesses in Indonesia with a network that covers more than 80% of the hospitals and 90% of the pharmacies in the country.
Anupa Naik speaks nineteen to the dozen. The chief executive of Symple Wellness, a healthcare company set up in Singapore in July last year as an offshoot of the family office AJ Capital, has barely stood still since then, and shows no sign of stopping any time soon.
After listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at the beginning of May, Ping An Healthcare and Technology, formerly known as Good Doctor, shows no sign of slowing down.
Amy Khor, senior minister of state, ministry of health in Singapore, looks at the challenges of how to deliver healthcare in the future.
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.
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