Updated on 30 May 2014
Illustration by Anil Babu
In spite of unimaginable growth achieved in a matter of few years, analysts have predicted that this is indeed only the beginning of digital healthcare disruption. It has been said that driven by the results of health exchanges and other care delivery trials, novel models of care will multiply in the APAC region.
According to the 2014 Accenture Digital Consumer Tech Survey, 52 percent of consumers are interested in buying wearable health trackers. Entrepreneurs on the other hand are harnessing wireless technology to create innovative services.
Manager, Qualcomm Life Fund
"At-home monitoring and diagnostic or test devices that we are familiar with, such as blood pressure cuff, glucose meter, thermometer, are available in a wireless connection version; new-to-market type of portable devices such as EKG monitor, multi-function testers are introduced to be tethered with smartphone; moreover companion apps are designed to guide and inform the users and relay selected information to their caretakers and family members. Beyond devices, sensors and Apps that mobilize the data, we are witnessing innovations in the value chain from data organizing, data analyzing, to tools encouraging behavior changes using incentives, gamification or personalized coaching. We can safely envision that solutions based on these technology advancements will lead to better outcomes and lower cost."
The overall trends that have ruled the roost through the last year are cloud technologies that have provided essential infrastructure required for access of on-demand healthcare data at point-of-care. Analytics and Big Data technologies provided the real-time views, as well as deep insights required to create a sustainable system, as it moves from a reactive to a prescriptive phase.
Telehealth is soon becoming the norm for regional and remote consultations, the need for specialist fly-in staff that can cost a lot per visit has been dramatically reduced. Further, it has been predicted that this stream of digital health would address the gap in health outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous communities, which in large part has been caused by a lack of access to healthcare resources for otherwise preventable diseases.