Updated on 26 August 2014
Mr Rod Rodericks is the vice president and general manager of APAC, Zebra Technologies
Driven by rising incomes and the prevalence of chronic diseases, hospital revenues in the Asia-Pacific region will climb to USD1.09 trillion by 2017 from USD377.9 billion last year, according a report by Frost & Sullivan.
To tackle this demand, the analysts also note that healthcare expenditure in the Asia Pacific will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.8 percent, almost double in the next six years.
Driving this growth is the rise of the Asian middle class and their increasing demand for healthcare solutions, notes medical device consultant, Pacific Bridge, who quotes a recent study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which projects that Asia's rising middle class will increase consumer spending in Asia from USD4.9 trillion in 2009 to more than USD30 trillion in 2020. As Asian populations become wealthier, the healthcare sector in Asia will continue its strong growth. The Economist estimates that healthcare spending in Asia has risen from 14 percent of the global total in 2006 to 23 percent in 2012.
In the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific healthcare market, reputation is key as consumers exercise choice in where to go or make their voice heard. Patient safety remains a serious global public health issue. Healthcare organizations are continuing to turn to technology to improve quality of care for patients, and Frost & Sullivan note that private and public hospitals will invest extensively in installing, maintaining and upgrading IT capabilities to increase operational efficiency, clinical outcomes and financial profitability.
When considering technology deployment in the healthcare space, service providers should look into solutions that seamlessly integrate into existing healthcare systems and give a virtual voice to patients, clinicians and assets to improve visibility into patient information and status. Technology can also guide busy staff on the correct course of action, thereby greatly improving safety and quality of care. Some underserved areas of care to consider are:
Starting Right with Admissions
Many healthcare providers, particularly public hospitals and clinics, often handle large amounts of patient cases every day. As patient volume rises, hospitals are increasingly faced with the challenge of ensuring that they continue to deliver safe and efficient patient care. It is specifically in situations like this where solutions like patient wristbands can help. In busy emergency rooms or even for scheduled surgeries, patients should be provided with barcoded, antimicrobial-coated, long-lasting wristbands so that they can be accurately identified throughout their hospital stay. During disaster recovery situations, a hospital or onsite temporary facility can quickly and also accurately identify, track, and secure personnel, victims, and assets by providing patients with wristbands, allowing for quick reunification with loved ones. Wristband print solutions have evolved rapidly and have become the most effective way to enable immediate and accurate access to critical patient information at the bedside and across various departments.