Creating robust digital health infrastructures in APAC – Healthcare IT News

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New and emerging technologies have revolutionized the healthcare industry in numerous ways, allowing for the provision of better quality healthcare. To support healthcare facilities in assessing and outlining the required technological capabilities to attain their organizational goals and bring about better patient outcomes, HIMSS Analytics introduced the Infrastructure Adoption Model (INFRAM). There are eight stages (0 to 7) in this model, with each stage providing a comparison between established international benchmarks and the organization’s technological infrastructure adoption and maturity. This measures a healthcare organization’s technological capabilities against five domains – Security, Communication and Collaboration, Wireless and Mobility, Data Center, and Network Transport.

To better understand where healthcare organizations in APAC stand in terms of their infrastructure maturity, a pilot market research study was conducted with the results published in the DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURES FOR HEALTHCARE: APAC Insights eBook.

Highlights for overall performance

On average across the 24 participating hospitals in APAC, an INFRAM stage of 2.3 was achieved. Security was the most established domain across all five countries, with an average score of 3.3. In contrast, they scored lowest in the Communication and Collaboration domain, with an average score of 1.3 across the five countries.

Security:

Security includes the implementation of antivirus and antimalware solutions to protect network devices as well as management capabilities which help to address data loss prevention and associated policies. Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia all achieved relatively high scores; 4.6, 4.5 and 4.0 respectively. Thailand on the other hand, obtained a lower score of 2.6. This could be attributed to the country lacking in the areas of security management and content filtering.

Communication and Collaboration:

Communication and Collaboration comprises various aspects, ranging from call monitoring and recording solutions to signalling authentication and encryption to infrastructure for a well-developed contact centre. Only Philippines and Indonesia managed to achieve a score of at least 2, with Philippines scoring 2.5 and Indonesia scoring 2.0. Conversely, Malaysia is lacking in the area of telepresence and video-conferencing applications, resulting in a lower score of 1.1. Thailand also faces a challenge in compliance and security which is a component in this domain, scoring 1.4.

Future plans for APAC

Governments in APAC have recognized the need to ramp up their efforts to boost technological infrastructure of medical facilities:

  • The Malaysian government introduced Jalinan Digital Negara, a nation-wide digital infrastructure plan to enable better digital connectivity by enhancing the efficiency as well as spectrum usage of the national digital infrastructure. In addition, as part of its Budget 2021, RM27 million was allocated to improve its cybersecurity capabilities in healthcare organizations.
  • The Thai government has placed healthcare as a priority sector for investment and further development, in line with Thailand 4.0. Mobile operators in the country have also expedited their deployment of 5G capabilities in hospitals to enable both clinicians and patients to have access to cellular data even in areas without WiFi.
  • Similarly in the Philippines, the government rolled out the National Broadband Program. It is targeted at improving the internet speeds in the country by elevating broadband capabilities which subsequently leads to swifter and cheaper internet access for citizens.
  • To advance telemedicine and ensure the access of healthcare to its furthest region, the Indonesian government launched the US$1.5 billion Palapa Ring Project. Comprising 35,000km undersea fiber-optic cables and 21,000km land cables, it is set to improve connectivity by providing access to 4G internet services to more than 500 regencies across the country.
  • In order to achieve a digitally homogenous society in the future, the Vietnamese government has set its sights on making mobile networks accessible to all communities. It aims to allow for the proliferation of 4G and 5G mobile services across as well as an Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure across the country.

Achieving organizational goals through the use of INFRAM

The INFRAM assessment can prove to be useful when used as a tool to help identify gaps and map digital transformation journeys for healthcare organizations in the region. It can also be used as a guide to make strategic technological investments which allow them to address their key technological challenges and leverage any potential growth opportunities. It is not uncommon to face challenges when installing new technologies or implementing new information processes within an organization. To alleviate these problems, the HIMSS Analytics Maturity Model frameworks can guide organizations around the world and assist them in efficiently and effectively adopting technological investments. Key decision makers in our healthcare space have new and unique opportunities to initiate positive change but it will necessitate forward-thinking strategies as well as close collaboration with a larger variety of partners than ever before to achieve their desired outcomes.

Digital Infrastructures for Healthcare: APAC Insights

This eBook aims to understand where healthcare organizations in APAC stand in terms of their infrastructure maturity, using the HIMSS Analytics INFRAM assessment.

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