Data privacy still a top concern for digitalisation in APAC

Hospitals across Asia-Pacific have yet to fully commit to digitalisation despite already posting a high rate of adoption of digital health solutions.


US-based management consultant L.E.K. Consulting recently published its findings from an annual survey with over 600 hospital executives across the region, including Southeast Asia, China, Japan, India, and South Korea.

Based on that survey, it was surmised that hospitals in the region have at least 40% average use of digital solutions in six categories: online registration and scheduling; patient-accessible health records; personalised information pushed to the patient; remote consultation; tailored disease management programs; and portable personal health information between healthcare providers.

By region, China is the biggest adopter of online patient administration and health records (over 50%); nearly half of Japanese respondents said their hospitals are using digital tools for remote consultation; and four in 10 Southeast Asian directors said their hospitals are using technologies for patient administration and scheduling.

Each market has different reasons for implementing digital solutions, the report noted. For Chinese hospitals, it is technology’s value to increase staff efficiency and capacity; for Japan, it is its contribution to value-based care transition; and for hospitals in Southeast Asia, it is to provide better patient care.

Those who are looking to capture the region’s demand for digital health technologies must bear in mind major concerns that hospitals are still having about implementations, including patient privacy, shortage of talent to develop and implement digital health solutions, and the compatibility of various solutions. 


There is now an expectation that APAC hospitals, particularly in South Korea and Southeast Asia, will be increasing their technology spending over the coming years. About half of the respondents of the L.E.K. survey from public hospitals said they are seeing a budget surplus over the next three years; nine in 10 of their counterparts in private hospitals are anticipating high profit margins in the near term as well. 

“Hospitals throughout APAC have largely recovered from the impacts of COVID-19 and are beginning to look ahead to opportunities for improved care delivery and operational efficiency. Growing budget surpluses/profitability in the industry are expected to support necessary investments over the next three years,” the report said.


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