The changing nature of global healthcare consumerism amid COVID-19

Global experts shared their views on the changing needs and expectations of healthcare consumers around the world.

Keynote speech, “Care is not what it used to be: The need to enhance the consumer experience“at HIMSS22 APAC were attended by Dr Vas Metupalle, CMO at Meta Health, Dr Manish Kohli, Beyond Horizon Health CEO and Albright Stonebridge Group senior advisor; Benedict Tan, Director of Technical Strategy SingHealth Group Chief Data Officer and Chief Data Officer; and Kevin Percival, Director of Nursing Informatics at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr. Anne Snowdon, Director of Scientific Research at HIMSS Analytics, moderated the discussion.

Patient’s expectations

With experience working in Asia, the Middle East and the United States, Dr. Kohli has seen a common theme in many parts of the world. “The number one thing that patients really, really ask for is access – access to quality and reliable care.”

“Despite many outstanding people globally, there are still countless cases of patients not receiving timely care,” he said.


Dr Metupalle said hospitals ready to connect with people at home would be the “biggest opportunity” after the pandemic.

“We hope to see [the] empower these patients, more knowledge [and] Dr. Metupalle said.

Meanwhile, Tan noted three key drivers of healthcare consumerism. The first driver is technological progress while the other is the education level of patients and the broader population due to widespread online information.

“People are understanding health and medical terms,” he said.

Tan added that the ultimate driving force is that people have been “much more conscious about their health and taking care of their health”.

“These three dynamics combined really push us toward consumption. People are using apps, using wearables, smart devices, etc,” he said, adding that he had see trends in Singapore and other developed and developing countries.

Dr. Kohli also found clients “become very, very conscious.”

“In more mature markets, there is also a push for transparency around quality rankings as well as cost,” he said.

He added: “Health systems that do not adapt and accept those changes will be the ones that will be left behind.

Start small

The panelists had some tips to share with the HIMSS22 APAC participants.

Tan encouraged the community to now focus on harnessing AI and machine learning to enable population health to educate, make available, summarize and simplify information to the public “instead of continuing to overinvest to increase strengthen our health and health care providers.”

“We should probably start investing in how we enable, how we empower a patient to use these technologies to take care of their health,” he suggested.

According to Dr. Metupalle, “saving innovation is essential for developing countries”.

“Not all countries have the resources to create these potentially costly structures,” he said.

“We see that opportunity here [in Southeast Asia] allowing startups to come together as a collective. “

Percival tells the community not to be afraid to “start small.” “Some of the best innovations I’ve seen started small,” he said.

“They can be a service, an organization or a hospital – and then it grows because you learn from those things.”


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