The Creative Destruction of Healthcare

Blogs - Vietnam: Sept. 11, 2017

“Creative destruction” in healthcare does not mean a smart doctor damaging an unfortunate patient. The term actually applies these days to far-reaching changes on the horizon for healthcare. In the end, the consumer/patient can benefit from convenience and efficiency digitally. Now at the 10th anniversary of the smartphone, we find convenience and access to information, products and services as never before.

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Just as “bricks ’n’ mortar” retail stores are under attack from mobile outlets in developed countries, this “fourth revolution” is coming to healthcare. The wedding of digital technology and good healthcare is producing greater advantages for patients, in terms of access, careful follow-up, information and convenience.

The sun may be setting on feeling ill, then trudging to the clinic, waiting for hours, spending a few minutes in the doctor’s bailiwick, paying and then trudging home again.

A Digital Future

Each year brings new digital healthcare apps and uses that can make obtaining good healthcare much more accessible and well-informed. A whole spectrum of services is already available in Vietnam for the patient’s convenience.

Digital healthcare brings the doctor to the patient rather than the other way around. It also provides access to much information previously only known to doctors, and it gives a mobile platform for evaluating the doctor or clinic and spreading the word quickly.

mHealth Technologies, JSC, a startup in Vietnam, has developed its own platform and technology that is on-par with highly developed countries.

This allows patients to quickly evaluate available online doctors and arrange a telemedicine consultation wherever they are, through website or the Wellcare mobile app and chatbot.

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This virtual consultation allows the doctor and patient to determine best treatment options at home, or whether a physical visit is best.

Diag and mHealth can do blood testing from the patient’s home and report the result to the patient digitally. There is also remote monitoring for blood pressure, EKG; blood sugar etc., through and the Foracare “smart” medical equipage.

Jio Health, through a mobile app, offers home visits from physicians. Victoria Healthcare’s WebView allows the patient to review results and communicate directly with the doctor from a secure internet platform. The patient can also book appointments through this portal.

Via Smartphone from Home

Victoria Healthcare offers medical advice and education through an mHealth chatbot (a digital “robot” enabled by AI technologies that can answer questions and direct the patient to the right service, or doctor).

Victoria Healthcare also uses an advanced electronic healthcare record, assuring privacy, completeness and portability for the patient.

This e-record allows easy access for quality assurance and data collection, and is available securely to any Victoria doctor from any location, including at home.

Smartphone and tablet texted pictures are routinely used to show doctors particular findings, and doctors and their teams can digitally follow-up patients. Studies in the UK and USA have shown that better health outcomes result from careful follow-up through digital portals.

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As mHealth Technologies develops its product lines, it will be expanding chatbots and artificial intelligence to better direct patients and answer their questions.

This will all lead to better and more seamless care in or out of the doctor’s room.

However, digital penetration has not yet been deep in Vietnam. Most patients are older and not as comfortable with high tech.

A major advantage of digital health is accessing remote locations. However, the people in these areas may not be as tech savvy or have the required coverage.

So, although digital healthcare could alleviate much of the crowding in large city hospitals, while serving patients with higher quality in their homes, the technology is only slowly taking hold.

Bumps in the Road

Although Victoria Healthcare and others use these digital modalities to integrate clinical care, traditional care and digital are often done independently, leading to worse outcomes through lack of coordinated care.

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Online payment methods work best, such as PayPal and credit cards. However, most Vietnamese prefer to pay by cash, which is more difficult with digital outlets.

So, at this time, a better and more convenient way of care is available but has not been widely adopted.

But the opportunity is there for those who can overcome technical and payment barriers and integrate well with the other side of the clinic walls.

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