The Internet of Medical Things, or The Future of Healthcare in Vietnam

Blogs - Vietnam: Nov. 2, 2017

Vietnam’s health system is dealing with many of the same challenges faced by other countries with emerging economies.

These include rising consumer demand and expectations from a hospital sector that is experiencing overcrowding, poor access, mal-distribution of resources between urban and rural markets, as well as a medical establishment that is not oriented to service excellence or to providing efficient continuing care to patients with the chronic diseases associated with ageing and affluence.

Future Plans

Numerous initiatives are underway to transform Vietnamese healthcare to provide more access including building new public facilities, expanding the private healthcare sector and universal insurance coverage which will have the concomitant effect of further increasing demand.

Vietnam’s healthcare system is at a crossroad and a guiding principle must be established to optimise the performance of a system benefiting from increased financing, investment and new facilities.

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The aims of a transformed system must include the triple aim of affordability, improved patient experiences and accountability for improved clinical outcomes.

By accelerating the pace of transformation, the triple aim can be achieved.

Fortunately, Vietnam is becoming one of the world’s most connected countries, reflected in the over 40,000,000 “smart” mobile devices now in use along with an equal number of personal computers and a burgeoning number of connected wearable devices that monitor health. We must more broadly deploy this “internet of medical things” along with the data generated and use the available advanced logic for guiding the delivery of higher quality, more efficient and safer medical care.

This new digitally supported system will empower patients to make the best decisions for improving their own health and wellbeing. By supporting the widespread adoption of digital tools to support virtual care by doctors we will be able to improve care management and access across a continuum of care that includes other digitalised trading partners including specialists, ancillary services, pharmacies and hospitals.

The Internet of Medical Things

The internet of medical things (IoMT) is a powerful disruptive force that can accelerate the transformation of healthcare from the current state. It will enable patients and doctors be connected any time, any place with anyone with a smartphone or tablet or sensors.

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Exponential data will be created, stored via cloud computing and exploited to provide necessary medical information to doctors and patients to work as aligned partners to ensure care that embodies the five P’s: personalised, predictive, preventive, precise and participative.

Personalised care takes into consideration the unique characteristics of each individual. Predictive care identifies the potential risk for future disease occurrences. Preventive care plans for proactive actions to mitigate the identified disease risk. Precise care identifies which treatments will be effective for individual patients based on genomic, environmental and lifestyle factors.

Personal connected healthcare technologies offer a venue for us to re-imagine a transformed health system in Vietnam where people are empowered to take responsibility for their own health and wellness.

Consumers must have the tools and information needed to take charge and make healthier personal choices.

It won’t happen tomorrow unless we all work together today. Every hospital and doctor group should undertake a digital strategy. Patients, healthcare providers and government must embrace improved health as a shared objective and align their goals, standards and practices accordingly.

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