Find out what 2 factors are fueling Taiwan healthcare’s growth
Thriving chip industry and healthcare insurance coverage keep Taiwan’s healthcare ahead of neighbours in the Asia Pacific.
With the digital healthcare ecosystems thriving in Asia, Taiwan boasts of its largest semiconductor industry and single-payer of its National Health Insurance system as part of its competitive edge in the region.
The Taiwan Digital Health Industry Development Association (TAIDHA), which supports the digital healthcare industry in the market, said Taiwan is currently investing in precision medicine, regenerative medicine, and digital healthcare.
All these developments were presented by TAIDHA at the Medical Fair Taiwan on 8 June 2023, which reeled in medical device suppliers and smart healthcare firms.
In an interview with Healthcare Asia, TAIDHA Vice Chairman Chin-Tang Wang discussed efforts to support Taiwan’s healthcare startups and other innovations. He also shared the challenges faced by healthcare in the Asia Pacific region.
What are TAIDHA’s efforts/initiatives to support digital healthcare startups in Taiwan?
TAIDHA regularly organises forums to facilitate matchmaking startup companies with large-scale technology corporations. This allows the infusion of capital and resources from large companies into startups, whilst also providing an opportunity for large companies to discover innovative technologies or solutions offered by startups.
Additionally, we intend to speak up for the industry and focus on advocating for government regulations and health insurance coverage for the new technologies and business models developed by startup companies. We actively promote the revision of existing regulations or the establishment of a new one to support the growth of the startup ecosystem.
In Taiwan, what digital healthcare tools benefit patients under home care?
Taiwan is a manufacturing powerhouse for information and communication technology (ICT) devices. We have a wide range of physiological measurement devices for home use, including individual devices for measuring blood pressure, blood sugar, blood oxygen levels, and respiration, etc. And we have integrated devices that combine multiple functions as well.
In addition, we have a robust industry chain for the Internet of Things (IoT). All of these are the key to providing home health care services.
What is Taiwan’s competitive advantage in healthcare tech in the region?
Taiwan possesses one of the world’s leading ICT industries, as well as the largest semiconductor industry globally, catering to over half of the global chip demand. Furthermore, Taiwan is renowned for its advanced medical technology and knowledge, consistently ranking amongst the top in the world.
Moreover, coupled with the single-payer of the National Health Insurance system, which provides coverage to an impressive 99.9% of the population. Taiwan has accumulated one of the most comprehensive medical databases globally. These factors contribute to Taiwan's significant competitive advantage in the development of digital healthcare.
How can digital health players keep up with industry trends in 2023?
We believe that the healthcare and digital technology industries are mutually bonded in terms of each other’s development. Over the past 30 years, the rapid advancement of the Internet and digital technology has accelerated the transformation and growth of various industries, including those related to food, clothing, housing, and transportation. Therefore, it is not solely inherent to the healthcare industry to drive the demand.
Additionally, TAIDHA invites officials, healthcare industry representatives, and digital technology companies to come to the annual Digital Health and Medical Trends Forum to engage in dialogue, understand needs, and guide each other’s development. And this is an important platform to promote as well.
What is TAIDHA’s outlook for healthcare in Taiwan?
TAIDHA thinks highly of the prospects of Taiwan’s healthcare industry, especially in precision medicine, regenerative medicine, and digital healthcare. These emerging medical fields have already seen significant progress in Taiwan. We believe that these advancements in emerging healthcare will further drive the growth of Taiwan’s healthcare industry with the active efforts of revising regulations and expanding health insurance coverage.
What is your outlook for healthcare in the Asia Pacific?
Because the ageing societies are about to come, APAC is facing a growing demand for healthcare. However, each country has its own unique population structure, industry composition, and healthcare systems, in terms of exploring its specific advantages.
It is essential to utilise multilateral organisations such as APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) for division of labour and cooperation. By harnessing their respective countries’ core industrial capabilities, they will be more influential and gain a competitive edge in the healthcare industry.