Thailand can boost efficiency, lower costs in healthcare with wider tech adoption: report
The country ranked fifth in the global healthcare security index 2021, the highest in Southeast Asia.
Thailand’s healthcare industry has been ramping up the integration of digital health technologies in recent years but more can be done to maximize its growth potential, according to consultancy firm YCP Solidiance.
Digital health transformation has been gaining traction in the Southeast Asian nation led by mobile health applications, electronic health records (EHRs), and online consultations, it said in a white paper published earlier this month.
Ramping up these technologies and promoting the use of other advanced solutions like health analytics can further streamline workflow in hospitals and clinics, shorten waiting times for patients, and eventually bring down overall healthcare costs with automation.
“Since some of the digital health technologies in Thailand are still in their early or infancy stages, there is still a lot of room to grow and develop digital technologies that are to be integrated into the overall healthcare industry,” the report read.
Inefficient healthcare systems, lack of resources and expensive costs were the major factors that drove the sector to embrace tech more.
Mobile health apps allowing Thais to track their fitness goals and health conditions ranked as the most popular tech currently, followed by the use of EHRs in hospitals and clinics.
Telemedicine, especially in rural areas where access to physical healthcare is limited, as well as wearable technology, like smartwatches and fitness trackers, are also slowly gaining popularity. Expanding the existing pool of online avenues will further improve access to healthcare, it said.
“There is still large potential for other digital health technologies that can be made more available and accessible for the entire population,” it added. “Certain technologies, such as wearable technologies and advanced health analytics, can still further be integrated and adopted.”
Thailand placed fifth in the global healthcare security index 2021, the highest in Southeast Asia and even beating Singapore’s 24th ranking in the index that benchmarks health security of 195 countries in times of crises.