healthcare industry
We are witnessing the globalisation of healthcare. One big change in the healthcare industry has been the integration of IT, which has enabled us to analyse multiple data points.

The healthcare industry is poised for significant change and the disruption will be caused by companies outside of the healthcare industry, observed a panel of experts that discussed the “Future of Healthcare” at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

The panellists in the discussion were Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, Founder & Managing Director of VPS Healthcare; Dr Arjen Radder, CEO, Phillips – Middle East and Turkey; and the moderator of the session was Dr Andy Poh, Adviser – Healthcare Strategy and Policy Department, Dubai.

Noting significant transformations affecting the world, the panel was tasked to find answers about the emerging technologies that would impact the way of healthcare delivery in the future.

As almost every expert agrees, data is the new oil, Dr Shamsheer said, “It’s the new currency and the healthcare industry is already moving towards a more sustainable, accessible and affordable delivery model. Given the pace of change, the advancement in healthcare in the next 10 years would be more than what the world has witnessed in the last 100 years,” he added.

With the advancements in technology, it is imperative that digital health records be standardised and the interoperability of data is going to play a major role in the future of healthcare delivery.

“We are witnessing the globalisation of healthcare. One big change in the healthcare industry has been the integration of IT, which has enabled us to analyse multiple data points. As an example, we at Philips recently introduced a bio-sensor that could measure eight different vital signs on a person’s chest,” said Arjen Radder.

Digitisation continues to be at the heart of change in healthcare delivery and has led to the introduction of complex technical systems across the globe.

“Privacy is going to be a big issue because of cyber security. We need to encrypt data. As we know, a single stolen EHR is valued at 100 times that of a stolen credit card, so we need to be careful about online security,” said Dr Shamsheer.

The connectedness and the focus on patient-centric care means that value in healthcare will be intrinsically linked to value-based medicine.

The future of healthcare will focus more towards personalised and democratised medical care.

“We are building an environment where personalised medicine will take centre stage – what works for you won’t work for me. Cancer in the UAE is different than for other people in other parts of the world. This is where we will use genetic testing with outcome-based measures to prove this hypothesis,” added Dr Shamsheer.

Hospitals and clinics are becoming increasingly aware of the pivotal role of hospitality and service culture in the patient experience and new business payment models need to be introduced in the healthcare industry.

According to a recent research, 80 per cent of the total medical care cost is spent on diagnosis whereas only 3 per cent is spent on prevention in Europe.

“There is something wrong in where the money sits. As companies, we need to have more appetite for risk. From a regulator perspective, they need to find more innovative and future-ready ways to reallocate the money. We know that cost can be reduced by data and connectivity,” said Dr Shamsheer.

“Wellness involves prevention and patient-driven care. A Philips survey found that the age of the heart is 22 per cent higher than the actual age for men, but only 3 per cent higher in women.

“Personal health data can encourage people to focus on wellness, which is going to be the key for sustainability of healthcare systems of the future,” added Dr Radder.

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