Much has been said about the way COVID-19, the biggest global health crisis in a century, has changed review film business. Not surprisingly, the change in healthcare itself has been profound.
Telehealth visits have skyrocketed globally since the pandemic began, and patients now want providers to offer more “digital front doors” to monitor their health.
As the most populated region in the world, Asia Pacific is witnessing first-hand this incredible growth in trust and optimism for digital healthcare. VMware’s Digital Frontiers 3.0 Healthcare Study showed that in local regions like Southeast Asia, two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents now prefer remote video calls with medical professionals over face-to-face consultations. Because of lockdowns and other restrictions, health providers have finally begun to use digital services to fulfill potential that has been flagged for decades.
“Dr. Google” and Informed Patients
At VMworld 2021, I enjoyed listening to Armin de Greiff, Head of IT at University Hospital Essen — Germany’s first “smart hospital” — provide insight into what has been driving the big changes in global healthcare (on-demand here).
De Greiff says today’s patients are “informed patients,” arriving at their consultations with opinions on symptoms and treatments based on their own research, often conducted with the help of “Dr. Google.”
This changes expectations. Medical data used to be gathered by clinicians on pieces of paper. But now the patient comes with their own online research and an expectation it will be factored into their care.
If today’s digital-first patients are turning to online resources for fast and trusted responses to their health problems, there is an opportunity for healthcare providers.
Malaysia’s Sunway Medical Centre (SMC) is one provider already leaning into this trend. After establishing the country’s first 24-hour Telemedicine Command Centre, patients can now access professional care at all times from the comfort of their homes.