Healthcare leaders across the Asia Pacific (APAC) are looking to data and predictive technologies as the foundations of their future healthcare systems, according to Philips’ Future Health Index (FHI) 2022 report.
Health technology provider Royal Philips surveyed almost 3,000 respondents across 15 countries and explored how healthcare leaders are harnessing the power of data and digital technology as they look to address key challenges coming out of the pandemic.
The report revealed that healthcare leaders in the region are global front runners when it comes to recognizing the benefits of data to their organizations, with 82% of leaders agreeing that the value of data to their facility is worth the time and resources invested — placing them on par with the United States and significantly ahead of the global (65%) and European (60%) averages.
Countries across the region are also aligned in recognizing the importance of investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics within the next three years. Over half (55%) of APAC healthcare leaders are already investing heavily in AI, while 82% predict it will become a top investment area within the next 3 years. This includes uses related to diagnosis or treatment recommendations, early warning scores, automatic disease detection, and clinical decision guidelines. Using AI to predict outcomes (34%) and to integrate diagnostics (33%) follow closely behind in terms of priority.
However, significant areas of improvement remain in realizing the ambition of using data, AI, and predictive analytics as key enablers of future healthcare systems. In clinical settings specifically, 41% of APAC leaders are sharing data with third-party organizations, 40% are using data for predictive analytics, 30% are collecting and storing data, and 28% are using data to automate tasks.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of APAC’s healthcare leaders cite data silos as hindering their ability to use data effectively, far above the global average of 51%. Other hurdles such as technical infrastructure limitations (23%), data privacy and security concerns (21%), data policy and regulations (21%), resistance among staff to using upgraded or more advanced technologies (20%), lack of clarity on legal liability (20%), and difficulties managing high volumes of data (20%) also rank highly.
Partnering with other ecosystem players could be one way to address some of these challenges. APAC healthcare leaders believe that joining forces with health technology companies could provide their healthcare facilities with counsel on contingency planning (30%), guidance and/or services for data analysis and interpretation to ensure continuous improvement (28%), and to provide resources and/or services for continuous maintenance (27%).
While appreciation of the value of data and its benefit to clinical decision support may be high across APAC, the level of current knowledge and awareness of how to use data to inform decision-making is still lacking and widely disparate. On average, more than half of APAC’s leaders (55%) say they do not know how to use data to inform decision-making, far above the global average of 35%.
Workforce resistance, skills, and knowledge gaps also rank highly as another barrier to data utilization in APAC (35%). Nearly three quarters (74%) of the region’s healthcare leaders say their staff is overwhelmed by the volume of data available today, significantly higher than the global average of 55%, whilst one in five (21%) feel that staff training and education would be one of the best ways to help their facility to do more with data.