The healthcare sector has been greatly challenged by the current pandemic, exposing the hidden weaknesses of services providers and pharmaceutical companies that have not committed to building their digital capability.
The potential for growth in the healthcare industry in Southeast Asia remains strong, with the industry previously forecasted to reach a value of US$134.2 billion in 2020*, fuelled by rapid economic growth, a thriving medical tourism industry, and an aging population.
2020 has seen the industry come under strain. Beyond manpower issues and a prevalence of chronic diseases, the industry's capabilities and capacity to adapt and scale were tested heavily by COVID-19, which stretched resources, halted medical tourism and forced the public to put off treatment for afflictions not related to the pandemic.
Healthcare service providers, pharmaceutical companies, and supply chains have all been disrupted in unprecedented ways, exposing hidden weaknesses and deficiencies in their digital capabilities.
Effective responses have required a combination of:
- Pivoting towards telehealth and remotely delivered services
- Executing disaster plans including IT scaling and resiliency efforts
- Flexing from ambulatory and elective to free ICU and hospital capacity
- Leveraging data to predict and plan for contingencies
- Creating well-integrated systems
It is becoming increasingly evident that the organizations that will thrive in the next normal will be the ones that are able to utilize technology to overcome both new and existing challenges. The focus of these providers should be on building seamless ecosystems that provide patients with accurate information, remote access to practitioners, treatments and the supply chain, and improving prediction of future diseases.
As we look forward to a post-pandemic environment, organizations are realizing that their digital strategies need to be strengthened and the transition towards digital fluency can no longer be placed on the backburner.
Now is the time to reflect on what you are doing as a company, to reprioritize, adapt, and create resilience in response to the next normal.
To help organizations navigate their path to building a modern digital business, ThoughtWorks has created a framework and tool for organizations to leverage and determine the right investment capabilities.