ISD Conducts the FGD on Health Services “Challenges and Opportunities of Digitisation”

Jakarta, 21 November 2016

ISD Conducts the FGD on Health Services “Challenges and Opportunities of Digitisation”

Jakarta, November 21 2016. Potential in Indonesia’s healthcare sector is very huge due to its large number of population. Besides the number itself, growing and aging population is the main trigger for the market to grow and sustain with no additional effort. Deloitte (2016) data indicates that emerging markets such as Indonesia will account for 80% of the world’s senior citizens in 2050. The same source also suggests that over 50% of population in the Asia Pacific region live in rural areas. Meanwhile, the health services such as clinic, hospital, and treatment center are concentrated in the urban areas.

Based on the findings above, there are two things to emphasize. First, quality of health services in curing chronic and non-chronic diseases would be very critical when it comes to serve people who need it the most. Second, disparity of the services between rural and urban areas should be reduced, so that people would enjoy sufficient treatment regardless where they live.

For these two reasons, ISD held the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on Health Services: Challenges and Opportunities of Digitisation. Key stakeholders in the sector including hospital operator, health-insurance company, medical practitioner, and technology provider were invited to present their views on the current situation of Indonesia’s health services. As the context of the FGD, digitisation is perceived as a realistic solution to fill the gap between the provision of healthcare in urban and rural areas in terms of connecting patients and healthcare providers. However, the idea is not very easy to be implemented given the internet infrastructure, mentality of the people, and nature of health treatment itself.

“Technology might solve many problems in health services. For example, it enables doctors to send medicine recipes and help patients to proceed the payment. But, the very essence of medical treatment, as we know it since long time ago, is meeting the doctor face to face. This factor might be a great challenge for the digitisation of health services,” explained Yose Rizal Damuri, ISD Board of Founders, who served as the Moderator, in his welcoming words.

Yose Rizal Damuri also raised the security issues in e-Drugstore (e-Apotek) concept because digital transaction might eradicate the supervision of medical doctor before the medicines arrive to consumers. e-Drugstore is not applicable unless the medicines are categorized as common/general types without certain recipes from the doctors.

On another hand, Steve Aditya, Life Science & Healthcare Country Leader, Deloitte Indonesia, noted that complete information is key in bringing up digitisation to health services. He argued that digital technology will improve efficiency by removing overhead and transportation costs.

“It is forecasted that in 2020, most of the patients would put themselves as consumers, so that they have options and use information and data about themselves and providers to get the best treatment at a time, place and cost convenient to them. As the digital technology develops, it will mean that many doctor-patient contacts are virtual and requires no physical buildings,” said Steve Aditya.

Another raising issues during the FGD is the integration of medical records among all hospitals in Indonesia. According to dr. Zamzam Djaelani, Management Consultant of Deloitte Indonesia, Indonesia’s health services need further assistance, especially from technological aspect, because the idea of e-Medical Record is not ready to be launched as it is an unpopular idea to share patients’ data among clinics and hospitals from different owners or operators.

dr. Fadjar Wibowo from added, integrity is a very serious issue in Indonesia. Technology providers, doctors, and the Government must ensure the patients that all aspects in health services have been following professional standards.

“If we want health services to be digitised, first we need to make sure that the healthcare portal must protect patients’ privacy. Second, we must look at the availability of doctors to serve a wide range of consumers across Indonesia. For me, the initiative of digitising this sector is a productive idea. We could probably learn from the best practices of Sweden, in which the patients can easily contact the doctors through online forum and later decide whether they need to go to hospital,” mentioned dr. Fadjar.

To conclude the FGD, the participants supported healthcare digitisation to be developed and implemented in Indonesia. Technically, it might not reach all facets of services and all hospitals in Indonesia at time, but the supply chain of medicines, patients administration, vendor procurement, order system (especially in pharmaceuticals), tele-diagnostics, and cloud data storage for Electronic Medical Records or Electronic Health Record (EHR) could be the reasonable aspects to start with.