Asia a hotbed of healthcare IT innovation

Asia-Pacific has been a hotbed of IT innovation, thanks to technology-driven growth policies and a relatively young population who are not reined in by legacy technology when solving the region’s pressing issues, especially in healthcare.

As the winners of this year’s Asia-Pacific HIMSS-Elsevier Digital Healthcare Awards 2017 have shown, hospitals across the region are on the frontier in healthcare IT – from a patient-centred healthcare programme in Taiwan to combining the use of smartphones and portable imaging devices to capture eye images of diabetic patients in India’s rural communities.

Here’s a look at some of the winners:

Outstanding ICT Achievement Award Winners

The Outstanding ICT Achievement award recognises hospitals that leverage technology to achieve substantial improvements in patient care and safety, and have addressed major challenges faced by their institutions. The winners of this year’s ICT Achievement Award are The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Australia, and Fudan University Huashan Hospital, China.

In April 2016, the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne became the first Australian hospital to migrate to a hospital-wide electronic medical record (EMR) system within one day, along with the launch of a comprehensive patient and family portal. Through the EMR system, the hospital has reduced costs and eliminated unwarranted health screenings.

The other winner, Fudan University Huashan Hospital, has developed an information system for administering individualised dosages of specific drugs. The system was deployed on a hybrid cloud environment, and integrated with on-premises patient data.

Outstanding ICT Innovation Award Winners

The Outstanding ICT Innovation category recognises the most innovative and creative ICT solutions that improve patient care and safety. The two winners this year are MacKay Memorial Hospital, Taiwan, and Aravind Eye Hospital-Pondicherry in India.

MacKay Memorial Hospital in Taiwan clinched a winning spot for a healthcare programme aimed at empowering patients to better manage their medication and health information, while facilitating collaborative patient-physician interactions.

The other winner is India’s Aravind Eye Hospital-Pondicherry, whose project involved the use of Remidio portable cameras attached to smartphones to provide greater access to healthcare.

With the cameras, the eye hospital is looking to capture eye images of at least 10,000 diabetic patients per year, many of whom live in impoverished villages. One of the key benefits of the Remidio camera is its low cost of just US$0.03, compared to conventional cameras that often cost 10 times more.