Ho Chi Minh City, March 2020 – The latest white paper by YCP Solidiance, “A Look Forward: How Digitalization is Transforming Vietnam’s Healthcare System” has revealed that digitalization is transforming healthcare in Vietnam with the potential to empower patients, improve clinical outcomes, and lower costs and improve efficiency. Amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, digital platforms have also been utilized by the Vietnam Ministry of Health to provide information, raise awareness and educate people in order to contain the spread of the outbreak.
Rising demand for healthcare services, overcapacity, and financial autonomy policies faced by public hospitals in Vietnam pressure them to shift towards digitalization. On the other hand, private hospitals’ needs for better operational efficiency due to increased competition, bridging the reputation gap, and fulfilling demands for premium quality services, are also pushing them to leverage digitalization.
Current State of Digital Transformation Across the Healthcare Landscape
Hospitals in Vietnam are in the early stage of going smart. While public hospitals aim to improve their operational efficiency and medical outcomes, private hospitals are making a digital push to enhance their value proposition.
Digital transformation is also making an impact on Vietnam’s pharmaceutical industry for patient education, healthcare professional engagement, and government monitor of drug dispensing. The Ministry of Health is currently pushing to connect all pharmacies into a national electronic database, with more than 80% of total pharmacies in Vietnam, have successfully connected. As for medical device companies, they leverage digital technologies to improve patient outcomes such as digital radiography, PACS/RIS, remote technical support and AI solutions.
The health tech start-up sector currently still attracts less than 2% of total investment in Vietnam, recorded at US$ 7 million in 2019 – a relatively small in size compared to its regional counterparts. Vietnam’s deal volume is much lower than Singapore (US$ 125 million) or Indonesia (US$ 120 million).
Opportunities Going Forward
Vietnam’s digital healthcare sector has significant room to grow given the early stage of development. Investment opportunities arise across at least three key areas in the healthcare market: patients’ experience enhancement, diagnosis and treatment improvement, as well as operational efficiency enhancement.
The report suggested that it is essential for businesses to develop a digital healthcare strategy that not only makes sense for the business but also serves to advance healthcare in Vietnam. The strategy needs to be tailored to the diverse needs facing patients and stakeholders across the healthcare system, from the busy central-level hospitals in major cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, to the provincial and district level hospitals.
Head of Marketing,