“Covid-19 Highlighted The Limitations Of Our Current Healthcare Infrastructure”
BioSpectrum Asia|August 2020
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“Covid-19 Highlighted The Limitations Of Our Current Healthcare Infrastructure”
COVID-19 has exposed the inadequacies in the healthcare industry, which is now evolving through vigorous transformation. The Asia Pacific (APAC) region is embracing digital transformation in the healthcare ecosystem. According to a 2020 report by Bain & Company, the APAC region is set to represent more than 40 per cent of growth in global healthcare spending over the next decade, expanding at a rate almost double than that of the rest of the world. This also means that APAC stakeholders have an unprecedented opportunity to transform the region’s healthcare landscape through collaboration and networking tools. Dirk Dumortier, Head of Business Development, Smart City and Healthcare (Asia Pacific) at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Singapore, shared his views with BioSpectrum Asia about the new framework for healthcare delivery. Edited excerpts;
Hithaishi C Bhaskar

Dirk Dumortier, Head of Business Development SmartCity and Healthcare (APAC region), Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Singapore

What does healthcare continuity mean in the times of COVID-19?

There are two aspects to consider in healthcare continuity – operational needs and technical needs.

Operational needs involve ensuring that health facilities like clinics and hospitals remain operating during a pandemic while protecting both patients and healthcare workers. There are multiple ways to go about this. For instance, the building of temporary wards or rearranging normal wards into Intensive Care Units (ICUs) to cater to the surge in demand. Minimizing physical contact between patients and healthcare workers using collaboration tools that allow for shift handovers to be done remotely. Or the use of collaboration tools to enable administrative staff to work from home and general practitioners to reach out to their patients remotely.

Technical needs refer to the technologies that allow healthcare facilities to resolve operational requirements within a short time frame. Hospitals and clinics need to tap on technology that allows for:

Ruggedised network infrastructure to create secure wired and wireless connectivity for both hospital and patient use.

Work from home software and hardware – extending the hospital and care network and communications to home, allowing staff to work remotely without affecting operations.

Over-the-top (OTT) cloud collaboration licenses for free to all healthcare workers. This managed service does not require any onsite installations and can be rolled out quickly, enabling collaboration between hospitals and clinics, and even teleconsultations.

At Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, we have worked together with our supply chain and business partners to come up with an easy to order, fast delivery and installation of these solutions, to help healthcare facilities alleviate operational issues.

What does the next generation of hospitals look like? How is innovation changing the hospital experience?

While innovation is changing the way people view healthcare, the speed and willingness to adopt technology is dependent on healthcare organizations and lawmakers.

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August 2020