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Digitalization to Advance Thailand's Hospital System

YCP Solidiance recently published a new white paper titled "The Future of Smart Hospitals in Thailand: How Digitalization is Transforming Thailand's Hospitals System," highlighting that smarter hospitals and more digitalized systems can help address Thailand's issues of an aging society, increasing healthcare costs, and continually changing medical needs.

Per Capita Health Expenditure and GDP, Annual Average, 2010-2017

Since 2019, the country's healthcare costs have exceeded its per capita GDP growth and surged by 21% within four years. Total health expenditure had also significantly grown from THB 359 billion in 2015 to THB 436 billion in 2019. A "smart hospital" can be defined as a hospital seeking to improve ongoing patient procedures and develop new capabilities by counting on optimized and automated processes of the ICT ecosystem, specifically the Internet of Things (IoT).

As Thailand enters an aging society, the country is expected to reach a 0.3% population growth rate in 2024, with more elderly people and more complex healthcare needs. Adding to that, the country lacks human resources and is constrained by infrastructure limitations.

Digitalization is viewed as one of the best approaches to address this issue while meeting immediate needs and helping achieve long-term goals.

Key Takeaways to Implement Digital Technologies

To succeed in embracing digital solutions, healthcare providers should consider these steps:

  1. Identify pain points: Since digitalization may take time, hospitals need to focus first on operational challenges hindering digital initiatives.

  2. Ensure stakeholder buy-in: Besides investing in technology such as IoT and artificial intelligence (AI), investing in organizational development programs is also necessary.

  3. Embrace a start-up culture: Healthcare providers should invest in analytics to get useful insights from their stakeholders to better understand health needs.

  4. Support interoperability: Interoperability is critical to establish best practices around digital health ecosystems.

Opportunities in Healthcare Provision

Technology is essential to enable digitalization in healthcare, which includes recommendations to focus on:

  • Digital solutions - investing in new technologies to tackle operational challenges and to meet industry needs that are continuously changing.

  • Smart devices - creating a seamless patient flow to reduce congestion, allowing pharmacists and healthcare personnel to spend less time on routine tasks but focusing more on patient care.

  • Telehealth - offering remote consultations to improve facilities and increase the efficiency for patients. However, to do so, Thai healthcare still lacks a centralized patient data source. This shows the opportunity for investors to dive in, and to lead Thailand's health ecosystem to a more sustainable and digitized one.


SOURCE: YCP Solidiance


About YCP Solidiance

YCP Solidiance is an Asia-focused strategy consulting firm with offices across 17 key Asia Pacific cities and other regions, advising its extensive client base with a broad spectrum of strategic consultancy areas, identifying breakthrough growth opportunities, and developing execution-ready strategies and roadmaps. For more insights on how digitalization can help create a brighter outlook for smart hospitals in Thailand, download our white paper here.

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