A conference will be held in Hanoi this month to accelerate digital transformation in the health sector, using technological achievements to raise the quality of treatments as Vietnam seeks to expand its remote healthcare network nationwide.
Overview and approaches of the sector’s digital transformation will be high on the agenda of eHealth Vietnam Summit 2020, to be held by the Health Ministry on December 29-30, organizers stated on the event website.
Remote healthcare consultation and support has become critically important this year when travel is restricted and hospitals face huge challenges due to Covid-19.
Vietnam, which has been praised by the international community for its success in containing the outbreaks, has established Telehealth, a network aimed to connect some 14,000 health facilities nationwide and link them with other countries in the medical field, part of the nation’s digital transformation program towards 2025, with a vision to 2030.
The network will allow people nationwide to access medical services, receive consultation and treatment by doctors from higher-level hospitals remotely, thus reducing patient congestion at central hospitals, said a report shared on the Ministry of Health website in September. By late September 2020, the network had connected 1,000 medical examination and treatment facilities with nearly 30 key hospitals in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the ministry stated. In late November, it required all hospitals in the country to connect to the network for treatment, practice sharing, and learning.
Amid the country’s drive for digital transformation this year, Abbott, the Chicago-based company on the forefront of innovation for more than 130 years, has continuously brought life-changing technologies and breakthroughs in diagnostics, medical devices, medicine and nutrition to Vietnam. This demonstrates the company’s long-standing commitment as a strategic partner to shape the future of healthcare in Vietnam and the region.
In order to boost speed, efficiency and accuracy in patient diagnosis and treatment, Abbott has brought in Alinity, a family of systems that reinvents the way diagnostic laboratories work by simplifying diagnosis.
Alinity, derived from Alignment, Innovation and Unity, has been made available in 18 hospitals and six blood banks including Medic, Cho Ray Hospital, Tu Du Hospital, Hung Vuong Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City Medical University Hospital, Danang General Hospital, DIAG, Hanoi Medical University Hospital and the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion.
In 2020, Abbott introduced Alinity m, its latest new generation platform, fully integrated and automated molecular diagnostics analyzer that uses innovative technology to deliver greater flexibility and efficiency. The platform is now available in hospitals and healthcare facilities including Military Hospital 108, Medic, Medlatec, Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi as well as Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.
Innovations revolutionizing Vietnam’s healthcare
Vietnam’s health facilities are utilizing Abbott’s advanced technology, diagnostics systems and devices, including High-Sensitivity Troponin-I Test, DBS viral loading test and first-of-its-kind, life-saving device MitraClip designed for those with common heart valve disorders.
High-Sensitivity Troponin-I Test, also known as Hs Troponin-I test, aims to check the level of troponin, a protein found specifically in heart muscle cells. A high content of the macronutrient detected from the test provides better predictive information for determining a person’s chances of developing future heart disease when added to the current standard of care.
The test also offers gender-specific cut-offs, allowing physicians to more accurately diagnose myocardial infarction, commonly known as heart attacks, in women. A study published in the British Medical Journal found Abbott’s test uncovered twice as many heart attacks in women than standard troponin screening. It is exceptionally crucial for doctors to conduct early diagnosis of a heart attack to act quickly in critical moments. As in Vietnam, one out of three people suffers a heart attack each year.
Abbott’s Hs Troponin-I test has become the first and only approved by the Health Ministry to aid cardiac risk stratification thanks to its significance and efficiency. Therefore, the test now not only serves patients facing heart disease risks but is also dedicated to better health management.
If the Hs Troponin-I test is aimed to serve a larger community, the DBS test, known as the dried blood spot test, helps ease access to HIV viral load testing for Vietnamese in remote areas as the procedure is simple and requires no refrigeration. It uses a few blood drops dried on a filter paper before being shipped to a laboratory for analysis. The process has recently been expanded to HCV testing, and proves efficient especially in this tough time of fighting the pandemic.
In order to advance heart and cardiovascular disease treatment, Abbott has introduced minimally invasive mitral valve repair device MitraClip, a transcatheter-based device, to help Vietnamese with common heart valve disorders. The MitraClip procedure involves doctors guiding a thin tube through a patient’s vein toward the mitral valve to help it close more efficiently without open-heart surgery, thus enabling speedy recovery.
In October, Prix Galien USA honored Abbott’s MitraClip therapy as the Best Medical Technology for 2020. Considered as the industry’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize in biopharmaceutical and medical technology research, the award recognizes excellence in scientific innovation that improves the state of humankind. This device has transformed the lives of more than 100,000 people globally living with mitral regurgitation, or a leaky heart valve.
Innovation for better health tomorrow
After 25 years’ expansion in Vietnam, Abbott has achieved sustainable business growth, developed strong local talent and offered significant opportunities. The company has continuously offered Vietnam with breakthroughs in nutrition, medicines, diagnostics and medical devices.
Vietnam has been one of the first countries where Abbott’s nutrition business has launched breakthrough products, such as Similac Eye-Q Plus with HMO that nurtures stronger immunity and brain development among babies; PediaSure MRI with Arginine and natural Vitamin K2 that help children reach their optimal growth and potential; Ensure Gold with special nutritional ingredient HMB, protein, calcium, vitamins and nutrients to help the elderly overcome the loss of muscle strength.
Glucerna, the newly enhanced reformulation designed to help people with diabetes, is the latest arrival from Abbott. The dual therapeutic benefits of Glucerna’s new formulation promote GLP-1 secretion with its unique nutrients and improves insulin sensitivity for better glycemic control.
Besides, Abbott has also introduced Surbex Natural Lingzhi, another science-based health supporting product available in capsules that boost immunity, enhance liver function and overall body resistance.
Last month, Abbott again made No.1 in Pharma/Medical Equipment/Healthcare for the seventh consecutive year in the list of “Vietnam Best Places to Work 2020.” Its recognition in Vietnam affirms Abbott’s leadership in the healthcare industry, having created an innovative and winning culture that empowers employees to reach their full potential.
Abbott and its foundation, Abbott Fund, have provided more than VND250 billion ($10.5 million) in grants and product donations to address critical health issues, focused on removing barriers preventing Vietnamese from living healthy lives, and strengthening the country’s health sector.