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Great potential seen for Vietnam – UK cooperation in digitalized healthcare

There is great scope for Vietnam and the UK to cooperate in adopting digital technology to improve health care in Vietnam, experts say.

The potential for cooperation was discussed at a workshop titled “Driving Forward Digital Healthcare Transformation in Vietnam” that was held on Wednesday, January 20 in Ho Chi Minh City.

Workshop participants sought ways to accelerate the adoption of digital health in Vietnam and identify potential areas of collaboration between the two countries.

The workshop was organised by the British Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City in collaboration with the UK-ASEAN Business Council (UKABC), Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) and KPMG Vietnam, with support from Prudential Vietnam.

British Consul General Emily Hamblin said that the UK’s healthcare sector had “recognised the role of technology in improving health outcomes more than 30 years ago, and now develops some of the most sophisticated systems in the world for tracking, managing and delivering patient-centred services.”

She said the workshop aimed at explore opportunities in digital health space and forging meaningful partnerships between the UK and Vietnam.

“We look forward to collaborating with Vietnam towards adopting digital technology that will lead to better ways to improve healthcare outcomes,” she added.

Workshop participants noted that digital health was transforming healthcare in ASEAN, including Vietnam. Demographic changes alongside an increase in disposable income and resilient economic growth have fostered rising demand for quality healthcare. Digital technologies can empower patients to actively participate in their own care, improve clinical outcomes and enhance operational efficiency, they said.

The workshop also provided insights into the current state and future direction of digital healthcare transformation in Vietnam. It highlighted best practices of Ho Chi Minh City health authorities on leveraging digital solutions to maintain delivery of Non-communicable disease (NCD) care during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Senior representatives from key UK providers of innovative solutions and local hospitals spoke about the role of technology in bettering healthcare and their experiences in this field.

A report titled ‘Digital health in Vietnam’ was released at the workshop. The report was a jointly compiled by KPMG Vietnam and OUCRU, under commission from the UK’s Department for International Trade.

Luke Treloar, Managing Director, Life Science and Healthcare of KPMG Vietnam, said his company was “delighted to work on this exciting report. Healthcare touches all of our lives.

“Expanding access to quality care through digital health will allow more people to benefit from cutting-edge medicines, while maintaining sustainable health financing.”

“UK companies have many of the missing digital pieces Vietnam needs to accelerate progress towards its healthcare development goals,” he said.

Professor Guy Thwaites, Director of OUCRU, noted that Vietnam was at an important stage in the development of its healthcare system, with increasing demand for affordable and high-quality healthcare.

“New technology, including digital health, will inevitably be a major way of meeting that demand and we are in a very exciting phase as we consider which technology might have the greatest impact in Vietnam and how it might be implemented.

“There is a major opportunity to transform healthcare in Vietnam through new technology, and OUCRU is delighted to help the country in the transformation,” he said.

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