Addressing the future healthcare challenges of Asia and the Pacific through the development of data-driven healthcare

Data-driven healthcare can help us prepare now for the healthcare challenges of the future, according to Ahmed El-Husseini, APAC Area President at Roche Pharma. In a recent interview with HIMMS TV, Ahmed explained how he sees digital technologies and data strategies as essential to healthcare systems’ ability to deal with the “silent epidemic” of aging populations and increasing cases of non-communicable diseases.

Ahmed — who has spent nearly a decade in leadership roles with Roche — understands the potential of leveraging data and technology to improve outcomes for patients and, most importantly, strengthen health systems and help them become more resilient and sustainable. In particular, it emphasizes the value that the effective use of health data can add by creating opportunities to make health care more personalized and improve the quality and sustainability of care at every step of the patient journey – from discovery to diagnosis, treatment and monitoring. He is also optimistic that health data has the potential to create new opportunities for early intervention to prevent disease.

Work together to lay the foundation for data-driven health

While the potential for data-driven healthcare to play a role in addressing the growing demand and stress that health systems are facing seems increasingly clear, health systems’ willingness to realize this potential is far less certain. Ahmed makes a strong case for stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem to work together — as they did during the COVID-19 pandemic — to ensure systems are ready for change.

However, he argues, digital and data-driven healthcare can “only thrive in systems that are truly receptive.” Technology and data are “very exciting, but what really matters is the ecosystem that enables them.” He says partnership and collaboration will be key to making this happen.

Citing the example of the Philippines and Indonesia, Roche is partnering with local cancer organizations and governments in remote mentoring programs to hone the skills of nurses so they can provide better care to cancer patients in communities where care coverage is inadequate.

“What’s amazing is the scalability,” he said. “If you do it for 1,000, you can do it for 100,000.” This is just one of the advantages of digital technology

The partnership is also key for initiatives in Singapore and Australia, where Roche is working with the National Cancer Institutes to pilot comprehensive genetic sequencing programs to better identify tumor types and generate data that ensures patients receive the best, most targeted treatments with patient improvement potential. Results.

Ensure data security and interoperability

Improved data flows across borders is one of the biggest opportunities for health data beyond domestic initiatives according to Ahmed, but he cautions that it comes with huge challenges. Privacy and security are “of the highest priorities, and data acquisition and transmission must be done” in an uncompromisingly safe and secure manner. “Interoperability between systems and across geographies also remains a major challenge that stakeholders need to overcome.

He remained optimistic about the future, concluding: “I think there is a lot of technology out there today, and there will be more to come. The challenge is how do we develop those systems, the alliances, the trust and the collaboration to realize their full potential.”

Precision Public Health Asia and the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore have teamed up to provide strategies for healthcare organizations to enable a seamless data sharing ecosystem. Read the white paper here.

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