By FAN FEIFEI | China Daily | 2020-10-28
A doctor introduces a medical robot that can perform operations to visiting students at Ruijin Hospital Affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in Shanghai on Sept 5, 2020. [GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY]
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the digital transformation and innovation in China's healthcare industry, experts said. The industry now adopts a new generation of digital technologies, including cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence. This has encouraged InterSystems Corp, a US-based software company that offers advanced technologies for data management, integration and analytics, to launch customized solutions for Chinese clients.
InterSystems said it will increase its investment and research in China, to help accelerate the internet-based and smart digital transformation in China's healthcare and other industries. "China has become a major global player and InterSystems has always recognized China as one of the most important strategic markets all over the world," said Luciano Brustia, regional managing director of Asia-Pacific at InterSystems.
China's market for health services is estimated to reach 16 trillion yuan ($2.4 trillion) by 2030, according to a forecast by the National Health Commission. The authority has also pledged to advance the development of online diagnosis and treatment as well as internet-based hospitals, which is expected to help ease the pressure on medical institutions offline and contribute to outbreak prevention and control.
Established in 1978, InterSystems provides data technology for extremely critical data in the healthcare, finance, manufacturing and supply chain sectors. Its cloud-first data platforms address scalability, interoperability, speed, and problems for large organizations around the globe. It has empowered software applications that support high-quality healthcare services at hundreds of Chinese hospitals and other organizations.
Brustia said the company is now deepening cooperation with Chinese partners in the healthcare industry to launch tailor-made products. For instance, InterSystems has worked with Beijing United Family Hospital, one of the high-level private medical institutions in China, in the digitalized healthcare information sector to combat COVID-19. The hospital has a comprehensive medical service system centered on general practice empowered by InterSystems' TrakCare united healthcare information systems, and provides full life-cycle medical services, multi-disciplinary and coordinated diagnosis and treatment.
Brustia said he believes that the Chinese government and the healthcare industry will invest big in enhancing data efficiency to obtain data more quickly and reliably in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Chen Baiping, managing director and partner of consultancy Boston Consulting Group, said the pandemic has underscored the need for digital applications in the healthcare industry. Chen said major pharmaceutical companies have increased their investments in digitalization, as only 23 percent of them spent more than 10 percent of their total product purchases on digital inputs in 2019. This figure rose to 40 percent in March since the outbreak.
咨询公司波士顿咨询集团(Boston Consulting Group)董事总经理兼合伙人陈白平表示，此次疫情凸显了医疗行业对数字化应用的需求。他还指出，大型制药公司已经增加了对数字化的投入。2019年期间，只有23%的制药公司将产品采购总支出的10%以上用于数字化投入，而自疫情爆发以来，这一数字在3月份上升到了40%。
"Only through cloud computing, big data, the internet of things and AI, along with a new generation of digital technologies, can we share the resources, provide the training and guidance, as well as address the imbalance in medical resources," said Guo Yucheng, chairman of the Chinese Health Association.
"The epidemic has shone the spotlight on the opportunities in digital," said Kevin Chang, head of healthcare practice at Bain & Company China. "To relieve current pain points and prepare for future epidemics, the digitalization of China's healthcare system needs to rapidly advance. Electronic records, digital prescriptions and other IT infrastructure will systematically track and analyze extensive patient data. AI and big data will eventually help hospitals reallocate scarce resources and improve diagnosis accuracy," he said.
贝恩中国医疗保健业务负责人张咸毅表示: “疫情让人们注意到数字领域的机遇。为缓解当前的痛点并为未来的疫情做好准备，中国医疗卫生系统的数字化需要迅速发展。 电子病历、数字处方和其他IT基础设施将系统地跟踪和分析大量的患者数据；人工智能和大数据最终将帮助医院重新配置稀缺资源，提高诊断的准确性。”