By. Hendra Tjong –CEO KlikDokter Indonesia
Health technology (health tech) is currently one of the solutions for people to access health services. Changes in consumer behavior (patients), in line with the increasing internet penetration trend in Indonesia, encourage the health industry to innovate and collaborate with digital startups.
Nevertheless, there are still challenges that arise from the health-tech platform technology. From the users’ end, the issue is limited access, while from the medical service provider it is the management of the user request process which is not technically reliable. Not to mention, from the point of view of principals, issues such as product coverage, drug availability, and misleading information with consumers are the things that are most often found in the health technology industry.
Despite the challenges, now more than ever, people need immediate access to health services, especially in anticipating degenerative diseases or non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and others.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people from most racial and ethnic groups worldwide. This severe condition claims an estimated 17.9 million lives worldwide every year. The prevalence of the cardiovascular disease in Indonesia, is 1.5%, based on the 2018 Basic Health Research report.
Meanwhile, cases of diabetes mellitus (DM) are also relatively high among the population, and the number continues to increase yearly. In 2018, the prevalence of DM jumped to 8.5% from 6.9% in 2013.
Unhealthy lifestyle habits are a significant factor in exposure to degenerative diseases. High blood pressure, cholesterol, and smoking are major risk factors for heart disease. Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at higher risk for heart disease, including diabetes, being overweight, an unhealthy diet, and excessive alcohol use.
According to research, people with regular health checkups generally have lower CVD risk factor scores than those with fewer frequency controls. They were also more likely to receive risk factor interventions. Their risk factor scores also dropped after health checks on BMI, blood pressure, and smoking.
Technology in the Health Industry
Today, the rapid development of health tech allows a person to carry out health checks independently. Their smart devices can do a lot when it comes to health checks nowadays. There is no need to go to the hospital regularly to do medical tests because now technology has made it simple on our hands.
But of course, technology does not always help, especially for platforms that cannot yet provide complete and integrated services. Full or one-stop service is a basic need expected by users to access technology. If a platform can only process orders for doctors’ schedules, then it is not health tech but an omnichannel that moves the registration process from offline or telephone to online.
The high demands of society today encourage companies that provide health technology services to continue to improve and innovate. Disappointed user feedback on an app or platform is easy to find on Google Ratings. Not to mention if it is disseminated on social media by netizens who feel disadvantaged in terms of time and effort.
Typically, those disappointed with a platform are caused by the inefficient registration process, doctors who are not always available for consultation, poor user interface, and frequent technical problems. Many health-tech platforms are not ready regarding infrastructure because the existing ecosystem does not support them.
Health technology is actually a solution to find a way out of patient problems (pain points) that are often experienced, such as the difficulty of remote consultations with specialist doctors, detecting the risk of cancer, CVD, diabetes and obesity.
A platform that has the qualifications to be a solution for the market, especially in Indonesia, is one that facilitates the telemedicine process with specialist doctors, provides validation of a symptom by experts, can be accessed by any mobile phone, and is easy to register and purchase medicines.
Most importantly, is the health technology platform connected to an established ecosystem, or is it standing apart? Even if they are connected, is the ecosystem from upstream to downstream or just downstream? Of course, it would impact users regarding fast service and also trust. An integrated service in one sizeable corporate ecosystem is more secure than a separate one.