HCMC developing medical innovative ecosystem


Digital transformation in the healthcare sector is one top-priority mission in Decision No.749/QD-TTg, issued by the Prime Minister on June 3, 2020 about the national digital transformation program until 2025. To fulfill this mission, the Ho Chi Minh City departments of Health and Science & Technology have cooperated closely to establish an innovative startup ecosystem for the healthcare.

HCMC developing medical innovative ecosystem  ảnh 1 The digital ecosystem helps doctors to access and retrieve medical data for public healthcare. (Photo: SGGP)

Statistics of the conference ‘Vietnamese Digital Health Ecosystem: Current Application Status, Future Challenges’ reveal that until the end of 2021, 23 hospitals launched image storage and transmission systems instead of using the traditional picture printing, while 26 hospitals and 1 clinic introduced e-medical records to replace the paper version.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Health Ministry gradually developed suitable mechanisms and policies to facilitate e-healthcare, digital healthcare, and medical data sharing. Various useful applications have been introduced like eDoctor, DoctorAnywhere, Jio Health, AI Health. Citizens are progressively used to digital medical services such as professional consultation, medical examination and treatment booking, medical equipment purchasing online.

Particularly, during the latest Covid-19 outbreak in HCMC last year, the apps eDoctor and SpO2 has provided a valuable chance for nearly 100 doctors to connect to over 4,000 F0 cases at home and deliver timely medical instructions.

“The Family Doctor model will obviously contribute to strengthening the public medical system and preventative medicine, which is a major task of the Vietnamese healthcare sector. The use of technology is expected to effective close the distance and time gaps between doctors and patients”, said CEO of eDoctor Vu Thai Ha. 

Former Director of the HCMC Health Department Nguyen The Dung commented that there is always a high demand of innovative medical solutions to serve patients, one of which is a measure to update the shared medical database so that doctors can screen their patients quickly and precisely.

The Ho Chi Minh City departments of Health and Science & Technology have lately signed a collaborative agreement regarding innovative activities in the healthcare sector from 2022-2025. This is one part of the mission ‘Departments and agencies, the localities of Thu Duc city and districts, businesses cooperate to solve critical problems of HCMC in the 2021-2025 period’, assigned by Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Phan Van Mai to the HCMC Science & Technology Department.

The HCMC Health Department mentioned two main healthcare matters that the city needs to tackle via ordering scientists, research institutes, and businesses in the upcoming time: mental wellness related to Covid-19 and affordable AI-based applications to read chest X-ray results.

As to the first matter, many city dwellers are now experiencing sleep disorder, stress, depression, and anxiety, leading to a need of a tool to identify mental health problems. The second issue comes from the demand of grassroots clinics as a primary medical care level.

In addition, the HCMC Health Department has ordered the HCMC innovative science-technology ecosystem to develop suitable tools and solutions, models for the administrative and operational tasks of the city medical system, with clear priority on upgrading the professional capacity of grassroots clinics, public medical systems, outpatient emergency systems.

This department hopes to work with the HCMC Science & Technology Department to attract possible resources in the society to form an innovative startup ecosystem in the medical sector so that more feasible and practical solutions can be devised via the financial support of the city budget.

In response, the latter department stated that it will wholeheartedly support the former in developing and evaluating ideas and solutions from research institutes and the innovative startup community. It will help to launch scientific research results and to develop corresponding technologies when needed.

Director of the HCMC Science & Technology Department Nguyen Viet Dung stressed that the goal is to strengthen cooperation and connection to better apply science-technology in the medical sector, while mobilizing potential resources in the society to establish an innovative startup ecosystem in this sector as soon as possible.

By Binh Lam – Translated by Thanh Tam

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