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A report published by AWS Institute and ACCESS Health identifies the enablers and barriers to cloud adoption in the region.
FREMONT, CA: An APAC study was carried out in 12 countries: Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, India, and Bangladesh. It brought together around 40 officials, CIOs, CMIOs, and digital health specialists to learn more about the region's progress with healthcare digitization.
Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea were found to be the most advanced in terms of cloud readiness and adoption for healthcare among high-income countries. Thailand, the most developed of the two upper-middle-income countries, has a higher rate of adoption than Malaysia, despite the latter's policy advances. India and Vietnam were found to have a higher rate of cloud adoption than their lower-middle-income counterparts.
Countries must embrace a cloud-first policy, overseen by a central digital health authority. According to the report, a well-crafted policy leads to money savings, increased security, and flexibility in changing IT usage. The next step is to employ a variety of policy tools, particularly those focused on cloud enablers like interoperability, regulations, and procurement. These techniques can assist in overcoming employee resistance to the digitization and enabling widespread cloud adoption.
Governments should conduct education and upskilling programmes for all healthcare employees, both technical and non-technical, as well as construct and design human-centred digital health applications, to complement a cloud-first strategy and use of
policy instruments. Meanwhile, low- and middle-income countries must examine and invest in establishing a solid ICT infrastructure. While most APAC countries have developed national digital health strategies to drive digital adoption, the report notes that only a few of these policies have completely detailed the guidelines and methods for cloud use.
It has become obvious that the cloud has made a significant contribution to national health systems' reaction and resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cloud services have made it possible to quickly set up and deploy IT infrastructure and applications that previously took years to develop and launch. Vaccination times have also been sped up because of the cloud.
However, the pandemic is simply one of several problems that healthcare systems in APAC and around the world are dealing with. An ageing population, increased healthcare expenditures, an increase in chronic disease load, and a labour scarcity are all areas where the cloud's benefits may be seen in the region, according to the paper.