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  • Ahmad Hidayat

COVID-19 Pandemic Transforms Indonesia Digital Health

Call to action: digitalization.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed Indonesia to take steps to become more competitive and innovative. One of their most important steps is transforming the healthcare sector by introducing digitalization and genomics initiatives. These initiatives are expected to revolutionize healthcare services and balance preventive and promotive measures with curative actions. This is a big challenge for Indonesia, which has a population of more than 270 million and is still struggling with the double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Indonesia has been taking several steps to improve its citizens' health and become more competitive in the global economy. It has introduced several digital health and genomics initiatives to address these challenges. Digitalization of health services is expected to enhance the quality and efficiency of healthcare services, and genomics is expected to provide a scientific basis for the prevention and treatment of diseases.


Why is digital health necessary for Indonesia?

The healthcare technology transformation in Indonesia is an essential step toward improving the quality of care and access to health services. With suitable investments and support, this transformation can help Indonesia become more competitive and innovative and reduce the double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases.


Government's commitment

With enthusiasm, the Indonesian government is firmly backing and promoting the implementation of digital technology for public health benefits in the future, according to the 2024 Digital Transformation Strategy Blue Print. Digital transformation is a significant priority to realize a Healthy Indonesia through the application of data and technology. An ambitious target has been set to ensure all healthcare facilities adopt interoperable electronic health records by 31 December 2023. Also, the citizens will be able to access their medical information accessible at a citizen health app.


Benefit for population

Healthcare digitalization and genomics initiatives are expected to bring about a range of benefits for Indonesia, including improved access to healthcare services and improved quality of care. Digitalization of healthcare services will allow for easier access and improved efficiency, making health services more accessible to all citizens. On the other hand, Genomics initiatives will enable healthcare providers to understand better and address health issues. This will help them to provide more personalized and effective treatments.


Indonesia's large and diverse population is home to many different ethnic groups and cultures. Genomics can be a valuable tool for addressing health issues specific to particular groups. Through a deeper understanding of the genetics of its people, Indonesia can identify and address health issues more effectively.

Indonesia needs to invest in the necessary infrastructure and resources to benefit from healthcare technology transformation. This includes implementing digital health systems, such as SatuSehat and Citizen Health App, and training personnel to develop, use, and maintain them. The government also needs to ensure that citizens can easily access these digital health systems and use them effectively. Furthermore, Indonesia needs to focus on developing its genomics capabilities, such as investing in research and establishing a national genomics database.

Investment and business opportunity

The healthcare industry in Indonesia can take advantage of the country's healthcare technology transformation in several ways. The most obvious benefit is improved access to healthcare services. Digitalization and genomics initiatives are expected to make it easier for patients to access quality care, no matter where they live. Additionally, introducing digital health services is expected to reduce the cost of care, as it eliminates the need for expensive medical equipment and office visits.

The digitalization and genomics initiatives are also expected to improve the quality of care in Indonesia. Digital health records and genomics data will allow healthcare providers to understand their patients' needs better and tailor their treatment accordingly. This will enable them to provide more personalized care, which is always beneficial for both the patient and the healthcare industry.

The private sector plays a critical role in transforming Indonesia's healthcare system. In this environment, private investors must keep their eyes open for opportunities to invest in healthcare technology. The investments made now will pay off in the form of healthier, happier Indonesians and a more robust economy for years to come. Private investment in the government's healthcare technology transformation is worthwhile. Private investors can benefit from the improved access to healthcare services and the improved quality of care that the initiatives will bring. Additionally, the initiatives can help reduce the cost of providing care, as well as the cost of medical equipment and office visits. All of these benefits make it a worthwhile investment for private investors.


Things to encounter

On the other hand, there is some concern about implementing these initiatives. For example, it's unclear how the data generated by these services will be used or stored and how secure it will be. Additionally, there are concerns about the cost of implementation, as investing in digitalization and genomics initiatives can be expensive.


Conclusion

The government is now more focused on building a digital pandemic early warning system to avoid the country's vulnerability to pandemics. The country's research and development sector is investing more in genomics to identify solutions that can help the country's healthcare system meet the needs of Indonesia's growing and increasingly urbanized population. The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed a country like Indonesia into a more competitive one. Digitalization and genomic research are two critical aspects of the healthcare technology transformation in Indonesia. Despite some challenges, the transformation is inevitably an opportunity for all stakeholders.

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