Vietnam launches digital medical ecosystem to better serve residents

“A digital medical ecosystem will be an irreplaceable role in connecting patients and hospitals to provide the most convenience to all citizens”, said Director of Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) Huynh Kim Tuoc in the recent conference ‘Vietnam Digital Medical Ecosystem: Current Application Status and Future Challenges’.

Before the fourth Covid-19 outbreak in Vietnam, the Ministry of Health had gradually improved necessary mechanisms and policies to promote e-healthcare, digital healthcare, connections and data sharing among existing platforms. It collaborated with Vietnam Social Security to link 99.5 percent of all medical facilities nationwide using medical insurance.

Domestic IT businesses and medical institutes themselves, meanwhile, have developed various mobile apps for medical digitalization purposes, such as eDoctor, DoctorAnywhere, Jio Health, AI Health.

By the end of 2021, 23 major hospitals have used image storage and transmission systems instead of printing out medical test results, while 26 hospitals and 1 clinic have implemented electronic medical records.

The public are now accustomed to apps for doctor appointments, medical device and medicine purchasing, medical consultation. Particularly, during the Covid-19 outbreak, the app ‘SpO2 at Home’, co-developed by eDoctor and Dr. Do Thi Tuong Oanh, Associate Prof. Dr. Ho Thanh Phong, has become a valuable tool for Covid-19 treatment at home under professional consultation.

Exploiting advanced technologies like AI, Blockchain, or Big Data, the digital medical system will contribute to lightening the workload in hospitals, saving time for doctors in disease diagnosis, reducing the risk of disease infection, and improving medical service provision.

Among useful medical applications is eDoctor – the most prominent in the digital medical ecosystem. It has helped several districts in Ho Chi Minh City to manage and provide sufficient healthcare for Covid-19 patients at the peak of the 4th outbreak from July to October 2021.

Users only need to declare their current health status via a smartphone, and the system automatically send these data to doctors, followed by the receipt of an optimal treatment. If an emergency is detected, the system will send a warning notice for timely response from the medical team. In four months, the system welcomed the participation of over 100 doctors to care for around 4,000 Covid-19 patients.

 “The short-term goal of eDoctor in the medical ecosystem is to improve healthcare services via telemedicine and homecare to ease the workload at hospitals. The medium-term goal is for each household to have non-stop access to an online doctor. The long-term goal is to efficiently manage the health status of all citizens via the use of advanced technologies so as to own a true smart healthcare system”, said Chief Operation Officer of eDoctor Vu Thai Ha.

SIHUB and eDoctor has also established the Digital Medicare Club, with the participation of many healthcare experts in the Interim Executive Committee and Associate Prof. Dr. Ho Thanh Phong as its President. The club welcomes many businesses, doctors, medical experts to have professional discussions and develop useful applications for disease diagnosis, treatment.

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