Healthcare is IT's new frontier in Asia

The adoption of information technology (IT) in the healthcare industry is speeding up, driven in part by cloud computing, according to Asia-based healthcare IT solutions provider iSOFT Health Asia.

iSOFT Health Asia general manager Dr Timothy Nam said the healthcare industry has been slower than other sectors in adopting IT solutions. "Having to manage, as well as maintain, healthcare's legacy systems and upkeep its traditional best practices, many called the health sector extremely backward. In fact, quite a number of observers have declared it as being 20 years behind the banking sector."

However, Dr Nam said many factors have speeded up IT adoption, making healthcare the new frontier in Asia for the IT industry. "Major areas of concern include the progressing age of the world's population, especially in Asia, and their continued call for reduced costs in healthcare. One of the ways to address this is 'Closed Loop Medication Management' [CLMM] approach."

He said CLMM was a strategy to rationalise medication management portfolio, which consists of the hospital's various existing solution, namely pharmacy system, billing, patient administration and other types of legacy solutions into a view of progressive convergence overtime towards a single suite based on a modern shared services platform. "This approach will also provide a seamless CLMM on both conventional desktops and mobile devices, with development of new mobile device compliant interfaces enabling users to choose between traditional computers on wheels or more modern and less costly mobile devices."

"These demands have drawn out major support from governments as they poured in massive amounts of funding to improve state-managed health offerings," said Dr Nam. "Such efforts can be found primarily in emerging economies as they invest heavily in this sector to improve its general public's health and well-being."