An Overview of Digitalization in Vietnam’s Healthcare

A digitally-powered healthcare system is key to transforming Vietnam’s future.

May 2021 , by Alexandra Santiago

The changing socioeconomic and demographic trends of Vietnam are driving the evolution of the country’s healthcare system. Average life expectancy in Vietnam has increased to 73.5 years, urbanization is up by ~3%, and the country’s internet penetration is now at two-thirds of the total populace—creating a unique setting that demands a higher quality of care for an aging and highly urbanized population. 

The white paper A Look Forward: How Digitalization is Transforming Vietnam’s Healthcare System by YCP Solidiance explores how different stakeholders—public and private hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, medical device providers, and start-ups—are utilizing digital technology to create smarter and more efficient healthcare solutions.  

Public and Private Hospitals 
As with other countries in ASEAN, creating “smart” hospitals through digital technology and automated processes will help ease the burden shouldered by Vietnam’s hospitals, which are grappling with increasingly complex medical issues faced by an aging population. Hospitals both public and private have started installing digital signages and booking kiosks and are now implementing e-payment methods to make the hospital experience more efficient and streamlined for patients. Smart hospitals also have government support via the Ministry of Health’s Circular 54, which outlines the 7 levels of information technology advancement needed to be called “smart” hospitals.  

Pharmaceutical Companies 
Laws limit the relationship pharmaceutical companies can have with customers, but they are also utilizing digital solutions via educational platforms to address the need for quality heath information. With more people being diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and chronic illness, education is crucial for the general population. Pharmaceutical companies have launched websites, mobile apps, and other digitally-powered campaigns to empower consumers to learn more about their health and well-being through approachable and easily accessible science. 

Medical Device Companies 
Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing markets for medical devices in Southeast Asia. Spending for medical devices is projected to grow 9.6% per annum from 2017 to 2022, as existing medical equipment in major public and private hospitals are slowly being upgraded to provide better quality of care. Already, digital initiatives have been adopted in the fields of radiology, picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), technical support, and in MRI and ECG procedures.  

Healthcare Start-Ups 
The landscape of healthcare start-ups in Vietnam is relatively small compared to other industries, making up only 2% of investments at USD 7 million in 2019. While the sector is still fairly new, three main objectives are driving its growth as more investors and stakeholders are seeing their value: 

Digitalizing the healthcare system is set to transform the landscape of health in Vietnam. Technology is being leveraged to empower patients, reduce costs, and enhance the efficiency and efficacy of the system. The country’s current socioeconomic and demographic situation, as well as the sector’s overall enthusiasm to adopt new technology, makes healthcare a very promising area for businesses who want to penetrate the market or create lasting partnerships with relevant stakeholders. 

To take a deeper dive into each of the four players within the healthcare system and learn more about their pain points, specific needs, and business opportunities, download our full report here.

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