Revolutionising Elderly Care in Asia-Pacific with MedTech
Asia-Pacific faces a significant demographic shift, with a quarter of the population projected to be over the age of 60 by 2050. Hong Kong predicts that 30% of its residents will be aged 65 or older by 2036, while similar trends are emerging in Korea (20% by 2025) and Singapore (25% by 2025). Beyond the numbers, ageing populations will strain healthcare systems and challenge traditional care models.
In the past decade, medical technology, or MedTech, has rapidly evolved with the development of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and big data offering ways to manage the healthcare implications of the “silver tsunami”. Recognising the needs of the elderly, healthcare providers across Asia-Pacific are embracing AI and cloud tech for earlier disease detection and treatment. Singapore start-up Speedoc partnered with the National University Health System, saving 15,000 bed stays through “virtual wards” – where patients stay at home and receive care through a combination of telemedicine and in-home visits.
Medical workforce shortages have stimulated interest in robotics and automated systems. Insurance companies in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan now offer coverage for robotic-assisted surgeries, with the market for this new type of insurance projected to reach US$3.4 billion by 2028 and growing at an annual rate of 11%.
MedTech-facilitated procedures are said to reduce complications, shorten hospital stays, enhance recovery, addressing frailty and comorbidities for the aged. However, these advances raise data security and privacy concerns. In 2018, Singapore experienced a major data breach, when hackers stole over 1.5 million health records in a cyberattack. Another instance involved a ransomware attack on a medical clinic. Implementing data controls and enhancing security measures offer potential solutions.
Can MedTech businesses balance rapid technological advancements with patient privacy?
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