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Personalized Healthcare Index Measures Readiness of Asia Pacific Countries

The newly launched Personalized Healthcare Index for Asia Pacific measures readiness of 11 geographies to adopt curated patient care.

The FutureProofing Healthcare initiative, led by a panel of 15 leading healthcare experts across Asia Pacific, announced the launch of the Asia Pacific Personalised Health Index. This first-of-its-kind, data-driven policy tool measures the readiness of 11 health systems across the Asia Pacific region. These countries include, Australia, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and New Zealand, to adopt personalised healthcare – enabling the right care to be tailored to the right person at the right time.

The Index is built on robust, publicly available, credible and open-source real-world data supplemented with input from public health authority representatives across APAC and validated by a panel of leading healthcare experts. The Index and FutureProofing Healthcare initiative, supported by Roche, aim to help stakeholders across health ecosystems understand local, national, and regional strengths and needs, equip country leaders to embrace emerging changes in healthcare, and enable data-driven decision-making that can build future health systems that are fit-for-purpose.

The Personalised Health Index measures performance against 27 different indicators of personalised health across four categories called ‘Vital Signs’. These include Policy Context, Health Information, Personalized Technologies, and Health Services. Findings from the index revealed that Singapore ranks first overall compared to the other counties measured due to a combination of high levels of digital maturity, comprehensive national strategies, a strong digital infrastructure and expansive innovation capacities. Other top scorers include Taiwan, Japan and Australia.

However, the Index reveals that even higher performing countries have numerous areas of opportunity for improvement. Challenges around urban-rural disparities and building digital infrastructure impact lower-scoring territories, several of which are at the very early stages of personalised healthcare.

Performance in the Index varied most on the “Policy Context” measure, owing to factors like limitations on access to data for health research and a lack of capacity to deliver personalised health-related services in the workforce. The Index also revealed the lowest average performance for countries on “Personalised Technologies” (measuring use of artificial intelligence (AI) in health and uptake of wearable health technologies etc.), indicating an opportunity to focus on future improvement.

“Personalised healthcare has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people across Asia-Pacific. We have already seen countries racing to adopt policies that facilitate digital health solutions like tele-medicine during the current pandemic. But it is clear that more work is needed across the region to realise these benefits,” said Jeremy Lim, Director of Global Health and Associate Professor in the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore, one of the public health experts involved in the development of the Index.

“The Personalised Health Index builds a clearer picture of the current readiness of health systems, and enables countries to build on their strengths, identify key areas of opportunity for improvement and identify best practice from other countries on individual measures. It helps jump start conversations about what action is needed today to shape resilient, personalised and sustainable health systems that work better for future generations,” said Lim.

Health systems in Asia-Pacific are under pressure to do more with less, in the face of growing populations and rising costs – compounded by COVID-19. An ideal personalised healthcare system is one that leverages data, analytics and technology to generate meaningful insights, inform decision-making, and drive innovation that supports both individual and population health and empowers patients to manage their own health. Personalised healthcare can improve health system efficiencies by helping decision-makers prioritise efforts and resources, and initiate policies and frameworks that support healthcare innovation.

“The launch of the Personalised Healthcare Index is an important step in our efforts to enable policymakers in building health systems that provide better outcomes for all. Roche is excited to support the development of this unique policy tool, which leverages publicly available data to provide a holistic view of personalised health in our region,’ said Rachel Frizberg, Area Head Asia-Pacific at Roche Pharmaceuticals.

“While progress towards personalised healthcare is varied, the Index shows that the APAC region is making strong strides in the right direction – and outlines a clear path for countries to accelerate this transformation. It is encouraging to see many countries already putting in place strategies, policies, and enablers to drive more personalised care, such as electronic health records, health data registries and artificial intelligence. Roche is committed to working closely with policymakers and other partners to help build the infrastructure essential to realizing sustainable, personalised healthcare ecosystems.”

While the Index reveals significant disparities between countries measured, encouragingly, the results show that this transition towards personalised healthcare is underway and gaining momentum across most of the region. The Index findings have also been published in a whitepaper “Getting to Personalised Healthcare in APAC” coordinated by the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies and informed by expert insights from across Asia Pacific and includes key policy recommendations based on the Index findings to help accelerate this transformation in the region. [APBN]