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Leading APAC healthcare transformation with smart hospitals 

Nov 02, 2023 - Reading time 6-8 minutes

Policymakers and healthcare leaders discussed the role of enterprise informatics in delivering quality healthcare across the care continuum, regardless of location.

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Like the rest of the world, healthcare policymakers and leaders in the region are under significant pressure to address challenges such as acute staff shortages, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, and the rising cost of healthcare. According to the Future Health Index report 2023, healthcare leaders in APAC are embracing new care delivery models and see the successful adoption being powered by digital health technologies and the expansion of virtual care to more areas of the healthcare ecosystem. 67% of healthcare leaders in APAC are already using or planning to use digital health technology solutions to reduce the impact of workforce shortages.


At the Hospital Management Asia (HMA) 2023 conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Dr. Mark Burby, Vice President of Health Systems & Solutions, Philips APAC, spoke about the role of smart and connected technology in building a more sustainable and resilient healthcare system. He shared Philips’ vision of future smart hospitals, which will alleviate the mounting demand for accessible care by extending care delivery beyond hospital walls, moving much of the care traditionally delivered in hospitals into healthcare settings that are more accessible and convenient for patients.

Five principles of Smart Hospitals


Smart hospitals intelligently connect people, data, and technology for better end-to-end care experiences and seamless transitions across care settings. At his keynote session, Dr. Burby shared Philips’ approach to smart hospitals and the five key principles that underpin it. Smart hospitals must be built with the following outcomes in mind – (1) operational efficiency, (2) clinical excellence, (3) experience centricity, (4) innovation capability, and (5) sustainability.

For an industry burdened by a staffing crunch, AI and automation can optimize workflow, resource utilization, and logistics to free up focus for patient care. In the smart healthcare system of the future, patients will be engaged throughout their care journey with digital engagement tools and human-centric environments that can support patient and staff well-being, even under stressful conditions. In the future, healthcare is expected to be delivered through a distributed network of ambulatory clinics, retail outlets, mobile care solutions and home-based monitoring that enable more accessible patient care. Dr. Burby emphasized that these care ecosystems can become ‘smart’ by connecting patient data across these settings – using AI, IoT and cloud-based digital platforms – to turn data into actionable insights for better patient outcomes.

The collaboration between Philips and Emory Healthcare in the United States (US) has shown how this can be made possible through the remote Intensive Care Unit (eICU) monitoring program at the Royal Perth Hospital in Western Australia. Emory Healthcare improved clinician productivity and patient outcomes by leveraging support from clinicians in a different time zone to monitor their patients and advise on treatment accordingly. Patient data is seamlessly connected from Emory Healthcare to Royal Perth Hospital, allowing US-based patients to receive care around the clock as clinicians work together to deliver high-quality care regardless of day or night.

Beyond these, becoming a smart hospital is as much about organizational and cultural transformation as it is about technology. Healthcare providers need to focus on creating a culture of continuous innovation and improvement. Dr. Burby highlighted that this could be as simple as being unified by a digital strategy that aligns with organizational objectives and key results or through multi-level partnerships with stakeholders such as health tech providers and governments.

As importantly, a smart hospital needs to integrate sustainability into its day-to-day operations. Digitalization can help healthcare leaders achieve this goal, with connectivity, data and AI, and digital infrastructure supporting smarter and connected health solutions. 

Hospitals will continue to play a pivotal role in the wider ecosystem of care in the future. Guided by our smart hospital principles to seamlessly connect data and insights across the care continuum, we have partnered with some of the best hospitals in the world to enable their digital transformation strategies and improve their workflow and operations, translating to improved patient care and access.” 

Dr. Mark Burby

Vice President Health Systems & Solutions, Philips APAC

A clinical command center to offer seamless patient care


At the conference, Philips’ Smart Hospital Innovation Center demonstrated to healthcare leaders how new delivery models can bring healthcare closer to the patient, especially for underserved communities in remote, hard-to-reach areas. Centralized care can help hospitals radically transform patient care operations with a clinical command center that merges patients’ clinical status with patient flow management to make operational decisions and ensure patients are transitioned to the most appropriate care setting.

Attendees were introduced to Philips’ solutions in patient monitoring, predictive analytics, telehealth technology, and population health management to drive seamless patient care pre-hospital, in-hospital, and post-hospital.

The Smart Hospital of the Future remains centered around the patient


Philips continues to work with regional healthcare leaders to build smart hospitals powered by innovation but centered around the patient. Philips believes smart hospitals should be highly flexible and adaptive to evolving needs and circumstances, combining high tech with high touch to deliver superior care when and where needed.

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