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Challenges for digital transformation of healthcare identified

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
(Xinhua/Ren Chao)

High costs and a lack of skilled professionals are the main challenges as Cambodia seeks the digital transformation of its healthcare sector.

While Cambodia has already made big improvements, it still has to take full advantage of the potential offered by such advancements as artificial intelligence, 4G, and cloud technology to improve its healthcare sector.

Speaking during the Cambodia Health Tech Forum 2019 held at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra yesterday, Lo Veasnakiri, director of the Department of Planning and Health Information at the Ministry of Health, said the Kingdom recognises the importance of using digital technology to improve its healthcare sector and is making headway in the digital transformation effort.

According to him, the use of information technology has grown in the public health sector in Cambodia over the last decade.

“Healthcare technologies, including IT, is not only a matter of technology solution, but also a matter of how to use technology to transform the healthcare system to provide safe, quality, and effective healthcare service to people in equitable fashion,” he said.

But he admitted that Cambodia still has a long way before it can catch up with its more developed neighbours. Mr Veasnakiri noted the very high cost of developing and maintaining digital solutions for the sector.

“Investment in medical technologies is very costly,” he said.

According to him, the cost for a licensed copy of a system that digitally stores and manages the medical history and records of a patient runs between $20,000 and $50,000.

Mr Veasnakiri also noted that Cambodia lacks the highly-skilled people (software developers, IT experts) needed to develop, use, and maintain such advanced systems.

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