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Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robust IT infrastructures have emerged as some of the key elements in driving healthcare modernization in Asia. These technologies have helped strengthen the healthcare ecosystem in the region and have facilitated an efficient, accessible, and patient-centered care delivery system.

Incorporating AI and other technologies into fundamental healthcare services has emerged as a prominent trend in enhancing healthcare delivery. It's no longer just about handling administrative tasks; it's about revolutionizing areas like medical imaging and research and development (R&D).

New Era in Healthcare

Traditionally, AI’s usage in healthcare was limited to administrative tasks, such as arranging appointments or managing data. In recent years, progress in machine learning (ML) and data analysis has led to AI becoming an essential tool for tackling complex medical problems. Research shows that Asia is one of the regions which widely uses AI in medical imaging, with the global industry expected to reach an estimated USD 11.6 billion by 2030.

New areas of AI-driven medical imaging have presented new opportunities for precision medicine, making it easier to quickly and accurately diagnose illnesses like cancer and brain conditions. This technology has been revolutionary in India and China, where medical services have previously been inaccessible. AI has also made healthcare more cost-effective and readily available to patients.

Furthermore, AI has played a significant role in accelerating drug and medicine research and development, which has traditionally been a lengthy and expensive process spanning months or even years. AI systems are helping to speed up important R&D steps by processing huge amounts of biological data, cutting the overall time it would take to develop new drugs.

According to Nutanix’s recent Healthcare Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) survey and research report, the usage of hybrid multi-cloud models in the healthcare sector is expected to increase two-fold over the next one to three years, driven by a combination of causes, such as the expanding capabilities of AI, the need to strengthen cybersecurity measures, and an increasing shift to more sustainable practices.

Additionally, the data revealed that 80% of Healthcare ECI respondents expressed their intention to invest in IT modernization, with 85% planning to increase their investments in AI initiatives.

Hybrid multi-cloud solutions are capable of effectively addressing certain issues encountered by healthcare organizations, thereby allowing healthcare facilities to optimize their operations, improve patient outcomes, and increase clinician efficiency. The healthcare business has experienced a 10% increase in the adoption of this operating model compared to the previous year, indicating a major change in the industry's technological landscape.

The National University Health System (NUHS) in Singapore has adopted AI-powered technologies to enhance the efficiency of patient care. The NUHS has been using AI to accurately calculate the length of a patient's hospital stay, similar to how hotels have precise data on room occupancy rates. This allows the NUHS to effectively customize treatments and allocate hospital resources.

Meawhile in South Korea, the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital has taken the lead in adopting a private cloud system by transferring its clinical data to a secure cloud architecture, which allows for fast and immediate access to patient records and promotes collaboration among multidisciplinary care teams. This has not only optimized clinical workflows but also enabled patients to access their medical information remotely, promoting patient engagement and empowerment.

Challenges and Opportunities in Modernization

Although the integration of AI and IT infrastructures offers great potential for modernizing healthcare in Asia, there are significant challenges that need to be addressed. The limited availability of proficient IT experts, difficulties in achieving compatibility between systems, and the intricate nature of regulations present substantial challenges to the mainstream acceptance and incorporation of technologies.

Studies suggest that security and compliance are also considered roadblocks, as changes in rules push businesses to evaluate their IT infrastructure. Consequently, organizations are encouraged to find strong and adaptable solutions that can effectively handle the complexities of data sovereignty and privacy management due to the significant threat of cybersecurity breaches.

However, there are still numerous untapped opportunities for revolutionizing healthcare services in Asia. Developing more robust, responsive, and patient-centric healthcare systems requires countries to harness the transformative power of AI and resilient IT infrastructures. This involves investing in digital literacy efforts and fostering a culture of innovation.

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