Adopting Technology is Key to Develop Health Sector

For Cambodia’s health sector to thrive into the future, heavy investment in developing human resources, infrastructure, and innovative technologies are key, according to a new health technology roadmap.
People leave Khmer - Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh. Picture: Sam
People leave Khmer - Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh. Picture: Sam

Cambodia needs to invest more in developing human resources and infrastructure, a new health technology roadmap reveals. 

The HealthTech roadmap 2022 by the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology & Innovation (MISTI), said the country will be successful if human resources, including health professionals, technology developers, and experienced researchers, are available to support the adoption, application, and evaluation of the technologies identified and prioritized. 

Investing in human resources, in addition to technology, will ensure long-term sustainability by increasing staff capacity through training programs.

“To support the process of development in the health sector, as aided by health technology, there must be an investment in the physical infrastructure. This will support the ability to undertake higher quality research due to the availability of better data,” it added.

Bin Socheat, business operations advisor at Peth Yoeung, a health tech startup that offers a cloud-based platform for hospital management systems, told Kiripost, “The health care system should invest in more modern and high-tech human resources.” 

He added,

“The most important thing is to start with education, including introducing new curricula and new concepts of thinking, or technology-related lessons.”

Frontline staff should receive proper training and tech support as they are responsible for collecting data in rural areas. Laboratory personnel can upload laboratory data and analyze it while sharing them in real-time with other key personnel at the Ministry of Health, noted the healthtech roadmap.

In Phnom Penh, Preah Ang Duong Hospital is among the first to integrate the e-Health Yoeung program, part of Peth Yoeung, to allow patients to manage their health records and schedule appointments directly with doctors via smartphones or other devices.

Socheat explained that the operations of clinics and hospitals are costly as it takes a long time to provide the service, the quality of the service is not good enough, there is not enough information to diagnose, and there is no suitable price.

Peth Yoeung has a clear goal. To help solve these issues by improving health technology, health data management and the digital health response.

“The use of health tech has made the provision of services better, easier and faster, and the provider can reduce the cost of providing the service because the provider can speed this service,” he said.

Regionally and globally, health technologies have made significant progress. Some hospitals have many modern medical equipment, and the private health sector spends a lot of money on investment. 

He noted that in most countries, the private sector is encouraged to participate in more sustainable health development. Now, for the private sector to survive, it must come up with new ideas, and encourage new projects that initiate innovation.

The roadmap urged that to develop health technology, it is imperative to invest in high-quality education for the next generation of healthcare professionals and to support healthcare professional students and the workforce in acquiring the skills they will need. 

Scaling up telemedicine, digital infrastructure as a productive investment in rural areas is also an issue that needs to be addressed.