Insights

COVID-19 Shows Urgent Need for Digital Transformation in Vietnam

By Market Research Vietnam | Posted March 24, 2020


The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has sparked a pressing need for Vietnam to accelerate digital transformation, as stated by the Minister of Information and Communications, Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng. The Minister has urged digital companies to innovate and develop platforms for online services, particularly to bring socio-economic activities online amid the current situation.

Since the world is facing turbulence and the situation is hard to predict, Vietnam needs to face the virus coronavirus pandemic crisis and learns how to enhance its resistance, toughness, creativity, adaptiveness as well as recovery ability. Therefore, digital technology is expected to help the country in solving the problems quickly and it is time for the government, enterprises, and society to intensively invest in digital technology.

Health Interventions Through Digital Platforms

Since the identification of the first positive case of Covid-19 in the country in January 2020, the Vietnam Ministry of Health (MoH) established The National Steering Committee for nCoV Response, putting into practice several public health interventions in containing the spread of the pandemic virus. The government has been deploying digital healthcare solutions to maximize the effects of the public health efforts primarily across community engagement, monitoring, and surveillance and capability strengthening.

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Digital channels are used by the MoH to raise awareness and educate people on hygienic and self-quarantine practices, sources of reliable information and declaration of health status and issue reporting. Health promotion messages are also displayed on digital screens at public places and social media.

As for prevention and control capability strengthening, the MoH provides training on IT applications for healthcare providers and related stakeholders, especially regarding COVID-19 disease prevention and control. The MoH also uses electronic health declaration form and real-time tracking digital apps and websites to allow for monitoring, tracking and intervention by health authorities for people arriving in Vietnam from overseas.

Cashless Transaction for a Stay-At-Home Economy

In the context of the pandemic, the government is planning to decide several digital transformation policies that are under consideration more quickly, including cashless payment, mobile money, online learning certification, banning outdated technology imports, promotion of low-priced smartphones production as well as e-Government.

Cashless payment and e-Government were highlighted as key solutions to fight the spread of COVID-19. Recently, banks in Vietnam have slashed online transaction fees in order to promote cashless payment.

Minister Hùng also urged Vietnamese firms to increase innovations in providing provide more online platforms for education, health, shopping, and recreation, as technology is supporting a stay-at-home economy amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Digital transformation is urgently needed since the pandemic would not only create a health crisis but also an economic crisis, resulting in increasing unemployment.

Partnership and Collaboration to Enhance Digital Transformation

Partnership and collaboration between different stakeholders sharing the same goals in enhancing efficiency and patient outcomes are key to facilitate the digital transformation of Vietnam’s healthcare system. According to the latest white paper from YCP Solidiance, “A Look Forward: How Digitization is Transforming Vietnam’s Healthcare System”, related stakeholders in the healthcare industry, including state government, healthcare providers, technology providers, pharmaceutical and medical device companies and health tech startups need to collaborate to enhance digital transformation and provide better health services at a lower cost for the people.

The government role is to reform and update policies related to digital healthcare, including tightening regulatory enforcement to ensure complete digital implementation at public hospitals, building support plans for tier II-III public hospitals, shortening the approval process of for digital health information and facilitating the implementation of recent policies and the synchronization of medical records across hospitals.

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Healthcare providers should enhance infrastructure investment and human resource development in integrating digital solutions to the system. Meanwhile, tech providers, pharmaceutical and medical device companies can support hospitals in envisioning and transitioning into smart hospitals. This can be done through seminars, workshops, training sessions, consultation services, as well as the development of customer-centric IT platforms.

The growing healtech startups can advance access to healthcare services and improve patient experience in Vietnam. They can potentially expand the reach of services to patients and rural and remote areas, while also distributing health information to the public through social media platforms.





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