Funding and access to healthcare are the two biggest roadblocks globally preventing the development of a more efficient and effective healthcare infrastructure, according to a new survey of healthcare professionals by telepresence company, Polycom.
And the survey of more than 1200 healthcare industry professionals worldwide found that to overcome healthcare bottlenecks by 2025, technology developments such as mobile, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, will play a critical role.
According to the company, the study indicated healthcare professionals globally are convinced that technology, such as personal health monitoring devices and video collaboration solutions, will play a vital role in creating a positive healthcare future.
Sixty-three per cent of respondents indicated virtual healthcare services to homes will be a realistic scenario in 2025 due to technology advancements. These would include virtual outpatient services, as well as remote diagnosis for the elderly and physically disabled, amongst others.
It added that by 2025 primary care will be accessible to all citizens, regardless of distance thanks to the increased availability of broadband, mobile devices and applications.
Polycom healthcare global director, Ron Emerson, said incorporating technology like video into the delivery of healthcare services will be critical in creating a positive healthcare future globally.
"For instance, services such as virtual consultations and remote monitoring, mentioned in participant responses, can enable nations to make healthcare accessible to almost everyone. This will be vital in tackling many of the challenges that will impact the industry over the coming years," he said.
"For healthcare providers, video-enabled care delivery makes strategic and financial sense. For patients, it puts management of their health back in their own control, reducing unnecessary travel time and expenditure. Likewise, for medical professionals, collaboration technology can provide opportunities in coordinated care delivery, peer consultations, and continuing medical education."
However, in order to achieve this goal, the study found senior technologists must take a seat at the boardroom table to ensure technology is integrated correctly, so as to achieve the digital transformation needed.
Emerson said based on industry figures, there are less than 10 per cent of non-executive directors across Asia-Pacific's top 20 listed companies that have deep technological experience. When technology and telecommunication boards are excluded, this figure drops to less than five per cent.
The study also found respondents indicated the government inhibits healthcare innovation -- 39 per cent of respondents in Australia expressed no confidence, while the percentage for the US and South-East Asia stood at 46 per cent and 43 per cent, respectively.
"To truly capitalise on the increasing technological advancement, including more devices for personal connectivity and with that an increase in data, it is vital to have leaders within healthcare establishments who will champion the use of technology for the provision of services and streamlining administration," Emerson added.