Despite an improvement in life expectancy in the Philippines, inconsistent healthcare standards across the country remains an issue. The re-emergence of infectious diseases like cholera and dengue, along with the impacts of a HIV epidemic also continues to take a heavy economic toll, with the country hitting 81.7% on out-of-pocket spending for healthcare, far above the global average of 45.5%. 
As it stands, healthcare in the Philippines is in dire need of a solution that will not only positively impact patient outcomes but also significantly reduce costs and create new value in the long run.
Taking a page from other industries in the country, Filipino healthcare organizations could turn to digital transformation, as many businesses on that path have achieved 20-30% improvements in areas such as productivity, revenue, customer advocacy, and cost reductions. 
The re-emergence of infectious diseases take a heavy economic toll
Out-of-pocket spending for healthcare hitting 81.7%, far above the global average of 45.5%.
Better data insights drive healthier patient engagement
The healthcare industry is already collecting data at an unrivalled pace, recording a 48% increase each year on a global level, with one gigabyte of a data expected to be created per person each day by 2020. [5, 6] As such, healthcare organizations in the Philippines could integrate data and technology, moving from simply possessing a system of record to employing a system of engagement.
Armed with data and the technology to utilize the figures, these organizations could develop actionable insights, connect business functions, and potentially build an information eco-system that would be valuable to both patients and businesses in the healthcare industry.
In fact, the Asian Hospital and Medical Center (AHMC) in Manila has already reaped the benefits of doing exactly that. Following its decision to digitize hospital records, the center’s physicians, nurses, and other relevant personnel are able to access details regarding a patient’s status and medical history, providing them a full picture at all times when prescribing treatment.
This integrated information system was then augmented with Microsoft’s Power BI, a whole suite of business analytic tools that served hospital management with an up-to-date, 360-degree view of operations, including patient demographics and clinical unit utilization.
By relying on analytics and studying trends, AHMC leaders have been able to make decisive calls, such as preparing a larger pool of on-call nurses and beds to meet patient surges during specific periods. These data-backed business decisions have not only supported AHMC in delivering better service to patients, but also resulted in a more efficient use of labor and resources, and in turn kept prices stable.
PowerBI has also become a fundamental part of operations at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), with all 17 regional offices connected by the Microsoft service. The usage of PowerBI has provided PhilHealth with a comprehensive viewpoint that stretches across the country, allowing them to transform member data into a truly strategic national asset.
Based on the insights garnered, PhilHealth has since turned its focus toward improving its national network of primary care providers and implementing preventive measures, in a long-term attempt to minimize patient care and its associated claims. Data analyzed on PowerBI has also been shared with social welfare and anti-poverty agencies to further investigate the causes of declining health in the country.
Microsoft’s Power BI helps to have a 360-degree view of operations
PhilHealth’s 17 regional offices connected by the Microsoft service
Digital transformation for value healthcare
The success stories of AHMC and PhilHealth are testaments on how companies can be empowered by digital transformation, and both organizations remain keen to explore further usage of technology to continue delivering value healthcare in the Philippines.
After all, the possibilities for digital transformation are truly limitless. By studying quality measures and clinical decision-making data, hospitals could work towards reducing medical errors or other variabilities in performances. Beyond this, insurance companies could also analyze a compilation of factors to identify at-risk persons before they begin showing symptoms of diseases, and direct them to management or prevention programmes.
Alternatively, technology could also support the discovery of more effective cost management and resource utilization methods, as demonstrated by the Narayana Health System in India. The Bengaluru-based hospital chain’s data insights have given rise to truly efficient scheduling, allowing more surgeries to be completed per day than any other hospital in the country, all while charging patients one-third the price. [3,4]
With these prospects simply being the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact of digital transformation in Filipino healthcare, read more about other technology trends regarding the industry here.
1 – https://customers.microsoft.com/en-us/story/asian-hospital-medical-center-powerbi-office365-sql-philippines-health
2 – https://news.microsoft.com/en-ph/2018/02/14/digital-transformation-contribute-us8-billion-philippines-gdp-2021/
3 – https://healthcare.mckinsey.com/next-imperatives-us-healthcare
4 – http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/case-studies/2017/nov/narayana-health-and-cayman-islands
5 – https://healthcare.mckinsey.com/us-health-insurers-endangered-species
6 – https://www.emc.com/analyst-report/digital-universe-healthcare-vertical-report-ar.pdf