First-of-its-kind Index reveals positive progress towards personalized healthcare across eleven countries in Asia-Pacific

Newly launched Personalised Health Index for Asia-Pacific measures the readiness of 11 geographies to embrace more tailored patient care. Index reveals Singapore ranks #1 in readiness, followed by Taiwan, Japan and Australia

New Delhi: Today, the FutureProofing Healthcare initiative, led by a panel of 15 leading healthcare experts across Asia-Pacific, announced the launch of the Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index. This first-of-its-kind, data-driven policy tool measures the readiness of 11 health systems across the region (Australia, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and New Zealand) to adopt personalized healthcare – enabling the right care to be tailored to the right person at the right time.
The Index is built on robust, publicly available, credible and open-source real-world data supplemented with input from public health authority representatives across APAC and validated by a panel of leading healthcare experts. The Index and FutureProofing Healthcare initiative, supported by Roche, aim to help stakeholders across health ecosystems understand local, national, and regional strengths and needs, equip country leaders to embrace emerging changes in healthcare, and enable data-driven decision-making that can build future health systems that are fit-for-purpose.
The Personalized Health Index measures performance against 27 different indicators of personalized health across four categories called ‘Vital Signs’. These include (1) Policy Context, (2) Health Information, (3) Personalized Technologies, and (4) Health Services. The findings indicate that Singapore performed the highest overall of the geographies measured due to a combination of high levels of digital maturity, comprehensive national strategies, a strong digital infrastructure and expansive innovation capacities leading to top scores in both the Health Information and Personalized Technologies categories. Taiwan (2nd), Japan (3rd) and Australia (4th) also perform well in overall readiness1. However, the Index reveals that even higher-performing countries have numerous areas of opportunity for improvement. Challenges around urban-rural disparities and building digital infrastructure impact lower-scoring territories, several of which are at the very early stages of personalized healthcare.
Table: Overall Asia Pacific Personalised Health Index 2020 performance
Performance in the Index varied most on the “Policy Context” measure, owing to factors like limitations on access to data for health research and a lack of capacity to deliver personalized health-related services in the workforce. The Index also revealed the lowest average performance for countries on “Personalized Technologies” (measuring use of artificial intelligence (AI) in health and uptake of wearable health technologies etc.), indicating an opportunity to focus on future improvement.
“Personalized healthcare has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people across Asia-Pacific. We have already seen countries racing to adopt policies that facilitate digital health solutions like telemedicine during the current pandemic. But it is clear that more work is needed across the region to realize these benefits,” said Jeremy Lim, Director of Global Health and Associate Professor in the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore, one of the public health experts involved in the development of the Index.
“The Personalized Health Index builds a clearer picture of the current readiness of health systems, and enables countries to build on their strengths, identify key areas of opportunity for improvement and identify best practices from other countries on individual measures. It helps jump start conversations about what action is needed today to shape resilient, personalized and sustainable health systems that work better for future generations,” said Lim.
Health systems in Asia-Pacific are under pressure to do more with less, in the face of growing populations and rising costs – compounded by COVID-19. An ideal personalised healthcare system is one that leverages data, analytics and technology to generate meaningful insights, inform decision-making, and drive innovation that supports both individual and population health and empowers patients to manage their own health. Personalized healthcare can improve health system efficiencies by helping decision-makers prioritize efforts and resources, and initiate policies and frameworks that support healthcare innovation.
“The launch of the Personalized Healthcare Index is an important step in our efforts to enable policymakers in building health systems that provide better outcomes for all. Roche is excited to support the development of this unique policy tool, which leverages publicly available data to provide a holistic view of personalized health in our region,’ said Rachel Frizberg, Area Head Asia-Pacific at Roche Pharmaceuticals.
While the Index reveals significant disparities between countries measured, encouragingly, the results show that this transition towards personalized healthcare is underway and gaining momentum across most of the region. The Index findings have also been published in a whitepaper “Getting to Personalised Healthcare in APAC” coordinated by the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies and informed by expert insights from across Asia-Pacific and includes key policy recommendations based on the Index findings to help accelerate this transformation in the region.
The Personalised Health Index and whitepaper are now available on