DKSH supporting health innovation

May 23, 2022 | 13:22
Vietnam is accelerating digital transformation in the healthcare sector. Phillip Alexander Wray, general manager of DKSH Pharma Vietnam, talked to VIR’s Tung Anh about how the company’s digital solutions are aiding this effort.

What were the key challenges in cash transactions during the past couple of years, and how important were cashless solutions for your customers at that time?

DKSH supporting health innovation
Phillip Alexander Wray, general manager of DKSH Pharma Vietnam

As we enter the digital era, cash transactions are no longer the only payment option in most parts of the world. Yet, it has remained a preferred choice in many Asian countries, including Vietnam. However, with the rise of the pandemic, contactless transactions have been strongly recommended by the government to minimise the risk of virus transmission.

As the leading market expansion services provider in various industries, DKSH has been working with a vast network of customers who are not only big supermarket chains and convenience stores, but also many traditional and mom-and-pop stores across dozens of countries.

During the pandemic, we have witnessed a drastic switch from cash-in-hand to non-cash transactions in a very short time, which disrupted many of our customers, especially those who operate solely or mostly via cash transactions.

In order to help them quickly adapt to the changing environment and minimise the least disruptions to their daily operation, DKSH has offered our customers the mPay solution that allows them to make simple and instant payments via bank transfer. Payments made via mPay are also linked to DKSH’s system for easy financial tracking and reconciliation.

This brings great convenience to the customers and also helps streamline the current cash collection process, reducing manual work and processing time.

What is the potential, as well as the barriers involved, in the digital payment market in Vietnam?

We see the last couple of years as an invisible push, and it is indeed a good opportunity for Vietnam to fast forward the adoption of digital payment across the country. Digital payment is now available at many local grocery stores where only cash was accepted previously.

Consumers now have many different digital payment options, from e-banking to digital wallets. The race between business-to-consumer digital payment platform providers becomes much more competitive as new players join the race and current players continue to invest and innovate. This may lead to fragmentation of the digital payment market where end users are offered many indifferent digital payment solutions.

On the other hand, the race for business-to-business digital payment requires platform providers to do extensive analysis and deeply understand the insights and needs of their platform users. Businesses do not only need a digital payment solution that can support bank transfers or credit payments, but more importantly, a solution that highly integrates into their business operations.

After mPay launched in August 2021, DKSH became the first business in Vietnam to offer this fully cashless payment solution to our customers, enabling them to not only make convenient cashless transactions but also financial tracking and reconciliation.

What are the key trends in digital transformation in Asian healthcare?

DKSH foresees three key trends in digital transformation for sustainable healthcare. First of all is the application of AI and big data to support research and analysis for healthcare product innovation in a short timeframe.

Secondly, in many countries we see trends in modernising distribution processes to provide better access to quality healthcare products. Automation and sensors will be used more in the packaging process to ensure the constant high quality of products when on the road, especially for products with temperature sensitivity.

Last but not least is the use of digital transformation to create a seamless patient experience with paperless processes, such as e-consultations, e-prescriptions, e-medical reports, and e-reimbursements.

Can you share other digital solutions DKSH has deployed in other countries in the region, and if those will be deployed in Vietnam?

DKSH commits to being a trusted partner to the Vietnamese government, and we commit to contributing toward the sustainable healthcare development of Vietnam with our knowledge and expertise.

Joining the Ministry of Health’s effort to realise the healthcare digital transformation plan for 2025-2030, DKSH can offer support in digitalising the patient engagement experience with paperless processes by sharing our expertise and technology with local partners for the deployment of our PSPhere solution.

PSPhere is a digital solution that connects all stakeholders involved in the delivery of healthcare products to patients while ensuring the patient is at the centre of the experience. Given its interoperability, external technologies can easily be integrated securely into PSPhere, so challenges related to access, adherence, and convenience for the patient can be solved from the moment a prescription is made, all the way through the care continuum.

This means that beyond-the-pill services, such as home nursing, remote monitoring devices, digital therapeutics, and telemedicine services can be delivered in an integrated manner and patients can get the support required outside of a clinical setting. Integrated systems are proven to support improved healthcare outcomes – a key objective of any healthcare system.

By Tung Anh

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