Frank Hester OBE, Founder and CEO of TPP UK, underscored that the cost of digital technologies in every industry is going down, except in healthcare.

Healthcare organisations should stop spending a pile of cash on expensive digital technologies to join up their systems, said Frank Hester, during his keynote address, Shifting the Paradigm in Digital Health, to the HIMSS APAC conference. He shared that cost is a big consideration for him in acquiring EMR and other digital health technologies.

Suppose the cost of joining up health systems in Indonesia is worth a billion dollars, he said. “You should be able to bang in an EMR solution right across Indonesia for much less than a hundred million dollars.”

“I’m fine if you want to pay more… but I say it’s time to stop,” he urged the audience.

“In every other industry, technology has brought the cost of the product down. You get more value for money, and you see it everywhere, apparently, miraculously, apart from healthcare technology,” he claimed, saying that it is supposed to be cheaper, faster, and better today.

Hester also advised organisations to look for data access and interoperability from suppliers’ solutions: “Have we got apps and mobile solutions? Do doctors and nurses like using the system? Does it empower them? Does it make it quicker?”

He also said to consider how quick their supplier responds; are they allowed to do the installation or wait for them to do it. “It’s madness if you have to wait for your supplier to do something. It’s even more madness if they managed to charge you for it,” he stressed.

Nevertheless, Hester still thinks “it’s a wonderful time to be in healthcare technology.”

He noted how present technologies in healthcare are helping doctors save time and make fewer clinical errors.

Particularly, AI has been assisting clinicians in decision-making and diagnostics and expanding access to healthcare services, especially in areas where there is a shortage of healthcare staff.

“I think the business opportunities [in healthcare technology] are fantastic, but the change that we can make to humanity, to our lives is even more fantastic,” he concluded.