Hong Kong’s integration into the fast developing Greater Bay Area (the GBA), encompassing the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, will open up significant new opportunities for healthcare services in what will be a market of more than 70 million people.
To seize these opportunities to provide high-quality healthcare in the GBA, a pharmaceutical company and a healthcare group in Hong Kong recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate in pharmaceutical treatment and hospital management, with a particular focus in the management of chronic diseases through cutting edge innovations incorporating big data and the internet of things (IoT).
Needs in chronic disease management
The MOU was signed between AstraZeneca Hong Kong (AZHK) and Lippo Healthcare (HK). In signing the understanding, Mr Gwenael Meneux, the General Manager of AstraZeneca Hong Kong & Macau, noted “17% of people in the GBA are aged ≥65, so there is a huge demand for chronic disease management and other geriatric medical service.”
“We hope to combine our pharmaceutical company’s advantages in medicine and in treatment planning, with Lippo Healthcare’s experience in clinical management and medical education, to provide high-quality medical services to people in the GBA. Our collaboration will focus on chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and on oncology.”
Mr Meneux highlighted the establishment of Metabolic Management Centres in more than 30 hospitals in China as an indicator of what might be achieved. Other than chronic respiratory diseases, the elderly are also prone to suffer from diabetes and associated metabolic diseases. The centres provide a facility to use big data analysis to identify high risk patients early, allowing for preventative measures to be taken. Patients already afflicted by metabolic diseases can receive all required checkups at these IoT managed centres, saving time and allowing for the optimal use of facilities.
“The control of metabolic disease relies on patients’ daily management, and frequent education and reminders significantly improves compliance and therefore the efficacy of disease management.”
Drawing on both each others strengths to provide an optimal medical plan
Mr Gwenael Meneux noted that Hong Kong is rightly known for the high quality of it’s medical service, and for its successful and sometimes pioneering use of innovative medications. This reputation can help build confidence and trust in new treatment options in the GBA.
In addition, some private institutions in Hong Kong are also equipped to provide tele-services. However, systemic differences between Hong Kong and China is a hinderance, due to variations in terminology and drug applications. It is hoped a review the related laws and regulations might lead convergence or alignment, and the opportunity to develop a GBA wide medical service.
Lippo Healthcare (HK) owns and manages a number of hospitals, medical facilities and nursing homes across Asia. In China, Lippo is building two new hospitals in Shenzhen and Changshu. Mr John Lee, BBS, FCA, JP, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Lippo Healthcare, believes Lippo’s experience in managing clinics and medical facilities, and in medical education, are a good match for AstraZeneca strengths in research and innovation. Through this collaboration, Mr Lee is confident of providing a reliable and affordable healthcare service for the people of the GBA.