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Shaping the Future of Healthcare: Proactive, Multidisciplinary, and Outcome-Based

As our population continues to age, it’s important to think about the future of healthcare. Especially after our experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the realization that there is a need to migrate from the current face-to-face channels to new norms brought about by digital transformation. The recent Recovery & Growth session organized by Asia School of Business’ Career Development Office convinced me that a major shift needs to happen in healthcare.

The session featured insightful sharing from two outstanding leaders in the healthcare industry – Nadia Wan, Group CEO of the Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara and Azran Osman-Rani, CEO and co-founder of Naluri – on the future of healthcare. I believe moving towards a proactive, multidisciplinary, and outcome-based landscape could aid in increasing the effectiveness of the healthcare system while providing higher value service to patients.

Data Analysis: The Base Line of a Proactive Health Care System

The healthcare system today is largely reactive, and primarily revolves around a transactional, cure-based model. It isn’t necessarily directed at making people healthier or improving the quality of life, but instead merely attempts to tackle situations where patients encounter adverse physical or mental health conditions.

The system should be working towards identifying and predicting illness before anything untoward happens, and as such there is a clear need for a more proactive system, radically different from what we have grown accustomed to regarding healthcare.

So how do we go about doing this? According to Nadia, apart from their requisite medical skills, healthcare professionals should also be trained to work with data sets, cultivating the ability to read digital dashboards so that they will be able to plan patient care more effectively.

By planning based on reliable data, the general healthcare system can become more effective in allocating resources, more cost efficient. and of course, deliver safer, higher quality care. The accumulation of valuable and revealing data sets must be performed in real time, ideally through automated means and driven by artificial intelligence or machine learning technology.

Additionally, the inconsistency in the standard of service and care derived from manual processes should be avoided. By doing this, we will be able to make great strides in preventive healthcare, which could potentially enable humans to live longer, and healthier.

The Shape of Change: Tomorrow’s Health Care Professionals and Patients

Multispecialty group practices have been common in the industry for several decades. The reality, however, is that current health teams still mostly work in silos. Meanwhile, the existing healthcare system has effectively disintegrated, and is neither able to connect the different stakeholders within the value chain nor place patients at the centre of care.

Unfortunately, no real effort has been put towards creating an integrated system where all healthcare professionals are able to interconnect, allowing for the accessing of patient medical records on a single platform. In an ideal world, healthcare providers would be able to, for instance, understand and analyse the possible connections between the prescriptions by a psychologist, and that of a gastroenterologist. 

Additionally, one important point that should be highlighted is that the concept of healthcare professionals needs to expand beyond conventional stakeholders such as doctors, nurses or practitioners who generally address patients’ episodic health conditions and manage their chronic illnesses. In fact, healthcare teams should include professionals with diverse skillsets, including expertise in data analysis, marketing and above all, technology.

As Azran succinctly puts it. “Companies that outsource technology services are doomed to extinction.” The key takeaway of this is that healthcare teams should embrace a  multidisciplinary focus while placing patients as the central variable within the health system equation. Essentially, the healthcare system of the future needs to be more customer-centric instead of relegating patients to a secondary element.

Result-Based Services for All

The primary goal of the healthcare system should be to provide healthcare access to everyone, thereby ensuring the wellbeing of humanity. However, the current system is constrained when it comes to providing innovative new treatments and suffers from lack of focus on quality outcomes. To overcome these limitations, governments and relevant stakeholders need to consider the creation of a new form of primary care that will prioritize end users and encourage direct involvement from doctors.

As an example, most healthcare providers currently focus on clinical outcomes based on survival rates. However, most patients also consider other factors that are equally important to survival, such as post-illness recovery care and mental health. The analysis of a broader spectrum of outcomes would help to provide better insight for both patients and healthcare providers.

Furthermore, it will also support shared decision-making regarding the patient’s treatment; for instance, the decision to not treat a patient can sometimes be a viable option. As such, governments need to move towards creating policies based on the interaction between patients and healthcare providers to ensure that shared decisions such as these will be the best fit for an individual patient rather than the rest of the stakeholders.


There are many different perspectives to consider when trying to change the future landscape of healthcare. Influential parties such as hospital management teams, healthcare providers and the government need to work together to combine resources while creating a diverse community that promotes innovation and transformation for better wellbeing.

Personally, I believe that the ideal scenario is being able to gather all relevant healthcare leaders and integrate their creative ideas into shaping the future of the industry while deploying their considerable leadership skills to drive the change. Most importantly, everyone that is directly or indirectly a part of the system – including patients, providers, engineers, designers, regulators, and industry associations – needs to play a part in shaping the future of healthcare.