South-East Asia’s evolving demographics, economics and access to innovation are driving massive changes in the healthcare sector. For instance, Singapore is pioneering the use of digitalisation and technologies like robotics, telehealth and AI to deliver quality health care in a personalised manner for every patient.
Models like public–private partnerships are gaining traction in Indonesia and the Philippines, where governments leverage the private sector to improve access to care for an ever more informed and demanding society.
Patient experience has become a strategic focus in countries aiming to provide superior medical tourism, like Thailand. It’s been nearly two years since Fabrice Leguet became Managing Director of Siemens Healthineers South-East Asia, where, along with his team, he is passionately addressing the challenges of the healthcare industry of this region.
In its unique position, Siemens Healthineers provides technology, digital offerings and AI-supported applications, mainly in the areas of medical imaging, image-guided therapy and laboratory diagnostics. “Health care spend has reached an unsustainable level for societies in most developed countries,” Fabrice explains.
“While these spends are still reasonable as a percentage of GDP in South-East Asia, a large part of the population still does not have access to high-quality care. Subsequently, healthcare providers and governments face a double challenge to deliver more and better care to their citizens, while keeping costs sustainable.”
To do so, public and private healthcare systems need to go through a radical transformation, to be able to substantially create more value from their existing resources. This may sound like an unfeasible equation, but one can witness optimistic changes being made in this region.
Countries are learning from the mistakes and are adapting the best practices from mature economies. With less infrastructure legacy, it’s often easier for them to adopt the latest technologies available globally.
The growing local innovation also helps to complement these technologies to fully address specific local challenges. “There exists a true opportunity for South-East Asian countries to leapfrog in the future of health care and do much better than many mature economies. We partner to support the healthcare goals of the region,” says Fabrice proudly.
I want Siemens Healthineers to be recognised as partner of choice in South-East Asia.
In each South-East Asian nation, regardless of how mature it is, healthcare providers are looking for a partner that can help them look at this challenge holistically and guide them through the transformation, from strategy to execution and continuous improvements.
“As a leading healthcare technology company, Siemens Healthineers is committed to doing exactly that. We use our extensive know-how to help healthcare providers increase value by expanding precision medicine, transforming care delivery, improving patient experience and digitalising health care,” Fabrice affirms.
Understanding the South-East Asian market and its challenges, Fabrice and his team have defined three strong focus areas for the region – partnership, education and digitalisation. Developing Value Partnerships involves nothing but sitting down with the investors and the C-suite of a hospital or healthcare system and understanding their goals and challenges.
“We thereafter support them in defining their strategy, expanding their capabilities, advancing the level of innovation and technology in their organisation and continuously optimising their processes,” Fabrice says.
“We accompany them over multiple years along the execution. By doing this, we are increasing enterprise-wide value in order to meet both immediate and future goals of our customers.”
Providing education and enhancing the knowledge among its customers and their staff is one of the strongest drives of Siemens Healthineers, which has been highly valued by the healthcare community.
“Beyond the use of our products and solutions, we support our customers to upgrade their knowledge, be it clinical, technical or managerial,” Fabrice explains. “We organise multiple education programs throughout the year, in collaboration with our experts and healthcare providers, medical associations and universities.”
Digitalisation in healthcare holds great promise. It can help overcome many current challenges, allowing providers to improve outcomes while saving resources and giving patients better control and management of their own health.
The Siemens Healthineers Digital Ecosystem supports and fosters the possibilities and opportunities that reside in healthcare data and in connecting the many stakeholders involved towards “value-based care”.
Beyond traditional digital technology, a key enabler is artificial intelligence, or AI, where Siemens Healthineers has a leading position in the healthcare industry. “AI can analyse data beyond human capacity and transform it into actionable knowledge,” Fabrice emphasises.
“High-quality data is fundamental to the automation of large parts of complex diagnostics and to supporting optimal treatment, further improving the outcomes and the operational efficiencies of hospitals and clinics. We are the pioneers in bringing these advanced digitalisation solutions to South-East Asia.”
A family environment
Siemens Healthineers, with its 120-plus years of experience, is a global player with a strong heritage. “With 18,500 patents globally and over 50,000 employees in more than 70 countries, we offer a flexible and dynamic environment and encourage our teams to go beyond their comfort zone and grow, personally and professionally. We embrace and value different viewpoints, backgrounds, experiences, expertise and individual qualities,” Fabrice says.
He boasts that many employees, including himself, work here throughout their career. “Many colleagues have known each other for a long time, and this creates a kind of family environment, despite being a huge organisation,” he explains.
“The fact that people stay longer in this organisation creates depth in the expertise and the experience, and a strong ability to create trust among us and towards our customers and other external stakeholders,” he adds.
The organisation’s sense of common culture is reflected in its “Principles of Healthineers”, which guides the organisation’s actions and decisions every day.
One such principle particularly important to Fabrice is, ‘A day without passion for health care is a lost day.’
“Because it’s fundamental – do what you are passionate about and you will do it very well,” he explains.
“And it’s also related to our purpose, which is to make people live healthier and longer.”
The second principle that stands out to Fabrice is, ‘Missed opportunities are our biggest risks.’ “A successful organisation with a long tradition like ours, believes that reinventing from time to time is a necessity and an opportunity to remain relevant to the market.” he says.
“I often share this thought with my team – that our people are entrepreneurs who need to take risks to seize now those opportunities that will help them to adapt to the transforming world and better serve their customers.”
Fabrice admits his goal for the company might be bold, but he asserts it is realistic. “I want Siemens Healthineers to be recognised as partner of choice in South-East Asia, among all stakeholders, the C-suite of healthcare providers, key leaders in the government, policymakers, and so on,” he says.
He wants to be the first company that comes to mind when a hospital director or government healthcare officials face a challenge and seek external advice. “Some of them already think of us in this way, but I would prefer that this thinking becomes widespread.”
Additionally, Fabrice’s aim is to make South-East Asia more relevant on the global stage. “The market is maturing, healthcare providers are partnering with us to collaborate and create solutions, investment in digitalisation is increasing… all these factors are gathering a lot of attention from the rest of the world.”
Fabrice believes that South-East Asia will be perceived differently in the near future. More innovations around healthcare delivery models, technologies or digitalisation will come from this region, together with more stories of great clinical outcomes at low costs, while pinning the region on the global map of health care. Siemens Healthineers will continue to support the region to achieve this.