Cisco recently hosted its first Smart Healthcare Summit in Singapore, involving experts from the Australian and Asian health and higher education sectors. While the challenges facing healthcare systems are common across the region, the summit revealed approaches vary between countries due to regulations, funding, differences in organizational culture, innovation capability and technology debt.

The summit provided a forum for experts to present and share insights and perspectives on the major challenges, with a large focus on the important role of technology innovation and need for greater collaboration to improve healthcare outcomes. A considerable output from the summit is the publication of a smart healthcare report – Using Digital to Create Better Healthcare and More Resilient Communities, which captures the leading themes but also a proposed way forward for the sector to accelerate the pace and quality of innovation.

Five key conclusions from the paper include:

  1. Health workforce challenges are escalating with rising attrition and difficulties attracting staff
  2. The patient experience is now a non-negotiable, not a nice to have
  3. Healthcare infrastructure assets must be able to respond dynamically to changing demands
  4. A genuine smart healthcare system must be built on digital platforms, not point solutions
  5. Healthcare must be treated as critical infrastructure from a cybersecurity perspective

Attendees at the summit stressed the need for a programmatic approach to innovation and collaboration. This includes leveraging of assets that have already been assembled under the National Industry Innovation Network (NIIN). The paper details several important initiatives that will be pursued under the NIIN banner including formal expansion of the health network into Asia.

Overall, the summit was a great event to connect with healthcare experts and technology leaders across the region. I enjoyed the opportunity to showcase the breadth of Cisco’s healthcare capability and hearing about the ways our university and ecosystem partners are creating value across the care continuum.

Read the ‘Using Digital to Create Better Healthcare and More Resilient Communities’ report here.


Reg Johnson

General Manager, Education

Cisco Australia and New Zealand