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Over the past few years, Vietnam has seen a growing number of digital health startups that aim to use high-technology solutions to improve the quality of medical services. 

Doctor Anywhere (DA)  

Doctor Anywhere is a Singapore-based start-up that has operated in Vietnam since the end of 2019. DA serves more than one million users in Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand. It offers teleconsultation services in internal medicine and paediatrics through a smartphone application. The patient’s records, prescriptions, and related papers will be emailed to the patient after the consultation session. In addition, the prescribed medicine can also be delivered to the patient upon request through partnered pharmacies. The company is currently delivering 350 teleconsultation sessions per day in Vietnam due to COVID-19. With DA, patients are able to receive consultations from doctors currently working in leading hospitals in the country, such as Bach Mai Hospital and Cho Ray Hospital. DA has developed partnerships with nearly 100 hospitals and clinics, 50 pharmacies, and 100 doctors from leading hospitals to meet the rising demand of its users.  

Jio Health  

Jio Health is a telemedicine app that enables on-demand access to healthcare services such as primary care and chronic disease management. By providing a comprehensive ecosystem through its mobile application, customers can talk to doctors and nurses 24/7, and schedule appointments with preferred doctors as well as monitor and download their own medical records such as clinical notes, test results, and prescriptions. In addition to this, the app can manage the records of direct family members, stored safely in the cloud. Users can access their health records electronically at any place and time through Jio Health’s mobile application and purchase prescriptions on the application as well. Payment methods are also simplified and safe on Jio Health’s application, ranging from cash to electronic wallets. Since its launch in 2014, an estimated 200,000 people have registered on the application.  

Doctor Bear 

Doctor Bear is a mHealth (mobile health) application – a medical connection platform between users and online health services. Online doctors will provide online counselling through high-quality voice calls and video calls. Users can download the application for free, find online doctors, texting with doctors, get online advice to a clearer view of their problems before making other decisions. User can also order online test packages for home health testing services or can be referred to specific clinics or hospitals nearby which specialize in the patient’s specific issues, reducing the timeline for correct and effective treatment. Besides, Doctor Bear have plans to build a community that loves health, know how to use online health consulting applications in mobile health, telemedicine, telehealth … to serve yourself and your family in the coming time. 

Doctor Bear Platform

Blue Care  

BlueCare is the very first ecosystem that provides healthcare services at home in Vietnam. The business model is human-centric and empowered by a data-driven system. BlueCare helps patients and their relatives can enjoy an ultimate health care experience by easily connect with medical staff (doctors, physicians, nurses…) for consultation, booking health care or medical care services. BlueCare’s services include care – nursing, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, health checkup, mommy & baby care, traditional medicine, vaccination, general test, yoga, food nutrition…BlueCare will automatically arrange the medical staff with the appropriate expertise for your needs and nearest you to serve. Since its launch, BlueCare is building a strong mom & kids’ community of 1.2M followers via their social media. 

What are the opportunities and challenges facing the telehealthcare entrepreneurship ecosystem?  

The plan to expand the use of telehealth is expected to pave the way for further digital adoption in hospitals. The government is encouraging investors to participate in the development of digital health in Vietnam, including telehealth. Although the capacity of telehealth service is currently limited to basic consultations in Vietnam, it is still expected to improve health conditions in remote areas. Going forward, opportunities for telehealth applications in Vietnam exist across numerous areas including remote health diagnostics, remote intervention, remote monitoring systems, store-and-forward health information, and education. Additionally, there are business opportunities in the creation and provision of technologies or applications that can improve the patient experience and access to care such as digital services such as appointment booking, doctor selection, bill payment, and mobile health applications. 

Challenges, however, remain. Lack of clear regulatory framework for telehealth, underdeveloped infrastructure, especially the district health centres and the communal level in rural areas. Many older patients and people living in remote areas have limited access to technology, thus require a certain level of additional infrastructure before they can leverage digital health. The cost and complexity of implementing digital health information systems such as hospital information systems and electronic medical records. Challenges for changing the behaviour of medical professionals and patients in shifting old-fashioned paper documentation to online services. 

To succeed in Vietnam, new startups in digital healthcare should consider several important factors. 

Firstly, choosing the most appropriate legal structure to enter the market is an important decision that will impact establishment procedures, taxation, legal restrictions, and overall business capabilities. Partnering with local IT service providers or medical device distributors can provide faster access to the market. In a changing market and uncertain time, it’s more important than ever for digital health startups to work with a partner that is looking beyond short-term gains to ensure long-term success. Local partners will help adapt to the local business culture and ensure the adaptability of products to the local market. 

Secondly, companies should invest resources to raise awareness of digital solutions based on understanding the healthcare sector in Vietnam, including its people, processes, and technologies. 

Finally, no less important than how your product delivers to clients. Any service product should be thinking from a consumer’s point of view, especially telehealthcare products. Your clients will feel not well or even exhausted if you make it is more difficult for them to get in touch with you or use your service, they will move on to another provider. Focus on your patient’s experience, giving them the best care possible, and help them see better versions of themselves and live their best lives, then you will win.  

Digital services are changing the way people go about their health, and the coronavirus has accelerated the trend toward telehealth options. Get in touch with HSP Consulting to discuss more possible business opportunities for your products and services. Our advisors will provide an overview more about the local market and assist you to enter this fast-growing market.