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NEW DELHI : Personalised healthcare services in India have limited availability, often only in more industrialised, urban areas with significant cost barriers, revealed the Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index, developed by the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies in partnership with Roche. The Index was launched at event hosted by Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU) on Thursday.

The report which reveals positive progress towards Personalised Healthcare across 11 countries in Asia-Pacific (Australia, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and New Zealand) ranked India at the 10th position just behind Indonesia which is at 11th spot.

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The report highlighted that the personalised healthcare is in very early stages in India. While substantial progress has been made in increasing access to healthcare in India in recent years, large disparities exist between urban and rural areas, the report said adding that India need more collection of and access of patient treatment outcome data for improving its position.

The Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index is claimed to be a first-of-its-kind policy tool which measures the readiness of 11 health systems across the region in adopting personalised healthcare – enabling the right care to be tailored to the right person at the right time.

The index also showed that India has made planning for personalised healthcare a priority. With several policy initiatives and nationwide projects focused on building capabilities in personalised healthcare, India is indeed beginning a transition towards greater personalisation.

“Moving forward, major challenges for India are likely to be addressing urban-rural disparities, access to care, building digital infrastructure, and securing sufficient levels of health literacy among its population. As a highly federated country, India may also encounter obstacles to achieving data interoperability," the report said.

The Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index is built on robust, publicly available, credible and open-source real-world data supplemented with input from public health authority representatives across APAC and validated by a panel of leading healthcare experts, the EIU said. The Personalised Health Index measures performance against 27 different indicators of personalised health across four categories called 'Vital Signs'. These include --Policy Context, Health Information, Personalised Technologies, and Health Services.

The findings indicate that Singapore performed highest overall of the geographies measured due to a combination of high levels of digital maturity, comprehensive national strategies, a strong digital infrastructure and expansive innovation capacities leading to top scores in both the Health Information and Personalised Technologies categories. Taiwan (2nd), Japan (3rd) and Australia (4th) also perform well in overall readiness.

However, the Index reveals that even higher performing countries have numerous areas of opportunity for improvement. Challenges around urban-rural disparities and building digital infrastructure impact lower-scoring territories, several of which are at the very early stages of personalised healthcare.

Health systems in Asia-Pacific are under pressure to do more with less, in the face of growing populations and rising costs – compounded by covid-19, the report said. An ideal personalised healthcare system is one that leverages data, analytics and technology to generate meaningful insights, inform decision-making, and drive innovation that supports both individual and population health and empowers patients to manage their own health. Personalised healthcare can improve health system efficiencies by helping decision-makers prioritise efforts and resources, and initiate policies and frameworks that support healthcare innovation.

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