On the 12th July, Philips released the South Africa results of the first edition of its Future Health Index (FHI), an extensive international study which explores how countries around the world are positioned to meet long-term global health challenges through integration of health systems and adoption of connected care technologies.

South Africa received an overall score of 56.7 out of a possible 100, highlighting the need for a concerted effort to increase access to healthcare; the cost of healthcare came out as one of the top barriers to coordinating healthcare further in South Africa.

The findings from the study provide valuable insight into the perceived state of readiness of markets around the world to benefit from integration across healthcare systems, and identify significant areas where healthcare systems must transform to deliver value-based care in the future.

South Africa ranked eighth out of thirteen countries; highlighting the need for a more concerted effort to increase access to healthcare, and conversely indicate a stable performance on healthcare integration, and above average performance on connected care technology adoption.

Examining the perceptions, behaviours and attitudes of both patients and health care professionals, the FHI focuses on three important factors to help countries become better poised to meet current and future healthcare challenges: a) access to healthcare; b) integration of the current health system; and c) adoption of connected health technology and systems.

Despite financial and cost related issues with healthcare in South Africa, openness to connected care technologies raises South Africa’s connected care technology adoption sub-index score above the average, with South African HCPs and patients acknowledging the benefits of connected care across the health continuum (The health continuum covers the full range of consumer and patient needs from healthy living and prevention to diagnosis, treatment and home care).

Ntutule Tshenye CEO, Philips South & Southern Africa commented; “The Future Health Index has uncovered a number of significant areas where our healthcare system must transform if we are going to succeed in delivering long-term value-based care.

“It is encouraging to see South Africa starting from a reasonably strong position in its readiness to adopt connected digital technologies that will ultimately drive transformation. The outcome of the South African report provides valuable insight for patients, HCPs and policymakers on where attention needs to be focused to increase levels of access, integration and adoption of health technology to improve healthcare outcomes and patient experience in the long term.”

The FHI study, (which will be run annually), was conducted in partnership with an independent global market research firm in 13 countries. More than 2,600 HCPs and 25,000 patients were questioned in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, UAE, U.K. and U.S.

To download the South African FHI report, please visit www.philips.co.za

To read the Future Health Index report in its entirety, and to access local market data in-depth, please visit:  www.futurehealthindex.com.