by Caleb Tiam-Lee
Digitalization of the healthcare industry in the Philippines is still struggling and has a lot of questions that need to be answered. One of this industry’s sectors that is essential and should be given attention is procurement. Different companies are finding ways to recover and provide better services that are flexible and sustainable to any economic crisis that they may face again in the future.
In this article, we highlight the importance of an efficient process in medical procurement, as a way to not only spur recovery and stimulate long-term economic growth post-pandemic, but also help different healthcare workers, medical facilities and medical businesses across the nation.
New Technology in Medical Procurement
In the field of healthcare, medical procurement has been a major issue for all countries, ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Optimizing the supply chain through analyzing all the different factors such as logistics, inventory, finance, customer, and availability are key components in the process.
Because traditional procurement in the past was highly paper-based and reactive, it caused the overall system to be highly fragmented, with technology in the hands of a few people causing a predictable set of partners. Consequently, it led to inefficiencies in the healthcare field, with the supply of these goods not optimized correctly, causing the many to expire without use and substandard products to be injected into the system.
As the evolution of medical procurement has turned to more digitized platforms, utilizing different kinds of new technology (advanced analytics, artificial intelligence) has been the trajectory in the succeeding decades. Through this, the proper understanding of supply chain management will ensure the uninterrupted supply of quality and safe goods to the users, something that can be done by the use of technology.
“It is only these companies that can balance all these items (market data, supplier performance, contracts, supplier data, budgets, inventory, purchase orders, invoices, savings, assets, strategy, business demand) that are very successful, and will be able to go forward in the future,” says Dr. Palat Menon, a Senior Medical Director and doctor from Fakeeh University.
Using E-Commerce in Healthcare
With the global health e-commerce market estimated to see a major spike from $346.87 billion in 2021 to $643.07 billion in 2025, up-and-coming start-ups have attempted to improve the traditional procurement models set in place. With the healthcare industry revolving around three competing factors: access, quality, and cost-containment, thinking of innovative and unique solutions to be able to positively affect one of the elements without negatively affecting the others.
Therefore, as the ‘new health industry ecosystem’ is set to take place, revolving around the use of value chain integration, data and insights management, and community hub providers, the vision of a consumer-centric system could improve the lives of many patients.
As a result, healthcare start-up InterLeukin has been set on the foundation of improving the country’s procurement process, utilizing a digital tool in managing the procurement needs. Seeing that the traditional six-step procurement process takes a considerable amount of time, improving the efficiency of the delivery system without compromising quality has been the vision of the company since its inception in May 2020.
In purchasing products from accredited suppliers, while offering real-time customized negotiations and product and supplier search, it will be able to facilitate an efficient and smooth process in cutting down the long and tedious process of the conventional procurement of goods. Along with tracking your purchasing orders and deliveries, while also offering support on educating buyers on the medical and lab products in the website, it allows for a smoother process for all stakeholders in the procurement process.
Future of Healthcare System
With the hope of a more streamlined process of providing the necessary goods, e-commerce and digitization have the potential of improving the efficiency of the supply chain management. As many healthcare workers encountered plenty of difficulties during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has been the game-changer in hopefully addressing the problems surrounding the current healthcare system in the country.
Having all the details and suppliers through technology, the delivery process has shown to be more efficient, improving the state of public health for potential patients in many different places around the country.
- Key takeaways on what needs to be done in the healthcare to improve their service to patients by involving eCommerce platform like InterLeukin to the procurement of the medical supplies
- How shifting to digital medical purchasing system can give them efficiency, savings and transparency in their respective businesses