Earlier in July, ACCESS Health International Southeast Asia hosted the webinar "How Financial Services Companies are Moving into the Healthcare Sector." The conversation was moderated by Director of Business Adrienne Mendenhall. Until recently, most health financing options have been offered solely by conventional financial institutions, such as banks and large insurance companies. But in recent decades, innovative financing mechanisms have emerged, offered by digital financial services companies who design the products and platforms specifically with the patient's needs in mind. Microfinance institutions (MFI), insurtech, and payments companies - among others - are now entering into the healthcare industry to offer efficient, user-friendly, and affordable health financing options. These mechanisms and more were discussed by a panel of experts: Daniel Shrestha, Managing Director of Cogent Health; Annie Wang, Health Director - Asia of Opportunity International Australia; Ian W. Porteous, Regional Coordinator at ACCESS Health International; and Dr Eugene Hong, Executive Director of Institutional Banking Group. Please click here to view the webinar and here to learn more about Fintech for Health.
On July 14 Adrienne Mendenhall, Director of Business Development at ACCESS Health International Southeast Asia, delivered the keynote presentation for the latest episode of the webinar series Bangladesh Financial Inclusion 1.0. The series is organized by a2i - Aspire to Innovate in collaboration with ACCESS Health International and The Business Standard. Mendenhall’s presentation, “Financial Health: Thinking beyond Financial Inclusion,” addressed the importance of financial health to developing countries. Please click here to view the webinar and here to learn more about Fintech for Health.
On the afternoon of June 23rd, ASK Health had the honor of participating in the ACCELERATE2030 China medical track seminar organized by Impact Hub Shanghai and Shanghai Fosun Foundation. The Accelerate2030 global development plan is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Impact Hub Geneva, and involves the collaboration of more than 20 Impact Hubs around the world to implement Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing countries worldwide. Xu Yue, the Assistant Director of ASK Health, participated in the round table discussion which explored the theme “How Technology can Empower the Healthcare Industry”. In Addition, ASK Health Startup Alliance members Viobook Technology and Wonder Tech presented their new innovative solutions. The partnership between ASK Health and healthcare innovators serves to accelerate the growth of healthcare start-ups by connecting companies to new business partners, opening new markets for their products, and increasing their influence in the healthcare industry. Overall, these partnerships help to promote innovative applications of technology in healthcare.
Members of the ACCESS Health Philippines office recently presented their latest research on the use of evidence-based research to influence public health policy in the Philippines. This event represents the culmination of research performed under a grant awarded by the New Delhi-based Global Development Network, which aims to enhance the research capabilities of developing countries in improving development outcomes. ACCESS Health won first prize during the 2019 awards competition for Outstanding Research in Development held in Bonn, Germany-only the second Philippine entrant to win the prestigious prize in its twenty-year history.
After a two-month selection process involving both written applications and interviews, 12 outstanding individuals were selected from over 100 applicants from top universities worldwide. The chosen individuals will receive the 2021 ASK Health: Health Futures Scholarship, and are officially Health Futures’ Fellows. The kick-off meeting for the Fellowship program was held online on June 30th. During the meeting, Dr. Liu Chang, ASK Health Regional Director for Greater China and Southeast Asia, shared the mission of the program and the program’s expectations for the fellows during the coming year. The students then introduced themselves, their majors, and their interests. Finally, we were very fortunate to welcome past participants to the meeting who shared their own experiences and wisdom with the new class of fellows. The ASK Health: Health Futures Scholarship and Fellowship Program aim to provide a platform for future health professionals to create professional connections, gain first-hand experience in the industry, participate in related projects, communicate with experts in their field, and promote the professional growth of each scholar.
Recently, the First Affiliate Hospital of Fujian Medical University and the Center of Rare Diseases (CORD) convened to explore the diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases and medical insurance in Fujian Province. This opening meeting presented survey reports describing the survival rates and disease burden of rare diseases in Fujian Province. Li Qun, Senior Director of ASK Health Research and Consulting, introduced ASK Health’s upcoming “Survey Report on the Survival Rates and Burden of Disease of Rare Disease Patients in Fujian Province” and presented the project’s status updates, objectives, and methodology. After the introductory remarks, Li Linguo, Senior Public Policy Researcher at the Center for Rare Diseases and Independent Consultant of ASK Health, chaired a roundtable discussion session. Participants discussed the diagnosis, treatment, protection, and rescue of rare disease patients in Fujian Province as well as the roles of medical providers, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies in navigating the treatment of rare diseases. The discussion was very productive and “The Fujian Model” was received enthusiastically. As an international think tank and research institution dedicated to public health policy research and health innovation, ASK Health hones in on health system transformation, and specifically the development of a multi-layered medical security system that offers support for populations in need, such as patients with rare diseases. We will continue to drive and promote the improvement of health services to benefit the entire population.
On June 4th, the second “Bo'ao for Asia Global Health Forum (GHF)” was held in Qingdao. This year, one sub-forum addressed the theme of “Integrating Health into All Policies - Utilizing Health Insurance to Promote Greater Health Management”. In this sub-forum, ASK Health along with the Fudan University Department of Health Finances, debuted their Nantong “Ankang Magnolia” project with the support of Pfizer, Ping An, and other collaborating institutions. The goal of “Ankang Magnolia” is to advocate for the advantages of city supplementary commercial health insurance, to explore additional health management models to strengthen existing commercial insurance products, and to promote the "Nantong Model" as an optimal, innovative model which integrates commercial health insurance with healthcare management. Overall, ASK Health hopes that “Ankang Magnolia” will serve as a starting point to increase public health awareness, improve patient management, enhance the quality of life, and will ultimately support the development of commercial health insurance to reach the goal set forth by "Healthy China 2030" as soon as possible.
As a part of its larger public awareness work, the InOrder Institute is set to launch a health helpline that will allow the public to seek guidance on navigating the complex Indian health system and access healthcare information. The 24X7 helpline will operate on a pilot basis from August 1, for callers in the Telangana state and will expand to the rest of the country in phases. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the need for the availability of easily accessible information to help citizens coordinate their healthcare requirements, especially during emergencies. Information asymmetry between people and healthcare providers puts the public at a great disadvantage. Many lose precious time and resources while navigating the complex healthcare system that is made up of both private and public providers. They need guidance in financing their healthcare needs and in availing their health insurance benefits, be it government-financed, employer-financed, or self-funded. They need guidance in accessing and processing the right information about diseases, drugs, and procedures to help them make informed decisions. They need to be aware of their rights as a citizen, as a patient, and as a health insurance beneficiary.
Under its ongoing efforts at health systems strengthening through meaningful collaborations with important health systems actors and stakeholders, the InOrder Institute has recently partnered with the Indian Institute of Public Health- Hyderabad (IIPH-H). IIPH-H is a part of the Public Health Foundation of India, a premier think tank in the area of public health and health systems research. The partnership is designed for both institutes to jointly plan, develop and execute long and short duration training and capacity building programs and workshops in the areas of health systems research. As per the partnership, it is proposed that the institutes will jointly offer at least four to five joint training programs in a calendar year. The courses will be on critical areas of health systems such as digital health, health systems capacity building, and health systems resilience. Under health systems research, the courses will work towards building capacity on health information system for health professionals, health insurance management for public personnel, skill development in NCD prevention to primary care professionals, leadership development program for public health professionals, disease surveillance systems, and rapid response systems to manage crises. As per the partnership, the institutes will also jointly undertake policy advocacy on these critical areas.
Throughout his career, ACCESS Health Chair and President William A. Haseltine, PhD - aka "Dr. Bill" - has had the privilege of meeting and working with some of the biggest heroes in science. In his latest book, Science As A Superpower: My Lifelong Fight Against Disease and the Heroes Who Made it Possible, he shares stories about how these dedicated superheroes were able to change the world through science. This video highlights Katalin Karikó, a Hungarian biochemist, and how she changed the world through her pioneering work harnessing the power of mRNA to fight diseases like Covid-19.