How Artificial Intelligence Can Transform the Health Sector

Indonesia is currently faced with the challenges of the Covid 19 Pandemic including the transition from being a "leader" in the health sector, Mr. Budi Gunaidi Sadikin is transforming the health sector in the technology era. What are the steps taken by Mr. Budi in transforming Indonesia's health sector today? Check out his presentation while attending Tech Day at Kaskus TV at the following boarding house.
February 25, 2022

The First Steps to Transform

Tuesday, February 22, 2022 is a very big day in holding the "Tech Day" event with the theme The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Goes Mainstream hosted by Kaskus TV. On this occasion, the Minister of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Budi Gunadi Sadikin, opened the event by providing views related to the process of handling Covid 19 in Indonesia to material about the implementation of AI in the medical world in Indonesia.

After being given the responsibility as minister of health for the last 6 months, Mr. Budi said that the hope of President Joko Widodo to give him the first mandate is to execute the implementation of vaccines throughout Indonesia, overcome the pandemic, and reform the national health sector. The President said that the reason for choosing Mr. Budi as minister of health was because he had experience in handling two historical economic conflicts including the 1998 and 2008 riots. Both of which were in the banking sector, therefore Mr. Budi would know which sectors needed improvement including in policy and management dealing with the Covid 19 Pandemic.

Health Sector Reformation

In addition to reforming various policies in the health sector, Pak Budi also directs the optimization of puskesmas as community health centers, minimizing gaps in health access, reforming health system reliciancy, reforming health finance, reforming the human capital sector, and finally reforming healthcare technology. Health reform in the health sector includes healthcare information technology and healthcare biotechnology.

Mr Budi said that Indonesia has a very large market in health technology investment. In the next 5 years, the cost of Indonesia's health budget could reach U$D 8 billion and even in the next 10 years we could match Singapore's health budget and the largest in Southeast Asia. This requires a very large budget, even though all people want access to cheap and unlimited health.

The health sector wants to adopt a platform to which there is an adaptable data center. Healthcare data is very important, but currently this data has not been documented and has not been digitized. For this reason, the current government's target is to build a centralized health data center that can be accessed by all people for their personal interests. So that the effectiveness in the process of handling this health is more optimal. This idea is also not only for the benefit of the government, but this data privacy policy can also be used for researchers to access in developing health research and start-up companies so that they can explore valid and compatible data insights from Indonesian healthcare. This can be seen by the Israeli government which has implemented this system. In addition to the growth in more optimal and centralized health facilities, this policy is also considered to be able to increase various potential financial benefits.

Great Potential Use of Technology

Mr. Budi explained that currently every Puskesmas does not even have an ultrasonic device to diagnose pregnant women regarding the health of their fetus, they cannot access the health of their fetus. The government wants to provide 10,000 ultrasonic equipment assistance to all health centers in Indonesia so that they can be digitized. In this project, the government also wants to adopt Artificial Intelligence technology, including deep learning, which can identify cases or infant defects, including remote health services. For this regulation, AI is expected to be put into practice in helping babies' health, including in radiology.  

Covid-19 has presented many variants including the delta and omicron variants which have brought an increase in Covid-19 cases in Indonesia. Indonesia does not yet have the capability to use technology to observe the variant types of Covid-19 cases. This virus has 30,000 different genes which are very difficult to identify while humans have 3 billion genes. In 1997, when gene identification was first started, the cost of identifying one gene required USD 1, so identification of all human genes required USD 3 billion. How do genes play an important role in human life? It can help in identifying diseases, tumors, blood types, and so on. Currently the need for such technology requires blood to be drawn and this process is very expensive. It is hoped that by utilizing MRI and CT scan technology to carry out diagnostics. Research shows that AI technology that is able to predict disease through scan technology is more optimal and accurate. 

Imagine if all the technology was owned, for example, we have 10,000 ultrasound technologies, 10,000 cancer tests, 10,000 CT scans, permutations and combinations with AI for identification of related diseases and genes that influence disease. Of course this will only bring about a very big change. It is not only the chemical and microbiological sectors that will advance the health industry, but biotechnology is needed that can reform Indonesia's health. 

At the end of his speech, Mr. Budi hoped that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning could improve the health of babies, children, and future generations.

Written by Denny Fardian
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