Vietnam, Australia explore cooperation in digital health transformation

A recent government-sponsored conference in Hanoi has gathered health authorities and experts from Vietnam and Australia to look into areas of cooperation in developing the local health landscape’s digital infrastructure and capacity. 

The event was attended by representatives from the Vietnam Military–Civil Medicine Association, the Health Strategy and Policy Institute of the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, and the Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute at the Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.


In a report by the state-run Vietnam News Agency, Deputy Minister of Health Dr Tran Van Thuan was quoted as saying that the local health sector needs to prioritise getting resources for advancing digital transformation to further facilitate patients’ access to medical services. 

One way of getting this is through cooperation and assistance from international partners, Dr Thuan said. 

At present, Vietnam’s healthcare is facing roadblocks in its digital transformation, particularly its poor IT infrastructure for supporting EMR and the scant sources of funding to apply new health technologies in health facilities. 

Dr Tran Quy Tuong, chairman of the Vietnam Health Informatics Association, also pointed out the lack of IT skills and manpower and the absence of standards and guidance for connecting data across medical information systems as impediments to the nation’s digitalisation in healthcare.

Swinburne’s Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute, which was present at the conference, is connecting and partnering with governments and the industry to promote the management of patient health records, among other areas of digital health. There has been no announcement yet on whether or not the research organisation has formalised a partnership with the Vietnamese government. 


Vietnam aims to introduce smart healthcare by 2025 as part of the National Digital Transformation Programme. Under this, there are three focus areas: smart disease prevention, smart medical examination and treatment, and smart health administration. 

It was in 2019 that Vietnam started fortifying the foundation of its healthcare digitalisation with the nationwide rollout of EHRs. All public hospitals in the country have already implemented HIS, though work is still needed to get them to adopt PACS, RIS, and LIS. 

International partnerships have also been instrumental in introducing emerging technologies to Vietnamese healthcare. Earlier this year, IT giant Microsoft signed its first technology partnership in the country; it is now collaborating with VinBrain, a local AI healthcare company backed by Vietnam’s largest conglomerate Vingroup, to work on three areas of AI healthcare: data sharing, cross-product validation, and R&D.

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