HMS Software in the Philippines: Seizing Opportunities in a Growing Market

According to McKinsey and Co. the Philippines was the fastest growing economy across Southeast Asia in 2023, with a growth rate of 5.6 percent. The country’s total health spending contributed to 5.5 Percent of the economy in 2022. The Philippine government is investing in healthcare infrastructure, aiming to improve access and quality of medical services. Additionally, the Asian Development Bank approved a loan to the Philippine government of 450 million USD, to help strengthen help reforms in the country, to create more access to medicines and various health services. This includes upgrading hospitals, clinics, and health centers, creating a demand for advanced management systems. 

The adoption of digital health solutions, including telemedicine, electronic health records (EHR), and HMS, is accelerating in the Philippines. With a population exceeding 115 million in 2023 and a growth rate of 1.5% annually, the demand for healthcare services is on the rise. An aging population, growing at an average annual rate of 1.41% and an increase in chronic diseases amplify the need for efficient healthcare management.

 

 

 

The Philippines’ GDP growth rate was 5.6% in 20224, one of the highest in Southeast Asia. This economic strength supports increased healthcare spending, allowing institutions to invest in advanced technologies like HMS. Therefore, international HMS companies can take advantage just by considering a few things.

  • Company wanting to enter the Philippines market must look to customize HMS software to meet the unique requirements of the Philippine healthcare system, including local language support, integration with PhilHealth systems, and compliance with Department of Health regulations. For instance, integrating the software with the Philippine Health Information Exchange (PHIE) can enhance data interoperability.
  • International HMI company must also be aware of regulations around this space. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and DOH (Department of Health) mandate stricter compliance with healthcare standards, including the use of electronic medical records and health information systems, to improve healthcare quality and patient safety. Guidelines like data must be anonymized, must adhere to statistical law, the HMS companies must continuously review & update the list of public records to IACHNS (Interagency Committee on Health and Nutrition Statistics), etc must be strictly followed during production and implementation phase.
  • International companies can also form strategic alliances with local entities. Collaborations with the DOH, local hospitals, and academic institutions like the University of the Philippines can provide valuable insights and enhance credibility. Joint ventures or partnerships with local IT firms can also facilitate smoother market entry.
  • International HMS companies must develop scalable solutions that cater to small clinics as well as large hospitals. Customization options can address specific needs of different healthcare providers, from urban hospitals to rural health units. A total of 48% of the population of Philippines live in urban areas as of 2022, so for a population that is still predominantly rural, solutions that would bring more healthcare to rural areas would be beneficial. In rural areas, healthcare facilities may lack the necessary infrastructure for advanced HMS. Cloud-based solutions that require minimal local IT resources can help overcome this barrier. The government’s push for improved internet connectivity under programs like the National Broadband Plan will also aid in this regard.

The Philippine market offers a fertile ground for HMS software companies looking to expand in Southeast Asia. By leveraging localization, forming strategic partnerships, focusing on customization and support, and addressing the specific challenges of the market, HMS software providers can seize the opportunities presented by this growing market. With the Philippine healthcare sector poised for significant growth, there has never been a better time to invest in and contribute to the digital transformation of healthcare in the Philippines, with the assistance of ASEAN business partners. We can help you expand into the growing economy of Philippines and make the transition seamless in helping you find a local partner, offer support, and make you aware of the country’s economic landscape.

About the Author

JUN DE DIOS
Jun De Dios
EVP for Growth & Strategy | Profile

Jun De Dios is our EVP for Growth & Strategy and he is also our Country Manager for Philippines. Jun was the CEO for AkzoNobel in Vietnam from 2008-13, and then CEO in Indonesia, before being appointed Cluster Director for Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands over the period 2013-2019.