A 2023 white paper by East Ventures and Indonesia’s health ministry suggests that Indonesia could generate a potential economic impact of about USD 110 billion by utilizing genomics, the study of an organism’s genetic makeup. Additionally, the country could save an estimated USD 96 billion by using genomics to address rare diseases.
Indonesia’s healthcare infrastructure falls behind its peers and WHO standards in terms of healthcare expenditure and life expectancy. Compared to other SEA countries, Indonesia still spends less on healthcare, by approximately 26%. Indonesia has high rates of non-communicable diseases, causing 80% of deaths, and a high incidence of tuberculosis. Child mortality is also high, with respiratory infections being a leading cause. The Ministry of Health has identified a rising trend of antimicrobial resistance in the country, which is considered to be of critical concern.
By using genomics, healthcare providers can identify genetic mutations that increase the risk of certain diseases and detect these diseases earlier. Early detection of diseases allows for targeted treatments that are more effective and less invasive, which can improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
Indonesia is lagging behind its Southeast Asian peers in the field of genomics and needs to catch up quickly. While the country has established some critical sequencing infrastructure, such as biobanks, data centers, genome sequencing machines, equipment, and laboratories, there is very limited government participation in this area, with only a few private sector players operating in the space. This presents a significant opportunity for investors and businesses to tap into the untapped potential of the genomics market in Indonesia and help accelerate the country’s progress in this field.
(Sources: Tech in Asia, East Ventures, and BioSpectrum)