In 2021, the value of Indonesia’s digital economy has reached US$ 63 billion and continues to grow and is expected to reach US$ 360 billion in 2030. How do startups play an important role as a catalyst for digital economic growth?
Startups are indeed the backbone of the digital economy. Startups play an important role in shaping and developing digital economic ecosystems. While conventional businesses only adapt digitalization for internal systems, transaction needs, and other things. The important thing about the digital economy is that it can provide value to people who previously did not have access.
As a biotech platform that focuses on R&D capabilities, how can Nusantics contribute to expanding access to digital health as well as improving the quality of health services?
As a biotech company, we utilize digital platforms to provide fast and accurate early warning systems. Not only human disease but also animals. So, imagine a kind of PeduliLindungi platform, but open to all diseases.
With this platform, the users can find out what the outbreaks are, their distribution, and the positivity rate. On the platform, we can provide early warning of a new outbreak or virus and what to do about it. So, the role of digital platforms is there.
Currently, our platform is still limited by the government and related businesses, it is not yet open to users due to regulations. But in the future, we will try to make this platform accessible to all parties.
The global economy is facing a multidimensional crisis or perfect storm due to the global recession, energy crisis, and geopolitical tensions. What strategies have Nusantics prepared to face this condition?
Digital data is an asset, whether consumer, banking, or genetic data. Each country certainly protects its assets in the midst of geopolitical conflicts. With the uncertainty of this geopolitical condition, now every country has sovereign will regarding health issues and is not dependent on other countries. With this willingness, our digital health ecosystem will grow because it is part of national security. Therefore, a digital platform is needed for self-surveillance so that solutions can be found in the country.
In the midst of rapidly growing digitalization, digital and physical infrastructure is still uneven in Indonesia. How will Nusantics take advantage of this opportunity to encourage digital equity and digital economic growth in tier 2 and 3 regions?
We see enormous potential in digital PCR. Currently, PCR machines are in various places but not yet connected. When this PCR can be digitized and the test results can go directly to the server, the results will be known quickly, so the early warning system will be easier. This is a huge potential.
Startups bring technological innovations that have a real impact on the digital economy and collaboration is important in it. How does Nusantics collaborate to grow a sustainable digital ecosystem?
The easiest example is shrimp ponds. The sample sent will be checked for its health condition and recorded in the database. Insight from this database is then shared to see the spread of the disease and have value for those who need it. In the health sector at the B2B level, digital integrators collaborate more easily. However, related to the one medical health record innovation at the national level is a challenge for the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry of Health has launched the SATUSEHAT platform. How do you see this integration accelerating the improvement of the national health system and what kind of impact is felt by Nusantics?
First, the impact of One Medical Health Record at the national level is enormous. The existence of this platform is able to help store the patient’s medical history, making it easier to check when the patient moves cities or hospitals. It also helps make more accurate decisions and avoids being victimized by drug trials.
In all countries, one medical health record is a necessity. Once this is undertaken, Nusantics can certainly expand exponentially.
Resilience depends on the ability to adapt in the midst of various conditions, even when disruption occurs. What are the business models and digital talent needed to continue to unlock new digital economy potential?
Currently, there is a bubble burst everywhere. Many startups experience declines. We think this is because startup valuations are valued by the number of users, so they view digital platforms as their main business.
Meanwhile, Nusantics in the biotech sector view digital platforms as important but not as a business. We view digital as a tool to support our business growth by seizing as much data as possible, and performing accurate data analysis for new health products. The business value for Nusantics is the health products generated from this digital data. This is what differentiates us from other parties.
When the global economy is declining, our strategy is to develop products that can be a remedy for a problem through the use of digital platforms. The hope is that our valuation can be more stable because the product is real.
Is the biotech sector experiencing HR difficulties due to limited expertise in this field in Indonesia?
Difficult, but fortunately, we view digital platforms as something extraordinary. The existence of this platform helps us in a digital work system from various places. In our opinion, digital platforms are very important.
The inclusive digital economic growth agenda is also marked by alignment with SDGs through the application of ESG, how is this implemented in Nusantics and what are the challenges faced?
First, we have targeted the implementation of ESG since its inception because it is in line with the SDGs. Second, regarding Gender Inclusivity, there is no problem because we understand that it is more difficult to find male human resources than females in the biotech sector. Third, our products are proven to be micro-biodiversity friendly to maintain biodiversity in the human body. Fourth, a collaboration between institutions. In running its business, Nusantics has frequently collaborated with the government and the private sector.
One of the supporting instruments for the development of the digital economy, especially in the protection of consumer rights. How do you see the Personal Data Protection Act impacting the boost to the digital ecosystem?
We don’t see that as a problem. We are in a sensitive sector, so we still have to protect personal data, regardless of whether or not there are relevant regulations. Our internal standards have become more stringent. We are even more worried when the government prohibits external party operations such as Google, Alibaba, or Amazon and has to use domestically made platforms. This is due to the speed of computing genetic data, and domestic servers have not been able to facilitate this.
Are there challenges in sharing data for specific purposes in the biotech sector? Are there separate regulations regarding this?
Actually nothing. When it comes to the health sector, the best practice exists abroad where the data is shared to find out the latest mutations. However, those who are obliged to share this data are the government, not the private sector.
Second, the global concern is related to genetic data. Because there is a debate about who has the right to claim ownership of genetic data between platforms or the government. Nusantics supports data ownership by platforms because they can be a medium that brings patients and donors together.
Democratically, people and platforms have the right to determine their own data. When we are connected to other countries’ digital health ecosystems, Indonesian people can participate in research because of their good immunity level.
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