Meeting the hype: Will Indonesia be the next digital powerhouse?
January-March 2016
By: Shinta W Dhanuwardoyo

Beyond traditional markets, IoT is also very much needed in the health care sector. In the future we could see apps that create health care access for people living in remote areas of Indonesia. These are people who desperately need medical attention but may not be able to get it due to poor infrastructure or lack of doctors in their region. Perhaps an app can be created so these people can consult a doctor and get diagnosed without having to see the doctor in person. Currently, health apps in Indonesia are more about scheduling appointments at hospitals and with doctors. 

One interesting addition to Indonesia’s health care app market is an e-medical record platform called MedicTrust. MedicTrust describes itself as an integrated health record management system that aims to solve the problem of having health records scattered across various hospitals and clinics, sometimes resulting in redundant treatments. With MedicTrust, users can access their health records, including previous blood tests, vaccinations and diagnoses, and have everything stored in a secure cloud system. The app, which is just now taking off, is one very good example of a start-up utilizing the power of IoT to create better health care management.

There is also an opportunity for disruptive innovation within Indonesia’s education sector that can enable anyone to learn anything, anywhere, at any time. A great example is Ruangguru (Teacher’s Room), an online marketplace that connects private tutors and students throughout Indonesia. Ruangguru offers courses on everything from traditional classroom subjects to sports skills, and even courses on classical guitar. The site also features tutors who specialize in test preparation, language studies and musical theory. The platform lets anyone learn from anyone.

At the end of the day, IoT and technology development in general can change Indonesia’s economy, especially when we achieve a connected economy (or a digital-based economy). Of course, there are challenges in implementing IoT in Indonesia, in particular with the transformation of nonusers to users. For instance, we are all used to ordering taxis by telephone, but now many people are using apps. While the younger generation can easily adapt to this change, that might not be the case for older people, so educating the public on using this technology is important. 

So, is this the “new economy”? It just might be. Indonesia is known to be a top commodities country. We are the top or among the top producers of many things including coal, tin, copper, cocoa and crude palm oil. But this is the “old economy.” The app economy has created a whole ecosystem of jobs, companies and income connected with the production and distribution of mobile apps. It is estimated that Indonesia has around 22,000 app economy jobs across the country.

Please login to leave a comment