An overview of Malaysia’s digital health landscape

Malaysia has a dual-tiered system of healthcare services: one led by the government and funded by taxpayers, and the other provided by the private sector. Like many other countries, the growing burden of non-communicable diseases is one of the most prominent threats to the financial sustainability of the current healthcare system.

As such, digital health tools and investment in digital solutions could help address some of the challenges of maintaining and growing Malaysia’s healthcare services and ensuring quality, affordable and patient-centric healthcare.

Government and private initiatives

Launched in 2017 by the Ministry of Health, the Malaysian Health Data Warehouse (MyHDW) is a national healthcare information gathering and reporting system covering all government and private healthcare facilities and services. MyHDW includes a patient treatment information system (SMRP) and patient registry information system (PRIS). 

According to an article by The Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy, a possible outcome for this project is when a person’s medical records are shared among all public health institutions, the patient’s journey is simplified from primary to tertiary care, as any doctor treating the patient would have full access to his or her medical records. Former Malaysian health minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad announced plans for Malaysia to implement EMR at 145 hospitals nationwide in 2018, though it is unclear how much progress has been made on that front.

Microsoft Malaysia and CREST (Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science & Technology) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in August 2016 to create a first-of-its kind digital health hub. The hub will focus on five core virtual health scenarios – telehealth, smart access, remote patient monitoring, drug adherence, and corporate wellness.

DoctorOnCall, a digital healthcare platform by Health Digital Technologies Sdn. Bhd., is Malaysia’s largest digital health platform that connects patients with an extensive network of over 1,500 Specialists in private hospitals and more than 100 GP doctors throughout the country. In February this year, DoctorOnCall signed a MoU with Celcom, Malaysia’s oldest mobile telecommunication provider to explore innovations in the digital health space such as embedding DoctorOnCall plan(s) into Celcom digital offerings such as Business Suite for Retail.

COVID-19 related developments

One of the tools used in the multi-agency effort against the pandemic was the introduction of the MySejahtera app which was developed by the Malaysian government to assist in monitoring of COVID-19 outbreak in the country, said Dr Fazilah Shaik Allaudin, Senior Deputy Director, Medical Development Division, MOH, Malaysia during episode four of the HIMSS APAC Digital Dialogue Series. 

Some of the features of the app include COVID-19 health guidelines, information on the nearest health facilities and a COVID-19 hotspot tracker. 

Learn more about Malaysia’s digital transformation in a healthcare setting when you register for the HIMSS Malaysia Digital Health Summit here. Registration closes Friday, 3 July at 11:59pm (+8 GMT).

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