Crest, MoH collaborate on revolutionising digital healthcare

Various IoT solutions will be developed and enhanced for better diagnosis and significant savings in healthcare costs, says MoH


Some developments are taking place to steer digital healthcare innovation to a bigger role in the nation’s healthcare.

Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (Crest) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) last week inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in what has been termed as a historic milestone in revolutionising digital healthcare in Malaysia.

The MoU will see the two parties collaborating in research and development, and commercialisation in the field of digital healthcare, which focuses on the digital innovation in healthcare delivery and solutions, joint cluster development activities, industry network engagement, manufacturing alliance, talent development and digital health innovation hubs.

“Buoyed by demands and aspirations of the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry in healthcare, we strongly believe that digital healthcare innovations are at the heart of addressing the healthcare challenges faced by our country today,” said Crest CEO Jaffri Ibrahim in a statement.

Crest, an industry-led catalyst and change agent that drives the growth of Malaysia’s E&E industry, had earlier formed a Digital Healthcare Cluster to focus on the application of wearable embedded systems, Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices technology, and the successful commercialisation of healthcare products, solutions and services by the E&E industry.

Led by the industry, supported by academia and government, flexible wearable embedded systems, and connected devices utilising artificial intelligence and data analytics are poised to advance Malaysia’s healthcare industry into the next plateau of benchmark locally, while opening up new opportunities globally.

Digital innovation in healthcare has fundamentally altered the way people receive and perceive the healthcare system. Some of the key drivers for the massive changes are an ageing population, long-life expectancy, shortage of physicians and nurses, and improvement in communication infrastructure and technology.

Digital experts have pointed out that healthcare is no longer limited to the physician’s office with the advancement in areas like big data analytics and mobile devices penetration.

Jaffri said Crest’s collaboration with Telemedicine Development Group (TDG) is “best placed” to provide the necessary ecosystem for the innovations, and that new collaboration with MoH will allow for realising cost effective, quality healthcare solutions and services using IoT.

TDG was established in 2016 to nurture collaborative and innovative digital healthcare services ecosystem for Malaysia. The group is co-chaired by the health DG and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman. TDG plays an active role in regulation/policy, knowledge dissemination, clinical trials and go-to-market for digital healthcare in Malaysia, according to the statement.

“With the signing of MoU between the MoH and Crest, I trust that various IoT solutions will be developed and enhanced for better diagnosis and significant savings in healthcare costs,” said DG of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in the statement.

The signing of the MoU last Thursday was witnessed by Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Malaysian Investment Development Authority CEO Datuk Azman Mahmud, deputy DG of Health Datuk Dr Shahnaz Murad and Crest VP for operations Suresh Kaliaperumal.