KUCHING: Private hospitals in the state need to invest in digital technology in order to be able to tap into the mobile health industry.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this is because mobile health is a rapidly expanding field in the digital health sector providing health care support, delivery and intervention via mobile technologies.
“The advancement in digital technology has made healthcare an increasingly digital affair which one could access easily,” he said when launching the inaugural Asean Digital Mobile Health Summit 2019 organised by Asean-China Entrepreneurs Association at Pullman Hotel, yesterday.
He said patients are increasingly capable of accessing, monitoring, and adding information to their healthcare records via connected devices such as their mobile phone, which is now the most popular platform for mobile health delivery.
“By using recent innovations such as healthcare apps, patients can play a more active role in managing health conditions, sending information in real time to update professionals and receive advice directly, without having to attend clinics,” he pointed out.
Abang Johari said for that, Sarawak need to have reliable digital infrastructure to be able to transmit and receive real time signal from one place to another.
“Our internet connectivity must have real time capability in order for the mobile healthcare industry, or any other mobile industry for that matter, to work.
“For this reason, Sarawak is laying big capital to upgrade its digital infrastructure across the length and breadth of the state via fiber optics, satellite communication, transmission towers, undersea cable and international gateways,” he stressed.
On the summit, he said it was indeed relevant to Kuching and Sarawak as a whole, as health and wellness tourism was getting more popular among our immediate neighbour Kalimantan, Indonesia.
“I was informed this summit is able to raise awareness on the latest development trends in global digital and mobile healthcare industries, with sharing from domain experts from around the Asean region.
“Thus, this summit should pave the way for cooperation towards an Asean-wide telemedicine guideline and ultimately to build a cross-border ecosystem that fosters business opportunities in digital healthcare services as well as medical tourism amongst Asean countries and beyond,” he said.
Earlier, the chief minister also launched the MaNaDr Malaysia app, a user-friendly app to enable patients to see their healthcare provider from their home.
Through the app, patients can chat and have video medicinal consultations with their trusted providers. They can also get blood test result on their mobile phone.
If a follow up consultation is required, the patients can use this app to book appointment to personally visit the provider at the clinic, initiate chat, do video consultation to arrange for house visit.
Asean-China Entrepreneurs Association president Datuk Stanley Ling said with the medical healthcare app, it would lead Sarawak into the forefront of mobile heath industry to fulfill the action plan in the state digital economy initiative.