The National Heart Institute or Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) has embarked on an increased push towards healthcare digitalisation.
IJN CEO Datuk Dr Aizai Azan Abdul Rahim said: ”This is part of our efforts at a ‘total information system’ transformation, which entails utilising digital health solutions wherever possible to ease our processes and help our patients better manage their health,” he said.
Dr Aizai Azan had recently revealed IJN’s digitalisation plans in a virtual health technology forum. Titled Digital Health: How Tech Can Help Patients, the forum was jointly organised by IJN and health-tech social enterprise CaringUp Malaysia.
The speakers included IJN Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon Prof Datuk Dr Azhari Yakub, IJN’s Director of Clinical Research Datuk Dr Suhaini Kadiman, CaringUp Group CEO Pervaiz Gul; and Microsoft Malaysia’s Chief Marketing and Operations Officer Azizah Ali.
Dr Azhari shared his perspective on the current challenges faced by the medical sector, particular on the issue of medication non-adherence. Medication non-adherence is a serious global issue when a patient is not following their prescribed treatment plan. He said a 2021 study found that some 50 to 60 per cent of patients with chronic illnesses had unused medication at home.
Dr Suhaini said that when unused medications were found among household garbage or polluting the environment, it signalled a serious issue. “Unused medication is also a financial wastage for the public health expenditure. This is why IJN is keen on looking for solutions that will benefit the Malaysian healthcare sector as a whole, as well as improve the well-being of Malaysians with chronic illnesses,” he said.
One way IJN does this is through a new collaboration with CaringUp Malaysia to introduce a new mobile app called CareAide. CareAide is the first of its kind compliance platform in Asia to help improve medication non-adherence.
In his presentation, Pervaiz shared that mobile apps have the potential to improve medication adherence drastically. “In the United States, patients who previously only had a 30 to 40 per cent of medication adherence reached 80 per cent through the ease of managing their treatment plans. We believe that we can similarly improve patient outcomes here in Malaysia, with added localisation features,” he said.
Meanwhile, Azizah offered a broad overview of how the tech company was helping healthcare providers utilise digital tools, including at centres such as IJN. “When it comes to the healthcare industry, we want to empower people and organisations to address the challenges they face by harnessing the power of technology,” she said. — The Health