Five hospitals in the country will serve as sandbox sites for new medical and healthcare technologies for start-up businesses and solution providers.
The National Cancer Institute Putrajaya and Putrajaya Hospital in Putrajaya, Tunku Azizah Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Bera Hospital in Pahang, and Rembau Hospital in Negri Sembilan are among the five hospitals, according to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
“One reason why is simply the potential of the healthcare market. Another is that too much money is being spent on the curative side of healthcare. We need to shift some of that investment into keeping people healthy.
“By the time people come to hospitals, they are already chronically ill, and it would be much better for any country to have preventive and promotive health strategies, and technology helps with this.”
Khairy was speaking at the launch of the Health Technology Hub at the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI) Park on Sept 2, 2022.
He said the Health Ministry and the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry had created the test-bed environment through the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS), which would provide the initial funding for companies and start-ups to commercialise their healthcare technology solutions.
“It has to be a highly-regulated sector because it is a matter of life and death, and that is why we have all sorts of legislation and monitoring agencies related to healthcare.
“Having said that, these legislations and institutions must not stand in the way of innovation but facilitate innovation through the sandbox.
“Something that has not been registered yet can be deployed in a safe and controlled environment at our hospitals.”
In addition to enhancing medical and therapeutic treatment provision, Khairy asserted that the Health Technology Hub’s innovations would also enhance hospital support.
According to Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, health technology advancements can close gaps in access to high-quality healthcare and satisfy the nation’s expanding needs.
He said the NTIS Health Technology Hub would be joined by the MRANTI integrated healthcare cluster, covering an area of 4.04ha in MRANTI park.
“This functions as a one-stop centre to accelerate the implementation of highly innovative projects in various fields, including medicine and healthcare.”
Adham said the MRANTI integrated healthcare cluster consists of a hospital equipped with artificial intelligence technology, a research and development facility, and a hamlet for recovery and rehabilitation.
He stated that the ecology of MRANTI Park would provide complete support for the cluster.