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Home Lifestyle How DoctorOnCall Is Digitising Public Healthcare So Rural M'sians Can Access It...

How DoctorOnCall Is Digitising Public Healthcare So Rural M’sians Can Access It Too

“Malaysia is 5 to 10 years behind in telemedicine as compared to countries like the US, India, and China,” said Maran Virumandi, DoctorOnCall’s (DOC) managing director and co-founder in an older interview.

DOC is one in every of Malaysia’s first digital well being platforms offering on-line appointment bookings, treatment deliveries, telehealth session, and many others. 

Maran added that on high of lagging in telemedicine, Malaysia is falling behind in different digital-based industries from regional gamers like Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam, within the areas of fintech, e-commerce, and EVs, as an example.

To assist the expansion of Malaysia’s telemedicine business, DOC desires to extend the attain and accessibility for such companies by proposing public-private partnerships in digital well being.

Here’s How We Can Catch Up

For one, the Digital Economy Blueprint ought to recognise digital well being as a key business in Malaysia, Maran instructed Vulcan Post. He recommended {that a} National Digital Health Sandbox is also established to develop certified telemedicine companies in increasing regionally and globally.

Additionally, partnerships between private and non-private digital well being investments may decrease the nation’s healthcare prices, which may take as much as 50% of the nation’s price range.

“Thus, through public-private partnerships, Malaysia can leap-frog our regional peers by adopting advanced technologies in digital healthcare with AI, IoT, big data analytics, and blockchain,” Maran defined.

To exemplify the potential for such collaborations, the workforce got here up with DOCPod, a cell clinic to entry the needy and rural communities. 

Bringing Healthcare To The Patients

Patients can get their vitals checked inside DOCPod / Image Credit: DoctorOnCall

Piloted in Langkawi in 2019, the venture was backed by the National Technology & Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) below the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI). 

Patients who visited DOCPod had been related by way of IoT well being screenings that might verify their BMI, blood stress, blood sugar ranges, amongst different diagnostics on-site.

There, they may additionally communicate to docs at public well being clinics by way of video or voice calls. If sufferers had extra severe situations, they might be referred to bodily checkups at Klinik Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). 

However, sufferers with continual ailments normally require follow-up checks each few months, and lots of are likely to bail, merely refilling their medicines as an alternative. This drawback is additional heightened when clinics are inaccessible, particularly in rural areas.

Thus, DOC proposed that DOCPod may bridge this hole by screening sufferers’ vitals, paired with its digital consultations. Furthermore, DOC can even ship medicines to sufferers’ houses if required.

It was the instance Maran offered to point out the chances of what public-private partnerships may appear like. In Q1 of 2021, DOCPod obtained a RM500,000 grant from the NTIS below MOSTI through the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC). The funding is deliberate to facilitate the prototype design and its building, together with conducting advertising and marketing initiatives.

Roadblocks Redirected The Traffic Online

Due to the pandemic’s motion restrictions, many sufferers had been discouraged from attending bodily checkups. This change was mirrored in DOC’s development developments as effectively, which noticed a tough 15 million customers visiting its web site in 2020. To date, the platform’s month-to-month common customers (MAU) has grown from 600K in January 2020 to 2.5 million in January 2021.  

And the workforce has additionally seen a shift in buyer calls for. Prior to COVID-19, the platform largely facilitated fundamental telehealth and medicine deliveries. But when the pandemic struck, extra sufferers started looking for every part from specialist telehealth and appointment bookings to at-home COVID-19 checks. 

“The Malaysian public adapted very fast to the new normal and we were fortunate that DoctorOnCall’s platform was ready to accommodate the growth spurts,” Maran shared. 

“Frankly, we were pleasantly surprised to see our popularity shoot up and the statistics showed approximately 76% of Malaysians started their healthcare journey through research online and social media.”

Among the most well-liked actions achieved by way of the platform had been sufferers checking their signs and shopping by way of costs for medicines and coverings. 

Their proudest achievement from the pandemic? Signing with the MOH to ascertain an internet appointment system for the nation’s KKM community. It was an initiative to scale back congestion at public clinics when social distancing was important amongst sufferers.

In addition, DOC additionally helped the MOH set up a digital well being advisory portal to debunk any misinformation unfold about COVID-19. “This medium is the first of its kind initiated by a government in the region,” proudly mentioned Hazwan Najib, DOC’s co-founder and chief advertising and marketing officer.

  • You can be taught extra about DoctorOnCall right here.
  • You can learn extra about our previous protection on DoctorOnCall right here.

Featured Image Credit: Maran Virumandi & Hazwan Najib, Co-Founders of DoctorOnCall / Pexels

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