14 July 2020
It has been a rather eventful few months for some of us in DHM during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of us came together to start the COVID-19 initiative to support the public and government during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to a series of initiatives below.
• Digital Health Malaysia (DHM) registration and formation
• DHM COVID-19 initiative
• DHM Webinar series
• Supporting the B40 group with Non Communicable Disease during COVID19 pandemic
• DHM Education group
• DHM Conference
We are now ready to move forward as life returns to the new normal. All DHM members are welcome to participate. The contact person(s) for the various activities is / are listed if you are keen to be involved.
We submitted our application to Registrar of Society just before the MCO. Our application, not surprisingly, was delayed due to the pandemic and we did not have any feedback until early May. Our application was initially rejected as we did not fulfil the ROS criteria. The most important issue was the diversity of pro tem committee members. Being a national association, we need members from at least seven different states to form the pro tem committee. Most of our pro tem committee members were based in Selangor or Kuala Lumpur. Fortunately, many stepped up from as far as Kedah, Kelantan and Sabah to volunteer. We submitted our second application in the middle of June and finally received approval on 30th June 2020.
It was indeed a big relieve but the hard work has just begun. We will now start work on the various aspects of the society, structure, governance, membership drive etc. Please join us to put DHM on a firm footing to move forward.
Anderes Fourdy Events (AFE) management has kindly agreed to support us in the initial phase either in our association management or activities.
A few of us came together, when the COVID-19 exploded with the subsequent MCO, to brainstorm initiative to help the public and MOH. We met daily at 9.00pm and managed to develop a website (https://www.digitalhealthmalaysia.org/covid-initiative) in under 2 weeks to provide credible information to the public and provide free counselling and medical consultation to those who needed.
I am extremely grateful to the dedication of the following people (in alphabetical order) who has contributed their time, expertise and resources to making this happened.
• Amy Yu
• G U Renukanand
• Chen Wai Kuan
• Hoh Hon Bing
• Hudson Lee
• Khoh Soo Beng
• Natasha Gulati
• Raymond Choy
• Rahul Bharadwaj
This initiative has kept us busy throughout the MCO period and fostered a strong bond and relationship that will be good for DHM. Through the brainstorming, other initiatives below were conceived
We started DHM a webinar series in May as a way of engaging the public and our Digital Health Community through discussion of current issues and knowledge dissemination. The webinar was conducted every 2 to 3 weeks on Wednesday 4pm.
The first was conducted on 13th May 2020 which was organised in under one week! Kudos to the programming team from AFE and Dr Khoh Soo Beng our “Webinar Lead”.
We have since organised 4 webinars namely:
The first webinar titled “Setting a regulatory framework for digital health in Malaysia” reflects a crucial development currently underway in Malaysia. The speakers were from Alpha Catalyst Consulting which has been mandated to propose a framework by 1st quarter 2021.
The next webinar on Thursday 28th May 2020 was mooted in response to the MMC directive on virtual consultation. We had close to 300 attendees. We managed to invite three prominent speakers from the relevant areas of medico-legal (Ms Raja Eileen Soraya binti Raja Aman from Raja Daryl & Loh, Dr Faizi Rosli from MMC and Dr Thirunavukarasu Rajoo from MMA).
One of our founding members, Dr Fazilah Shaik Allaudin share MOH and her personal experience fighting COVD-19 pandemic, illustrating how the various technologies need to come together synchronously to fight this pandemic.
Our recently concluded webinar discussed on another area that is increasingly important – medical health tourism and how it need to innovate during the COVID19 and going forward.
We have shortlisted other important topics for our subsequent webinars and will upload it to our DHM website. We are very keen for your participation either as moderator or in the organisation of the event.
- Dr Khoh Soo Beng (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Feisul Idzwan Mustapha, Deputy Director NCD division MOH reached out to us to find a way to support the B40 group of patients with Diabetes. As you are aware, MOH has diverted most of its’ resources to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, all services for noncommunicable diseases (NCD) patients such as diabetic patients have been deferred to July at the earliest. This will affect significantly the B40 group, the elderly and elderly who are living alone who have traditionally depended on MOH for support and treatment. Even when the services are available, these patients are reluctant to seek help due to the worry of catching COVID-19. It is also expected that, when the MCO is eventually lifted, the NCD services are unlikely to be back to full for a few months. Failure of appropriate engagement of the B40 may have potential catastrophic consequences in the terms of the control of their diabetic and the subsequent worsening of their complications.
We have formed a team “WeCare365” to work on this. We have submitted a few grant applications for funds to start this project as soon as possible.
The full detail of the project will be uploaded into DHM website soon and we welcome participation from our DHM member.
Networking and knowledge dissemination has always been and will be one of the core activities of DHM. To this end a few of us have formed the DHM Education Group to brainstorm on this. We started discussion with NHS UK and DIT (Department of International Trade) on a joint initiative in Digital Academy. A delegate from UK was to have visited us in March to start our collaboration in this area. Unfortunately, the visit was cancelled at the last minute due to the pandemic. The setback did not stop us from continuing our engagement. We have been in constant contact with our counterparts in UK throughout the MCO and am continuing our initiatives in this area.
Unfortunately, we had to postpone our DHM conference scheduled this year in view of the uncertainty of the current pandemic. This is a great disappointment to the conference committee members who have worked tirelessly on the conference. It is now tentatively scheduled for first quarter of 2021, COVID-19 notwithstanding. Things are very fluid on the ground. The DHM conference committee will re-convene soon to work on this as we get a clearer picture of the COVID-19 situation. We will provide update as soon as possible.
Dr Wong Chee Piau
President, Digital Health Malaysia (DHM)