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A Medical Doctor’s Journey through a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Informatics & Analytics at IMU

26 Dec 2023

I am Dr Muhamad Irfan Yasin, currently working as a Family Medicine Specialist at Tanah Puteh Government Clinic in Kuching Sarawak, since 2018. I graduated as a Family Medicine Specialist from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in 2013. Recently, I completed studies in Postgraduate Diploma in Health Informatics & Analytics (PgDHIA) from the International Medical University and is now planning to continue to the Master in Health Informatics & Analytics (MHIA).


My motivation for furthering my studies in health informatics at IMU is primarily to strengthen and expand my knowledge in digital health..


I played a pivotal role as a part of the core team responsible for upgrading the Electronic Medical Record system for primary care clinics in Malaysia, specifically tele-primary care clinics (TPC OHCIS). This system integrates electronic medical record system for primary care unit and dental services. Notably, my clinic is among the pioneering facilities under the Ministry of Health in implementing this programme. The expertise and consultation I provided were instrumental in the successful implementation of the electronic medical record system.


As a clinician, I have been actively participating in various information technology activities organised by the Ministry of Health. With extensive experience working in both urban and rural clinics, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak, I have dedicated myself to enhancing primary care health service. My focus is on initiatives such as Family Doctor Concept and healthcare programmes targeting adolescents and the elderly population, aligning these efforts with health informatics.


As the first Family Medicine Specialist with an area of interest in health informatics, I’m eager to explore new methods such as artificial intelligence to enhance primary healthcare practices. My commitment to quality care is evident in my team’s participation in various quality initiatives, including involvement  in innovation day, research projects,  and LEAN healthcare practices in the state of Sarawak.


During the Covid-19 pandemic, many applications were used to facilitate remote consultations. To address the issue of overcrowding at our clinic, we have  equipped it  with video conference facilities. Furthermore, we have an appointment system in place called “Bookdoc”. I am also actively involved in various clinic activities related to Non-Communicable Disease, HIV and Tuberculosis. It is not surprising that all dedicated programmes in the clinic use apps or IT software to securely manage data.

In my experience at IMU, I was exposed to more details regarding digital health. This exposure has helped me gain a comprehensive understanding of health informatics, including aspects like governance, programming, data security, statistics, data visualisation, artificial intelligence and more. This module has allowed me to delve deeper into the world of digital health and apply this knowledge to my career.

Currently, I am involved in developing apps for leptospirosis in collaboration with PhD students, for which I’ve drawn upon my knowledge from health informatics.


Additionally, from the knowledge that I’ve acquired, I can see benefits of electronic medical record. With them, we can review statistics related to our clinic’s performance, in addition to monitoring patient care. It appears that in this new digital era, we can also promote self-monitoring to our patients, especially when it comes to blood pressure, and manage their health comprehensively. This information can be easily conveyed to patients through health education apps.

As part of my future plan, and in my role as a pioneer in  health informatics within primary care clinic, I look forward to utilising my knowledge and skills in digital innovation to revolutionise healthcare delivery. My goal is to enhance efficiency in primary care settings in today’s healthcare landscape, while ensuring better patient care and satisfaction. In the current healthcare landscape, I recognise the potential  of new technologies to provide targeted solutions for specific health issues or conditions.

Currently, with the help of IMU, I am doing an attachment at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. This opportunity allows me to learn digital health, and to participate in many conferences and discussions regarding digital health in Scotland. Additionally, I’ve had the chance to learn more about artificial intelligence and its applications in the community.  This is a precious moment that provided me with greater insights into how to guide the pathway for anyone interested to further their studies in health informatics.

Advice for Future Students

I really hope that more students will be interested to further their studies in health informatics especially those from medical team. We need to create an environment that is conducive especially in healthcare. Although there are good platforms to learn from the internet but still you need a guide to gain an understanding of the architecture and governance behind it. It is considerably cheaper if you study in International Medical University compared to overseas. You will get adequate support from the university lecturers of IMU, apart from that you will get a friendly environment to study.


As an working adult with family, it is always a challenge to work and study at the same time, so it is good to know that IMU is very flexible in terms of teaching time because majority of teaching is weekend . Do enjoy yourself and I know it is one of the most promising prospects for careers in the future.

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