On 23 August 2023, International Medical University (IMU) lecturers Dr Yam Wai Keat, Dr Fong Pui Kwan and Dr Chuah Tong Kuan from the Centre for Digital Health and Health Informatics (CDHHI), School of Medicine paid a visit to the Digital Health Research & Innovation (DHRi) Unit. Joining the lecturers for this visit were students from the University’s Bachelor in Digital Health (Hons) (BDH) and Master of Health Informatics & Analytics (MHIA) programmes.
The DHRi team, consisting of Dr Mohd Aizuddin, William Law, Dr Mohan Dass, Dr Kuan Pei Xuan, and their assistant research officers, played host to the visiting group.
Digital Health Research & Innovation (DHRi) is under the Institute for Clinical Research (ICR) located in National Health Institute (NIH), Setia Alam. It was established in 2020 with the aim to drive research and innovation in digital health.
The faculty members and students were introduced to the team, and were briefed on the background of the unit, as well as some of the remarkable digital health projects that has generated valuable outputs in transforming healthcare in Malaysia. Both students and faculty gained valuable insights from the projects showcased by DHRi in the areas of Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), Extended Reality (XR), Big Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence (AI), Digital Clinical Trials, and Software Medical Device (SaMD). Through these projects, the students were able to connect and make sense of the knowledge that they have learnt from BDH and MHIA on how to drive digital health research and transformation in healthcare sector.
The DHRi team has embarked on numerous projects since 2020, primarily focusing on innovative healthcare technologies that are predominantly data-driven and sourced from the Ministry of Health Malaysia.
Some of the distinguished projects are:
- Development of Breathing Flow Rates as a Biophysical Marker and AI-Assisted Breathing Sensor for the Detection of Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Airway Disease.
- Development of a Cough Sound Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the Detection of Covid-19.
- Real World Application of a Digital Health Solution: Cognitive Observational Diagnosis For Quantified Home Monitoring.
- Development and Validation of a Skin Mobile Application Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Screening of Leprosy in Malaysian Population.
- Virtual Reality as Adjunct in Treatment of General Anxiety Disorder
Students were amazed by the digital health innovations and its possibilities to the healthcare industry. They were also given the opportunity to explore and understand the project workflow, tools and technologies used in these research projects.
With this visit, the faculty and students have gone beyond the classrooms to gather valuable insights in digital health research and innovations in Malaysia. This allows faculty to strategically collaborate in research projects that could involve BDH and MHIA students as their final year projects.
Overall, the BDH and MHIA programmes offer experiential learning and industry visit opportunities, including visits to the Ministry of Health (MOH), which is now gearing into healthcare digital transformation. This educational field trip allows both faculty and students to be connected to the research and industries in digital health which is in-line with the recent direction of MOH to embark on digitalisation in healthcare – now one of the priorities in MOH, digital health experts are essential in the modern healthcare landscape.