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Innovation a necessity now, minister tells health industry


KUALA LUMPUR: Innovation in healthcare is no longer a novelty but a necessity and an integral part of medicine today, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said innovation contributes to increased hospital efficiency, improved quality, and reduced costs.

“More importantly though, technology gives rise to innovation. Be it radical or incremental, innovation is important in our healthcare industry,” he said when opening the 21st KPJ Healthcare Conference today.

Dr Dzulkefly stressed that innovation in healthcare delivery requires providers to place the patient at the centre of every process and every service.

According to him, the patient is in the seat of power now, empowered by “patient autonomy” hence this mindset must prevail in everyone up and down the delivery system.

Dr Dzulkefly said healthcare technology such as diagnostic and imaging procedures could assist medical professionals in diagnosing medical conditions that were previously difficult and time-consuming to diagnose.

“Today, we witness a greater reliance on devices, driven by the increased sophistication of remote clinical technology, mobile apps, new electronic devices and many others.

“In the next 10 years, technological developments such as robotics and automation will radically transform the job market and nature of work even more. New drugs, diagnostic and therapeutic services developed from medical research will lead to a breakthrough in treatment for many diseases,” he said.

He also said that, more importantly, patients have easier access to medical information, thanks to the Internet whereby patients are seeking and obtaining information in order to make an informed choice over the direction of their treatment and care.

With greater patient engagement, Dr Dzulkefly said, medical and healthcare practitioners could look forward to a more health-conscious population.

“We need to be prepared for patients who expect convenient access to healthcare information and services as part of their overall everyday healthcare experience. The potential in this area is vast,” he added.– Bernama