Holographic patients help doctors and nurses in-training

A new, superior medical training application called “HoloScenarios” is helping soon-to-be doctors and nurses hone their skills using mixed reality learning. Developed by Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH), in partnership with the University of Cambridge and Los Angeles-based tech company GigXR, HoloScenarios will introduce a medically-accurate holographic patient that can be interacted with, creating a unique clinical environment to learn and practice vital, real-time decision making and treatment choices.

Medical instructors are also able to change patient responses, introduce complications and record observations and discussions in person in a teaching group or remotely to multiple locations worldwide over the internet.

Learners wearing Microsoft HoloLens mixed-reality headsets can additionally also watch, contribute to, and assess the holographic patient scenarios from either an Android or iOS smartphone, or tablet.

“Mixed reality is increasingly recognised as a useful method of simulator training,” said Dr. Arun Gupta, Consultant anesthetist at CUH. “As institutions scale procurement, the demand for platforms that offer utility and ease of mixed reality learning management is rapidly expanding.”

The technology is able to provide immersive learning opportunities to be delivered and shared across the world, with its first module featuring a hologram patient with asthma, followed by anaphylaxis, pulmonary embolism, and pneumonia. Further modules in cardiology and neurology are in development.

HoloScenarios is available for license to learning institutions everywhere, amid extensive analysis as a mixed reality teaching and learning tool for higher education.

“Our research is aimed at uncovering how such simulations can best support learning and accelerate the adoption of effective mixed reality training while informing ongoing development,” said research lead Professor Riikka Hofmann at Cambridge’s Faculty of Education. “We hope that it will help guide institutions in implementing mixed reality into their curricula, in the same way institutions evaluate conventional resources, such as textbooks, manikins, models or computer software, and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes.”

Junior doctor Aniket Bharadwaj is one of the first to try out the new technology: “Throughout medical school we would have situations where actors would come in an act as patients. With the pandemic a lot of that changed to tablet-based interactions because of the risk to people of the virus.

“Having a hologram patient you can see, hear and interact with is really exciting and will really make a difference to student learning,” he said.

First Keeogo Robotics Centre launched in Malaysia for stroke therapy

B-Temia Asia (BTA) has officially launched ASEAN’s first Keep-on-going “Keeogo” Robotic Training Center (RTC) in Malaysia. Under a joint venture agreement, B-Temia Asia, Wistron Medical Technology Corporation (WMT), and medical and healthcare supplier Rehabotics Medtech, aim to make rehabilitation technology more accessible to stroke and neurologically injured patients in the region.

The first Keeogo RTC is located in Midtown Petaling Jaya. Among the advanced robotic rehabilitation technology and devices available is the smart motorised orthosis device to regain lower limb strength and agility, and the wearable hand exoskeleton for upper limb motion training.

Malaysia currently averages almost 100 daily admissions for stroke alone across healthcare facilities nationwide: of these cases, 7 out of 10 stroke survivors are activities of daily living (ADL)-dependent. Rehabilitation technology is the much-needed solution to restore ability and confidence in stroke survivors as well as the growing geriatric population.

Effective rehabilitation – technology and physiotherapy, combined – also plays a role in enhancing one’s survival rate from numerous neurological and orthopaedic disorders.

“In the past, patients may have had to deal with less than-ideal lives — wheelchair-bound or bedridden due to the severity of their condition. This loss of mobility, if prolonged by insufficient care, can be devastating for patients and families alike,” said Donald Huang, BTA President, and the CTO at the Wistron Group.

“As a provider of improved outpatient rehabilitation producing solutions for physical therapy professionals and their patients in need, we aim to change this with our RTCs. The centres will be equipped with a variety of rehabilitative tech aimed at providing unmatched state-of-the-art patient care and safety, and are set to aid patients in recovering faster, maintaining hope, and keep them moving forward.”

A quick look at the robotics technology at the Keeogo RTC in PJ:

The smart motorised orthosis is the only commercially available Dermoskeleton which is lightweight and flexible, and provides safe and customised active training. The smart motorised orthosis helps patients with impaired lower limb mobility regain the ability to move and walk even after undergoing life-altering complications.

Meanwhile the “Mirror Hand,” the wearable hand exoskeleton by Rehabotics Medtech is designed to treat patients with neuromuscular disorders and diseases that could potentially lead to permanent loss of hand functions. The wearable hand exoskeleton guides the affected hand in practicing fundamental movements using mirror therapy. By combining passive continuous motion and bilateral training mechanisms, this will eventually train users to interact with real objects.

The introduction of the RTCs and increased accessibility to Keeogo technology are set to lay the foundation for more advancements in the rehabilitation market, positioning Malaysia as a regional leader in the physiotherapy field. Launched concurrently with Keeogo Japan and Keeogo Taiwan, the Keeogo RTC in Malaysia brings the latest in global rehabilitative technology and therapy to local communities in the ASEAN region.

Yee King Hwa, Managing Director of Keeogo Malaysia and of Rehabotics Medtech, added, “With the launch of this RTC and more to come we are going to make rehabilitation easy and accessible for patients across Malaysia, restoring the quality of daily life for all those in need. We look to start a wonderful new experience of robotic rehabilitation here, transforming lives and national healthcare for the better.”

The companies aim to establish similar centres and affiliated branches in more localities in Malaysia, via partnerships with qualified independent physical therapy professionals or rehabilitation clinics and hospitals.

Do visit https://keeogomalaysia.com to find out more.

IJN to launch new electronic medical records system

In an effort to improve patient adherence to treatment plans as well as treatment outcomes, Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) or the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will soon implement an “Electronic Medical Records” (EMR) system, part of its digitalisation initiatives for a complete system overhaul – it entails utilising digital health solutions wherever possible, said IJN CEO Datuk Dr. Aizai Azan Abdul Rahim.

IJN’s EMR system is slated to be launched in the third quarter of 2022.

The centre’s digitalisation plans are expected to ease medical processes for healthcare professionals and enable patients to better manage their own health. It will also support the Malaysian government’s long-term goal of entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

While speaking about these plans in a virtual forum, IJN Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon Professor Datuk Dr. Azhari Yakub highlighted the issue of medication non-adherence among patients: according to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, almost half of patients with chronic illnesses do not take their medications or treatments as prescribed – the figure is estimated to be higher in developing countries.

Dr. Azhari said that for patients with multiple health conditions, complying with treatment plans was paramount to keeping their health in check.

IJN’s Director of Clinical Research Datuk Dr. Suhaini Kadiman meanwhile touched on the broader impacts of medication non-adherence during the virtual forum, which included deterioration of the patient’s well-being and treatment effectiveness, financial wastage of public health expenditure, and environmental pollution.

As a solution, IJN will collaborate with health-tech social enterprise CaringUp Malaysia to introduce the CareAide mobile app to help improve medication non-adherence. CareAide is the first-of-its-kind compliance platform in Asia that has been designed to address behavioural issues in intentional and unintentional medication non-adherence.

CareAide will allow family members to monitor the medication adherence of a patient remotely through a mix of features including personalised calendar alerts and appointment scheduling functions. CareAide additionally uses gamification and rewards features for caregivers and family members.

“In the US, patients who previously only had 30-40% adherence to medication reached 80% through the ease of managing their treatment plans with the help of apps. We believe that we can similarly improve patient outcomes here in Malaysia, with added localisation features that are better suited [our] cultures and norms,” said CaringUp Group Pervaiz Gul.

The collaboration will empower IJN’s patients and their families to take control of their health and improve their quality of life. In turn, IJN will create a care-loop with its patients to lower healthcare costs and deliver superior health outcomes.

Digital platform to ease clinic inventory/streamline payment launched in Malaysia

Medical practices are expected to be digitised nationwide with the help of the newly launched Pay32 Clinic (Pay32), an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered inventory analytics and vendor payment software developed by Singapore-based healthcare supplier Lumiere32. Pay32 aims to address issues that include poor management systems and inventory tracking in clinical settings. These issues have become especially difficult to manage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pay32 offers a robust inventory analytics tool that effectively tracks product expiration dates and availability and allows clinics to optimise their inventory using data from vendor invoices and related memos/delivery orders, resulting in a more accurate record of their bottom lines. The tool provides trend updates to clinics, allowing them to better predict buying patterns before planning their purchases for re-stocking. It is expected to eliminate out-of-stock occurrences for necessary items at clinics.

In addition, the software also offers payment tracking and Buy-Now-Pay-Later capabilities via the Pay32 Wallet. The e-wallet allows clinics to adopt cashless payment options with a flexible payment plan that is hoped to strengthen cashflow overall.

Furthermore, the Pay32 Wallet allows clinics to have a maximum credit of RM100,000 (US$23.9 thousand) per clinic, allowing for the hassle-free purchase of small medical equipment, instruments, consumables, and other supplies without upfront payment.

Pay32 Clinic is now available nationwide: all varied subscription packages to multiple types of clinics are complimentary for 6 months and will include free digitisation of data for up to 3 months.