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.