KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 – The government is planning to implement electronic medical records (EMR) with 5G technology by the middle of next year, despite concerns about patient confidentiality in an EMR system.
“As of now, we have gone into two stages. Firstly, we have done the internal evaluations of strategy, financial and solutions, which is almost done,” Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad was quoted saying by The Malaysian Reserve.
“Secondly, we will move into the external evaluation stage and we have identified a few entities and companies that we want to work with.
“When all these stages are done, we will be looking at somewhere in the middle of 2020 to kick off the EMR system,” he stated.
The implementation of EMR is expected to increase the efficiency and organisation of patient medical information by reducing the time and manual effort spent on accessing patient’s information.
“Patients’ records can now be easily shared between private clinics to hospitals, and even to post-care practitioners such as physiotherapists,” Dzulkefly said.
A German security firm recently revealed that almost 20,000 Malaysian patient data records, along with 1.2 million linked images of X-ray, CT and MRI scans, were publicly accessible on the internet from three systems. The Ministry of Health (MOH) said the leak originated from a local private organisation.
Doctors previously told CodeBlue their concerns about confidentiality in an EMR system, as they questioned MOH about oversight mechanisms and access to patients’ health information.
The UK’s NHS cancelled in 2016 an electronic database that stored everyone’s medical information after it was revealed that patient data on the system could be sold to pharmaceutical and insurance companies.
Separately, the Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) rolled out a digital health care cluster initiative through a collaborative public and private partnership.
The initiatives include the 5G digital health care, national cardiovascular data analytics and the Malaysia Retinal Reading Centre (MyRRC).
The 5G Digital Healthcare will see CREST working closely with MOH, Digi Telecommunications and Cyberview Sdn Bhd, supported by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission in implementing relevant use cases in digital health care.
Under National Cardiovascular Data Analytics strategy, research and development and commercialisation database will be established for industry and academia, and artificial intelligence algorithms will be developed from normal and abnormal heart sounds for prediction, detection and monitoring of heart diseases.
The MyRRC, which is a joint development of Microsoft Malaysia and MOH, is anticipated to become the centre to read and grade eye retinal images from public and private health care providers.