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Axios International Says, Digital Health Tools Not Effective Standalone

According to a consulting expert at healthcare access company Axios International, while digital health is critical in filling gaps in healthcare access by engaging with patients outside of physical care facilities, it does not operate on its own. In early April, the company hosted a panel discussion titled “Making healthcare access sustainable: Enhancing the patient experience during and beyond the pandemic,” which provided insights into how digital health solutions allow Malaysians to have sustainable healthcare access.

Roshel Jayasundera, senior director of Global Consulting at Axios International, and Dato’ Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Wahid, consultant clinical oncologist at Beacon Hospital, were on the panel, which was moderated by Dishen Kumar, anchor of Astro AWANI’s Health Matters.

According to the World Health Organization, noncommunicable diseases account for 74 percent of Malaysian deaths and cost the country over RM8.9 billion ($2 billion) in productivity losses. Digital health solutions, a “solid enabler” in the healthcare access ecosystem that links patients with stakeholders and ensures care continuity, particularly in out-of-hospital settings, are one way to plug these losses.

According to Jayasundera, digital health technologies must be supplemented with a human factor to maximise patient benefits. He said, “While digitalisation can streamline operations and optimise resources, they remain as enablers; they wouldn’t work as efficiently – or as effectively – if they were a standalone solution.”

Dr Helmi Zekaria, CEO of AIME and a member of Selangor’s COVID-19 task force, previously echoed ayasundera’s point. Last year, during a discussion at the HIMSS APAC Malaysia Digital Health Summit, Zekaria said that digital healthcare technologies must be “people-centric” for both providers and clients.

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