M'sia to set up online medical directory

The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM), MIMOS, Microsoft Malaysia and OpenMenu Plus to host an integrated directory of medical facilities and doctors.

KUALA LUMPUR--The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM), MIMOS, Microsoft Malaysia and OpenMenu Plus to host an integrated directory of medical facilities and doctors.

The above parties will form a consortium--led by Open Net In and NuPlus Creations with MIMOS, I-Systems and Microsoft as the technology partners--to implement the IT solutions needed to facilite primary and secondary healthcare services.

Amongst the aims of the consortium is to develop a nationwide doctor and medical facilities director, community desktops, clinic management systems, payment and billing systems as well as developing an online resources for doctors to facilitate the MMA's Continuing Medical Education (CME)initiative.

The immediate objective of the consortium is to roll out a pilot scheme that will focus on developing software to automate daily medical practices and paper forms and develop medical billing systems.

MMA president Dr N Athimulam in his speech, said that despite a recent study indicating low IT usage amongst medical doctors and pharmacists, this trend is rapidly changing, particularly in the private sector where it is estimated that some 90 percent of doctors have access to computers.

He added that IT would have a greater impact on creating a more efficient healthcare system.

Under the initiative, Microsoft Malaysia will power the Website with its BizTalk server with the .NET platform providing the means to integrate mobile devices with workstations.

MIMOS will be responsible for providing the secure communications infrastructure, such as it's fibre-optics broadband backbone for delivery of online content to doctors, digital signatures and reliable secure identification platforms through iVest and Smart Card technology.

The MoU was witnessed by the Minister of Health, Datuk Chua Jui Meng who noted that the consortium's initiative was highly complementary to the government's efforts to utilise technology to improve the provision and delivery of healthcare services.

He also added that the MMA Direct directory of medical practitioners, specialists and hospitals would also assist the ministry in its planning activities.

Chua said the government's own healthcare initiative and Website, one of the flagship applications under the MSC, was already up and running.

Telehealth.com.my contains a virtual library of electronic textbooks, bio-medical journals and online courses and to date, has logged some 1.1 million hits since its launch in November 2000.

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