reflections on healthcare here & beyond

Bryan Lin Boon Diann
Chief Executive Officer of Sunway Medical Centre


2020 has brought upon a new wave of change to people everywhere – from wearing a face mask in public areas, social distancing, practising good personal hygiene at all times to working and studying at home. 

Likewise, the hospital landscape has altered due to the unprecedented arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, patients can meet their doctors from the comforts of their homes through virtual clinics, evolving the way hospitals operate as digitisation becomes the norm. 

The pandemic has effectively changed the way businesses are run and for healthcare institutions like Sunway Medical Centre, we need to be innovative. We were the first tertiary hospital to establish the telemedicine service at the start of the pandemic, and this is one of the ways that has transformed the way we support care outside of our facility. 

We have made healthcare more accessible by extending services such as medicine delivery, nursing care, diabetes care, wound care, physiotherapy and phlebotomy to homes through our personalised, mobile healthcare services and home nursing under Sunway Home Healthcare (formerly known as SunMed@Home). 

We have also set up a Telemedicine Command Centre which facilitates referrals for patients with medical emergencies to the hospital. This will provide better patient experience journey and peace of mind during their times of need. This project is likely the first in the country and will be another game changer in the clinical landscape.

The ultimate goal is to improve patient value, and the only way the healthcare industry will achieve this is by digitalising healthcare, leveraging on artificial intelligence, telemedicine, Internet of Things (IoT) and other digital platforms to propel it to the next level. Robotics and automation will also be vital in improving overall service delivery and customer experience while enabling more personalised medical care. 

We need to demonstrate greater value in the healthcare system in this challenging time while continuing to care for patients requiring multispeciality and multidisciplinary care services and/or complex technologies. 

Setting up new and advanced quarternary service offerings like bone marrow transplant, renal transplant and paediatric cardiac surgery has also set Sunway Medical Centre apart in the market. The hospital is also focused on Women & Children Services and Acute Services to ensure that communities are well taken care of. 

As the industry grows, the requirement for highly-skilled, professional talent will also increase. 

Healthcare providers like us will need to continue developing a sustainable talent pipeline, while strengthening the existing talent pool with strategic hires, retention initiatives and continued employee training and development.

While diseases will never be completely eliminated, through science, data and technology, we will be able to identify it earlier, intervene proactively and better understand its progression to help consumers more effectively and actively sustain their wellbeing. 

Personalised medicine will progress and as researchers find out more about the particular genetic makeup of diseases, we will be able to give specific drugs to target it. And by 2030, healthcare will be centred on patients empowered to prevent diseases rather than seek treatment. They will receive personalised health solutions in ways that are integrated seamlessly into their daily lives. 

In short, healthcare providers need to change accordingly in order to forge ahead. As the rate of change in healthcare is accelerating, healthcare providers must harness the forces of driving transformation and use them to its advantage and in this case, growth, innovation and diversification.