MEASAT signs telehealth MoU

22 May 2024

MEASAT has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with local healthcare tech company Mudah Healthtech to bring telehealth services to remote communities.

Under the MoU, Mudah Healthtech will use around 4,000 of MEASAT’s ‘CONNECTme NOW’ satellite broadband hotspots in rural Malaysia to provide Mudah’s Sihat Xpress digital healthcare services for up to 1 million people in unserved and underserved rural and remote communities.

MEASAT and Mudah have also agreed to digitalise clinics in those areas with telehealth capabilities, enabling at least 1,000 doctors to support up to 2,000 Sihat Xpress rural telehealth kiosks to be rolled out at CONNECTme NOW sites within the next two years.

Sihat Xpress telehealth kiosks enable villagers to not only consult a doctor online about various non-emergency medical issues, such as minor illnesses and general health inquiries, but also conduct self- checks for things like oxygen levels, blood pressure and body temperature. In future, the kiosks may also support other services such as blood glucose testing.

By enabling people to do their own basic health screening, the telehealth kiosks could serve as a long-term viable solution for mitigating overcrowding and long wait times at healthcare facilities. They can also potentially improve health literacy in rural communities and limit the spread of non-communicable diseases.

“Through digital healthcare, we aim to help reduce the healthcare delivery gap in remote communities, empowering rural residents to proactively monitor their health via routine checks and online consultations without spending time and money travelling long distances to a healthcare facility,” said MEASAT chief operating officer Yau Chyong Lim.

The first rural Sihat Xpress site in Malaysia has been established at Kg Togop Darat 1 in Ranau, which MEASAT said will serve as a proof-of-concept to show the potential of telehealth as a cost-effective method to address gaps in high-quality healthcare delivery between urban and rural areas.

Kantha Rasalingam, CEO of Mudah Healthtech, said that the Sihat Xpress initiative in rural areas is aligned with the government’s goals to digitalise all healthcare facilities by 2030.

“Our mission is to make healthcare more accessible, convenient and personalised for everyone, regardless of their location or socioeconomic status,” said Rasalingam. “We aim to bridge the gap between healthcare providers and patients, offering seamless and integrated platforms that facilitate communication, collaboration and care delivery.”

Flovia Ng, assistant minister of community development and people's wellbeing for Sabah, said that telehealth services address the lack of medical professionals in remote areas and can help residents obtain medical advice more easily.

"This is in line with our own efforts to send mobile laboratories to remote districts to conduct medical check-ups and our encouragement of integration and collaboration between the government, private sector and the public to increase awareness on healthcare and improve wellbeing," said Ng.