Pedestrian crossings

Pedestrian crossings in Malaysia is like an invisible entity on Malaysian roads. Basically what was thought in driving schools are thrown out the window as many drivers aren’t really stopping when there are pedestrians wanting to cross a road.

So the apathy of Malaysian drivers is the bane of pedestrians in this country. Dashing across the road even at the pedestrian crossing is expected.

But can we blame Malaysian drivers for this? Here are a few possible reasons to defend this perceived ineptitude in driving.

1. Pedestrians cross everywhere, not just at pedestrian crossings
2. Placement of pedestrian crossings can sometimes be dangerous. For example, around a bend.
3. Not clearly demarcated. Faded signs and paint on the road can make this invisible to the driver especially in low light situations.

It’s time we inject some respect when it comes to pedestrian crossings.

We did it

It was crazy but we did it. We took the exploratory journey on the LRT to Taipan, a recently opened line, at night. Actually it was more of the experience of the train ride for the little ones. Ended up walking at least 500m to our destination in Taipan, MacDonalds. The newly launched mango sundae must have tasted exceptionally better there. It was an activity for the children. They will remember it, as they did with other train rides. It was fun and worthwhile. 

How precious are your ideas?

There’s a famous saying that “Ideas are cheap, execution is everything”.

Having lived through some moments where my ideas were instantly ‘adopted’ elsewhere, rapidly proliferating, while I was still dragging my feet around it, living in a cocoon of grandiosity. It was clear that while I was thinking about those ideas, perhaps thousands, if not millions of people were having the very same idea. Unfortunately what matters is how those ideas are translated into reality.

The culture of sharing ideas must be cultivated. Breaking down barriers to communications between different specialties and industries will be important if we are to make significant advances in technology. The unfounded fear that your ideas might be hijacked will only hamper its execution.

Although the intellectual property (IP) rights must be respected, early ideas are likely not unique to that individual. Once the ideas become a tangible project, talking about IP rights become more apt.

In Healthcare, the communication between healthcare and technology professionals must be as seamless as possible. Developing digital solutions for healthcare requires a clear understanding of the processes and its complexities. This aids in developing meaningful and impactful solutions for healthcare.

The next time you have an idea, develop it by sharing with a clear plan of bringing it into reality.

How to best utilise tech in medicine?

medical-tech
Technology can be expensive in healthcare. Developing a custom solution can cost one thousands to millions of ringgit to create. Even then, the solutions are usually fraught with bugs and inabilities to integrate with other existing softwares. The market is so fragmented that solutions are usually purchased separately resulting in the use of different solutions at the same hospital or place of practice.

Thus the use of technology in healthcare can be disruptive in every sense of the word. Although we cannot escape the digitisation of healthcare and the many benefits that it brings, we cannot deny that, perhaps, it is still not quite ready for prime time medicine. The use of big data analytics and how we interpret the information, following which we present that in useful manner to the patients in order to bring benefits, is still science fiction on most occasions. It adds noise and sometimes confusion to the art of medicine. The art of looking at the patient, asking the right questions, watching the non-verbal cues and at the same time exude empathy, will soon be a lost art as digitisation aims to rob both doctors and patients of the chance to “intimately” know each other.

Most EMRs in the market is packed with features. It almost parallels a airplane cockpit control panels. There are lots of devices that gives out a lot of information. The key is to focus on the right things at the right time and to interpret the information in a coherent manner, especially during critical times. Training in EMRs is often not robust and regular enough for healthcare personnel. There is literally no checking mechanism to ensure that the system is utilised appropriately and that staff will be trained regularly to ensure quality of data being entered. It is assumed that this should be second nature to healthcare staff, when clearly it is not. Most EMRs require substanstial learning and practice to be fully proficient.

In my opinion, the best systems are ones that uses tech which is familiar to all. Large multinational tech giants have done some of the work for us in terms of gaining familiarity, be it Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Dropbox, Evernote and the list goes on and on. Perhaps using some of these platforms to launch a healthcare solution will be best in order to minimise re-learning and to ensure that the systems continue to be developed and improved on. Perhaps custom made EMRs are going to be the thing of the past as many of them are not easily upgradable and spending on server space and security can be a very costly affair.

Indeed, the technology that we need is already there for us to use, maybe in an innovative way. A way that it was perhaps not intended to do when it was first developed. This is also way cheaper. Tech does not have to be expensive. It just takes some creativity and bravery to think of ways to use existing tech solutions in unconventional ways.