Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) Department of Mechatronics and BioMedical Engineering Assoc Prof Ir Ts Dr Hum Yan Chai and his team were awarded the international IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC)/SIGHT Grant for their research titled “Developing a digital resource management system for hospitals in Malaysia amid the COVID-19 pandemic”. A total of USD2,500 (RM10,280) was successfully secured for the research. It was awarded by IEEE SIGHT Project Funding. The duration of the funding is from 20 December 2021 to 20 June 2022.
The research was led by Dr Hum, and the co-researchers include LKC FES Dean Assoc Prof Ts Dr Yap Wun She, LKC FES PhD (Eng) Programme and MEngSc Programmes Head Assoc Prof Dr Tee Yee Kai, LKC FES Department of Mechatronics and BioMedical Engineering academic Dr Goh Choon Hian, Universiti Malaya Faculty of Engineering Department of Biomedical Engineering academic Ir Dr Lai Khin Wee and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Fakulti Teknologi and Informatik Razak School of Engineering and Advanced Technology academic Ir Ts Dr Syuhaida binti Ibrahim.
The research proposed a digital platform that plays an impactful role in bridging hospitals with the organisations or funders that are resourceful and willing to help as well as optimise resource utilisation among hospitals. They wished to build a digital system to optimise and manage the resources to mitigate the pressing condition of hospitals in Malaysia. The deployed technologies will be web-based applications, dashboard and data analytics.
“This project will establish a web application that bridges the resources from the public to the health institutes that require these resources. In other words, this web-application will make the distribution of resources to become more effective such that the right amount and type of resources from the society will go to the hands that require these resources the most,” said Dr Hum.
Speaking of the motivation in conducting this research, Dr Hum said, “Despite Malaysia starting a movement control order (MCO) on 12 May 2021, the trends in reported cases, severe cases, deaths and test positivity rates have continued to increase. We found that the hospitals in Malaysia were suffering from a shortage of equipment due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases. The equipment such as ultrasound scanners in ICU, surgical respirator, micropipette, syringe pump, ventilators and personal protective equipment has exceeded the coping capacity of the healthcare system and shown no sign of subsiding from the government.”
“Many individuals and organisations were willing to contribute resources, but we were short of a one-stop ICT management system that can link those hospitals in need to those who are resourceful. Therefore, we planned to construct a web application that manages the resources by letting any health institute raise their needs so that resources from the public can be channelled to them by knowing their needs,” said Dr Hum.
The IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC) provides a suite of resources and enables IEEE volunteers around the world to carry out and support impactful humanitarian technology and sustainable development activities at the local level. The IEEE SIGHT is a global network of IEEE volunteers partnering with under-served communities and local organisations to leverage technology for sustainable development. It is structured as a sub-committee of the HAC. SIGHT encourages its members to form groups in order to effectively develop sustainable solutions that make a long-term difference in the lives of people around them. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect the world in an unprecedented manner, and as such, HAC/SIGHT (Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology) offered a Call for Proposals to support IEEE member grassroots humanitarian technology and sustainable development projects that utilise technology to address local challenging realities of the Covid-19 situation and any pressing need affecting the targeted communities. Given the rapidly evolving situation and focus on immediate impact, HAC/SIGHT will make awards of USD1,000 up to USD5,000 per project.