PARTNERING TO COMBAT NCDs AND SPUR HEALTHCARE DIGITALISATION

A collaboration formed between key healthcare players to introduce new healthcare pathways for Malaysians, aimed at reducing the burden of NCDs



Kuala Lumpur, 7 September 2021 – In conjunction with World Heart Day on 29 September, four key healthcare players - AstraZeneca, DoctorOnCall, National Heart Institute (IJN) and Prudential Malaysia – have partnered to launch Protect Your Heart Now, a public awareness campaign on heart health. The collaboration between all four parties is part of their ongoing efforts to alleviate the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country through public awareness and to drive the digitalisation of healthcare.

The current pandemic has heightened awareness on the severity COVID-19 has on those with underlying medical conditions or comorbidities like coronary artery disease. It has been found that more than 80% of COVID-19 deaths have at least one underlying health condition[1]  

Coronary artery disease has been identified as the number one (1) cause of death for Malaysians accounting for 15% of medically-certified death in 2019[2]. As one of the top three NCDs in the country, there is a need to raise awareness and educate Malaysians in managing heart health especially since more than 38% of adults in Malaysia suffer from hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol levels. It has been found that 25% of adult Malaysians are not even aware they have high cholesterol[3].

With World Heart Day observed annually in September, the four parties have formed a new partnership to harness the power of digital health to improve the awareness, prevention and management coronary artery disease and high cholesterol through a month-long public awareness campaign.

"IJN believes in a preventative and holistic approach to medicine, especially since there are strong links between heart health and overall well-being. As the country's premiere heart centre, we have a responsibility to educate Malaysians on this issue, and have been doing so via various educational and awareness-raising initiatives since our inception. Given the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in Malaysia, we also greatly welcome this collaboration as well; we can only tackle this challenge with the support of other stakeholders in the medical sector, " said IJN Chief Executive Officer Datuk Dr Aizai Azan Abdul Rahim.

The key to mitigate the risks of unmanaged cholesterol levels is through early detection, raising awareness and a conscious effort to alleviate any unforeseen circumstances. Enabling patients to obtain the right care and resources is part of AstraZeneca’s long-term commitment in supporting the set-up of a more robust healthcare ecosystem in Malaysia, while reducing the rise of NCDs such as coronary heart disease.

“At AstraZeneca, we remain committed towards playing a vital role in supporting Malaysia’s battle against NCDs by strengthening our healthcare ecosystem with solutions beyond the pill. In line with the Malaysian government’s call for innovation and the move towards digital healthcare, this collaboration illustrates our ongoing commitment to accentuate digitalisation  in healthcare with the introduction of digitally-enabled patient pathways,” said Dr. Sanjeev Panchal, Country President, AstraZeneca Malaysia.

“Through a partnership-driven approach, we have come together to initiate a two-day virtual public campaign, where we will empower the public with digital resources, platforms and solutions that would enable them to manage their heart’s health. We hope that this event will further accelerate the public’s use of innovative digital healthcare solutions, increase healthcare access and ultimately, improve health outcomes for themselves,” Dr. Sanjeev explained.

Digitalisation of New Pathways for Better Healthcare Access

The pandemic has accelerated the need for digital platforms to be integral in making healthcare more effective and accessible to Malaysians, making it easier for Malaysians to access updated medical information, track their health and seek consultation of healthcare experts when needed, wherever they may be.

"Online Healthcare is fuelled by digital technologies that allow us to receive the biggest benefit which is the ability to provide immediate access to care that otherwise would be difficult to obtain.  It also allows our partners to further their reach, treating patients wherever there are.  As a business model, it is shifting the paradigm within the healthcare industry by advancing consumer-based care,” said Maran Virumandi, CEO & Co-Founder of DoctorOnCall.

Through the Protect Your Heart Now virtual event, Prudential is hoping to drive health awareness and education on NCDs such as stroke for example among its customers and the public. The launch of its all-in-one super app, Pulse by Prudential in 2019 has provided a launchpad for the insurer to expand beyond its core protection offerings to become a partner in its customer’s health journey, helping them prevent, postpone and protect against the onset of diseases. Apart from raising awareness about the campaign through educational content on social media, Prudential will also be taking part in one of the webinars at the virtual event to discuss about heart health.

“We are delighted to be partnering with AstraZeneca, IJN and DoctorOnCall to help people get the most out of life. The Protect Your Heart Now virtual event is timely as during these unprecedented times, more people are embracing digital health tools to play an active role in managing their health and wellbeing. Our Pulse by Prudential app is our way to deliver affordable and accessible healthcare to all Malaysians so we can all live well for longer,” said Lim Eng Seong, Chief Executive Officer, Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad.

Protect Your Heart Now - A Hub For Education and Awareness

The Protect Your Heart Now virtual event is part of a month-long public awareness campaign in conjunction with World Heart Day to raise awareness and empower Malaysians with the knowledge they need to protect their heart. Held between 11 and 12 September, the virtual event enables participants to access a wealth of information concerning heart health and how to mitigate risks before they lead to dire consequences. A whole host of programmes are lined up such as healthy cooking sessions, fitness sessions to care for your heart and health talks on cholesterol management given by medical experts. Participants will also be able to sign up for health screenings and seek treatment from doctors.

Malaysians can register their participation for the virtual event at www.protectyourheartnow.com.my or, from the Pulse by Prudential mobile app to start their journey to a healthier heart. Registration for the event will open by 7 September.

AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit astrazeneca.com and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.

References:

1. Code Blue. NIH: 70% Of Malaysia’s Coronavirus Fatalities Had Diabetes. Available on: https://codeblue.galencentre.org/2020/10/13/nih-70-of-malaysias-coronavirus-fatalities-had-diabetes/. Last accessed 5 September 2021.

2. Department of Statistic Malaysia. Statistics on Causes of Death, Malaysia, 2020. Available on: https://www.dosm.gov.my/v1/index.php?r=column/cthemeByCat&cat=401&bul_id=QTU5T0dKQ1g4MHYxd3ZpMzhEMzdRdz09&menu_id=L0pheU43NWJwRWVSZklWdzQ4TlhUUT09. Last accessed 5 September 2021.

3. National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019.


Approval Code: MY_CV_MY-7545_06/09/2021