Energy management trends in healthcare
Country Manager of Vertiv Malaysia, Teoh Wooi Keat chats with Enterprise IT News, about how Vertiv can help the healthcare industry.
EITN: In what ways can Vertiv help the healthcare industry? What solutions can the company offer to address the gaps in the healthcare sector?
Wooi Keat: The healthcare sector has always relied on technology in providing services to consumers. Life support systems, diagnostic equipment and other medical technologies have enabled the delivery of adequate and critical health services to patients. As Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies such as wearable health devices, mobile apps and telehealth gain more traction, and patients’ demand for better health services grows, the healthcare sector is stepping up to face a new set of challenges.
We understand the importance of protecting critical healthcare operations and ensuring continuity of services. For healthcare facilities and hospitals, an efficient power system is vital as outages can significantly place patients at risk. Medical equipment and life support systems such as heart-lung machines and ventilators require constant availability.
Electronic medical records (EMR) crucial in providing patient care also need to be always accessible. To ensure availability at all times and compliance with regulation standards, power systems require regular testing. Vertiv’s agile and efficient emergency backup power systems such as uninterrupted power source (UPS) offer solutions to hospitals and healthcare institutions to help ensure continuity of operations and constant availability of services to patients.
Power distribution in healthcare facilities requires special attention. In Malaysia, hospital accreditation issued by the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH) requires an electrical distribution scheme. Healthcare facilities must ensure that power is directed where it is most needed when switching to an emergency power supply. For this purpose, a reliable power distribution unit (PDU) is needed. Vertiv’s innovative PDUs not only maintain power, but also provide support to address potential IT infrastructure challenges. Vertiv offers power distribution solutions that match the needs of the business, such as monitoring and management of power usage to ensure that systems are running at optimal performance.
To ensure availability at all times and compliance with regulation standards, power systems require regular testing. Vertiv’s agile and efficient emergency backup power systems such as uninterrupted power source (UPS) offer solutions to hospitals and healthcare institutions to help ensure continuity of operations and constant availability of services to patients.
EITN: Are there any upcoming trends in energy management for healthcare that you would like to share?
Wooi Keat: Optimising energy consumption is a key objective for energy management. To achieve efficient power usage, hospitals and healthcare providers are starting to leverage high-efficiency technologies and looking at how energy is being utilised within their facilities. Vertiv’s uninterrupted power source solutions are deployed with energy management and energy monitoring features that can analyse how much energy is being used and identify the areas where energy efficiency can be increased.
In addition, the advancement of digital healthcare which gives the healthcare sector the capability to bridge the distance between providers and patients is also contributing to energy efficiency improvements. With connectivity solutions such as 5G, we estimate that 1 billion patients will have access to healthcare in 2030 by utilising innovative IoT, wearable technologies and remote patient monitoring systems.
However, healthcare facilities must be ready to accommodate new equipment and applications to support this connectivity. IT infrastructures need to be more agile and secure in order to respond to patients’ needs and protect patients’ data. With this environment, the healthcare industry will focus on the need to have an efficient, reliable, intelligent and fully integrated system to propel value-based patient care while ensuring that energy consumption is optimised.
With connectivity solutions such as 5G, we estimate that 1 billion patients will have access to healthcare in 2030 by utilising innovative IoT, wearable technologies and remote patient monitoring systems.However, healthcare facilities must be ready to accommodate new equipment and applications to support this connectivity.
EITN: How is the state of telehealth and data centres in Malaysia?
Wooi Keat: The pandemic has triggered an influx of patients in hospitals but with the help of digital tools, healthcare facilities were able to provide appropriate and timely medical attention to patients. For example, procedures like patient screening, monitoring and follow-ups were done via telehealth solutions and call centres. Gleneagles Hospital, Sunway Medical Centre and Pantai Hospital are some of the early adopters where telehealth services are already being offered. Adoption of telehealth services may be slow in Malaysia, but we expect this to accelerate as we see more healthcare institutions offering these type of services this year.
We will also be seeing a number of use cases of 5G in the healthcare sector in the coming years. For instance, Digi Telecommunications Sdn. Bhd. has partnered with Hospital Sultanah Maliha and Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (Crest) to pilot Malaysia’s first 5G connected ambulance in Langkawi. Using 5G technology, the patient’s vital signs such as electrocardiogram (ECG) readings and ultrasound scans will be taken en route and sent to the attending physician in real-time for immediate diagnosis, and preparation for the patient’s arrival at the hospital.
The increasing adoption of telehealth and medical IoT, and the application of 5G within the healthcare industry require processing capabilities closer to end users. To keep up with the demands across sectors, Malaysia’s data centre market size is poised for growth and estimated to cross the USD 800 million mark by the year 2025 at a CAGR of 8 percent during the forecast period.