Greetings and welcome to the sunny city of Kuala Lumpur which is also called the Garden City of Lights. This bustling city is graced by its rich culture and heritage. From sight-seeing, shopping, to savoring all kinds of delicious local cuisines, one can never find a dull moment when in KL. It is our honor and pleasure to host, for the first time, the Asia Telemedicine Symposium (ATS) on its 11th anniversary. On behalf of the University of Malaya Medical Centre and the Malaysian Telemedicine Working Group of Malaysian Research & Education Network (MYREN), I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you.
The field of information technology has progressed by leaps and bounds within the last century; this has been embraced by health care providers, leading to the rise of telemedicine. There is no denying that telemedicine plays an important part in current health care strategies; nevertheless, for certain areas e.g. in medical education, telemedicine is still underutilised. The use of telemedicine as an important teaching tool remains unnoticeable in the curriculum of many medical schools. However, beyond the scope of medical curricula, the use of telemedicine in promoting academic exchange among healthcare providers has already been expanding regionally for the last one and a half decades. In the absence of physical presence, healthcare providers come together and meet in teleconferences for academic discussion and learning. Excellent examples of this are the many teleconferences organized by the Medical Working Group of the Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN). Since its formal inception in 2005, numerous education-oriented telemedicine activities have been conducted to the benefit of countless healthcare providers.
ATS provides an annual platform for all telemedicine stakeholders to come together and meet in person, enabling them to share their experiences in the implementation of telemedicine. We strongly believe that this continuing effort would strengthen the spirit of collaboration and unity among members. The title of this year’s meeting is “Application of Educational Telemedicine in Teaching Hospitals”; it is our sincere hope that in line with this theme ideas could be pooled together and a more concerted effort could be made to boost educational activities through the use of telemedicine in teaching hospitals.
Assoc. Professor Dr Ho Shiaw Hooi
Asia Telemedicine Symposium 2017 Kuala Lumpur