How This Doctor Is Solving One Of Malaysian Healthcare's Most Annoying Problems
QueueMed co-founder Kev Lim shares how his platform is reshaping the country's healthcare system, one pain point at a time
Paediatric doctor Kev Lim's life was disrupted when his daughter was diagnosed with an underlying medical condition in 2018. The young girl needed to go for frequent checkups, but after multiple visits to different hospitals, Lim grew frustrated with the long wait times, which could last up to five hours each time.
As a doctor himself, the experience spurred him to find a solution. He enlisted the help of his schoolmate, Dr Tai Tzyy Jiun, who had prior experience in the healthtech industry. Together, they started QueueMed, a multichannel solution seeking to improve the way healthcare is delivered.
"Our initial goal was to solve that one problem every hospital and clinic faces: long wait times," says Lim. "We started by developing an online system that would allow patients to book a medical appointment and be notified on their smartphone when it's time to see the doctor. This means they don't need to wait at the clinic."
QueueMed's solution offers a medical triage queue system, which has three queue lines to differentiate walk-in patients, those who have an appointment and patients requiring special care. This enables hospitals and clinics to better manage patients and prioritise those that need urgent care.
Throughout the pandemic, the startup has found a new way to integrate its solutions to address problems faced by both doctors and patients alike. "Many Malaysians were stuck at home during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic with no way to access healthcare services due to strict rules, so we came up with QM Care as a way to deliver crucial healthcare services to a patient's doorstep," says Lim. QM Care offers services such as house visits by doctors, and on-site health screening and vaccination.
Despite the promises of efficiency and accessibility that technology can bring to healthcare, Lim has not found it easy to convince other medical practitioners to adopt the idea. "Doctors are typically very comfortable doing things a particular way," he says. "They are not used to changing their flow to accommodate new methods."
But he remains hopeful that other doctors will explore beyond their comfort zones, even if it means stepping up to create their own healthtech solution. "As doctors, we understand the medical ecosystem from the inside out. At QueueMed, we have eight doctors on staff and we encourage all of them to discuss their innovative ideas."
For QueueMed, Lim says 2022 will be about getting more healthcare providers on its platform and investing heavily in the research and development of more innovative digital health solutions.