As Malaysia navigates a post-pandemic era, the integration of technology into business industries is expected to drive investment opportunities from both local and foreign investors. In early June 2022, Alibaba Group announced its growing investment into the Malaysian technology industry, part of which is the Alibaba Cloud Digital Empowerment Programme that aims to accelerate and guide digital transformation in Malaysia.
The Group will increase training and resources for areas like cloud computing, tech support, and driving the digital ecosystem—an investment that will make waves in focus economic growth areas such as healthcare, which is being touted as a key driver for the country’s long-term growth and resilience.
Alibaba is not the only business player investing into digitalizing healthcare. As Malaysia recognizes the need for a more tech-driven business approach, the idea of telehealth is becoming an interest driver for investors and the government alike.
An Overview of Healthcare in Malaysia
Malaysia’s total healthcare spend has more than tripled from RM 33 billion in 2010 to a projected RM72 billion in 2022. This figure is expected to keep increasing between 8-9% year-on-year until 2025, making the healthcare industry an utmost priority for both the public and private sectors.
Malaysia’s government has designated the healthcare sector as a National Key Economic Area, with the adoption of technology-based services earmarked as a priority for both investment and research. The revival of the global tourism industry has also increased the urgency in which Malaysia must prioritize its healthcare growth, as the country aims to make medical tourism a key pillar of its post-pandemic growth plan.
Data from YCP Solidiance’s professionals in Malaysia also emphasize the potential of several high-growth industries such as aged care, vaccine development, and telehealth—all of which utilize digital transformation to reach consumers and innovate successful solutions.
Opportunities in Telehealth Services
According to the YCP Solidiance white paper Road to Recovery: Post Pandemic Business Outlook in Southeast Asia, Malaysia’s internet economy contributed 21.12% of the 174 billion USD that ASEAN-6 (Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand) generated in 2021, with numbers projected to grow as the Southeast Asian region accelerates its digital transformation.
Shifting consumer behaviors and needs in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic have made it necessary for business industries to adapt rapidly through collaboration with both public and private sector players to keep up with the ever-changing landscape.
Telehealth, in particular, is growing more popular in the country, though still in its nascent stages and in need of long-term investments and collaboration between the public and private sectors. For example, the aforementioned Alibaba investment would allow telehealth services to utilize technology such as cloud computing to make systems more efficient and allow telehealth providers to service a larger number of patients.
Investors, both local and foreign, can take advantage of this opportunity to introduce innovative, tech-driven solutions that answer the ever-changing demands of the Malaysian market.
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