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DTA Exclusive Interview Series: Five for Five with the Former CIO of Prince Court Medical Centre
July 23, 2021 News


The CxO Five for Five is Disruptive Tech Asean’s (DTA) exclusive interview series where we get Chief Executives from around the ASEAN region to answer rapid-fire questions on everything technology-related.

For this CxO Five for Five, we interviewed Rani Nathwani, a former CIO of Prince Court Medical Centre. In her nearly 10 years serving as the CIO before her recent retirement, Rani established the strategic priorities to guide IT investments, development and implementation and drove the adoption of the integrated Electronic Medical Records and suite of other clinical applications within the hospital.

Rani was appointed to the role of Advisor at the PIKOM Exco, the National IT Association of Malaysia last year. In 2021, she was tasked to lead and grow the Women in Technology Chapter under PIKOM.  Here are her takes on the questions.

1 – (Crystal Ball) – What is the top technology that you think will transform your business in the coming years?

There are a few that come to mind.

Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) generate a huge volume of data that has never been fully taken advantage of in the past. AI-powered healthcare tools will enable us to extract more insights at an unprecedented level from all the medical data to support clinical decision making through high accuracy diagnosis and recommendation of treatment protocols. This will eventually lead to early disease detection and lower healthcare cost for patients.

This pandemic has shown us that WiFi cannot scale to even meet the demands of simultaneous video conferencing within an organisation. Low latency 5G networks would resolve this lack of network reliability and even allow for more high-capacity services like telehealth, telesurgery and ER services. It will allow for IoT devices/wearable medical devices to accurately and efficiently update patient vitals and other info into the hospital EMR for up-to-date monitoring of high-risk patients.  This would allow healthcare to shift from a high-cost reactive model into a model that focuses on preventive treatment and lowering the cost of treatment for patients.

2 – (Out to Pasture) – What technology do you think will phase out of your business?

I think that with more mergers and acquisitions, and consolidation of healthcare facilities, the first thing that will be retired is the onsite data centres and servers.  It makes more sense to migrate to cloud-native applications and have the single view of a patient’s full medical record readily available regardless of which part of the country (or even world) he/she is in.

3 – (Chatter Box) – What is the best collaboration tool?

Microsoft 365 with Teams.  It’s easy to deploy and use, and paid back for the investment when we were hit with global travel restrictions, lockdowns and work from home rules.  It was the only way we could continue to work on the upgrade of our core Electronic Medical Record system without the presence of any of the foreign vendor personnel onsite with us. I’m glad to say we went live on schedule and without a hitch.

4 – (Be Safe) – What is the biggest cybersecurity concern?

No matter how much an organisation can spend on strengthening its cybersecurity posture, the weakest link is what will let the bad guys in. The weakest link is always the people: someone in the ICT department who was negligent in updating patches on servers, or more often than not, the end-users. Organisations are realising this and are therefore spending more on end-user cybersecurity awareness. In fact, in my previous organisation, while the board questioned requests for new cybersecurity tools, they immediately authorised the budget I requested to conduct end-user cybersecurity awareness.

5 – (When I Grow Up) – If you hadn’t gone into tech, what would you do instead?

Writing has always been a passion – so it would have been journalism or copywriting. Something that’s completely on the other end of the spectrum from technology, isn’t it?