Microsoft is setting up a digital health centre in Malaysia to help researchers and entrepreneurs develop new products.

The hub will focus on five areas: telehealth, smart access, remote patient monitoring, drug adherence and corporate wellness.

The hub is part of an agreement signed between Microsoft Malaysia and the Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) – a network for industry, academia and government.

The digital health hub aims to expand access to healthcare across Malaysia and reduce unnecessary hospital and clinical visits. For instance, with IoT, patients can be monitored by doctors while they rest at home.

It will provide service to help developers conceptualise ideas, create products, and finally commercialise them domestically.

They will have access to the CREST’s IoT lab, allowing them to develop prototypes and trial solutions. They will get training to use Microsoft’s cloud services – including for IoT, analytics and artificial intelligence.

The hub will also allow startups to network with biomedical companies, hospitals, clinics, venture capitalists and SMEs. It will also host hackathons and bootcamps to help train members.

“The one key differentiator in this hub is that there is no innovation center in the region today that has the ability to commercialize the technology created in hubs – even extending our investment to the sales and marketing operations of that particular technology, said K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia.