The healthtech industry is booming globally, with demands for digital health solutions only spurred on by a thirst for innovation and the COVID-10 pandemic. Southeastern Asia is no exception. Digital health analytics company Galen Growth reported a total of $243.6 million USD in healthtech funds raised by Southeast Asian companies in 2020. Healthtech startups in Malaysia have raised a significant portion of these funds, bolstered by the government’s 2019 goal to strengthen the economy through tech investments, high-skilled workers, and knowledge-based goods.
The current state of healthtech in Malaysia is proof that the country is following through with its objectives. It is teeming with successful digital health startups, including wearables, applications, and platforms that make healthcare more accessible than ever before. Of these innovative companies, five stand out as the hottest Malaysian healthtech startups in 2021.
Taking a comprehensive approach to wellness, Naluri is a digital health solution that addresses chronic physical and mental conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, and depression. The app utilises both healthcare professionals and AI technology to offer personalised coaching, fitness tracking, educational materials, food journals, and more.
Naluri just concluded Series A funding, where it secured $5 million USD (RM20.7 million) from both new and existing funders, including Integra Partners, Duopharma Biotech Berhad, and Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia.
It will use this new financing to expand existing markets and launch its services in Thailand and the Philippines. The funds will also improve the company’s tech capabilities and clinical research—all to strengthen healthcare solutions and boost outcomesfor individuals, employers, and insurers alike.
Created in 2012 by Malaysia’s Geob International and marketed in the UK, HypoBand increases safety and quality of life for those who have diabetes. The wearable device addresses one of the biggest concerns for diabetics: a low blood sugar condition called hypoglycemia.
Users connect the HypoBand to their smartphone via Bluetooth and wear it on their wrist like a watch, where it tracks the skin’s temperature and humidity level. If it detects signs of hypoglycemia, such as a cold sweat, the band alerts the wearer, caregiver, or emergency contact via text message or alarm.
It also includes a panic button for users to call for help. The HypoBand is a potentially life-saving technology, especially considering the high chance of entering a hypoglycemic state during sleep.
The only Malaysian company to appear on CNBC’s Upstart 100 List in 2019, BookDoc is a one-stop-shop for all things health and wellness. The app allows users to search for and book appointments with healthcare providers. It also offers health coaching, telehealth consultations, partner rewards for meeting wellness goals, and more.
The award-winning company is known for forming strong partnerships in Malaysia. In 2020, BookDoc and the Malaysian Ministry of Health joined forces to create a digital platform for COVID-19 resources, including webinars, appointment settings, news, and health advisories.
Having recently entered the Filipino market with Childhope Philippines Foundation, Inc., BookDoc is now seeking further partnerships worldwide in the financial and healthcare industries, hoping to expand its services beyond Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Thailand.
HealthMetrics allows enterprises to manage their employees’ health benefits seamlessly. From enrollment to data analytics, the platform can save enterprises ample time and money.
After its founding in 2015, it received seed funding in 2018 from Spiral Ventures, Cradle Seed Ventures, & RHL Ventures. This funding allowed it to establish its services in Malaysia. In September 2020, HeathMetrics secured $5 million USD (RM20.7 million) in Series A funding. The company plans to use these funds to expand its product offering as well as its geographical footprint. One of the first new aspects of the company to launch is the online pharmacy.
An online health and wellness portal, PurelyB promotes holistic living and sustainable health through mindfulness, nutrition, and fitness. The company unites innovation with cultural heritage, seeking to preserve Malaysia’s unique herbal medicine and wellness history. The online community offers both free and customisable programs featuring coaching, meal plans, and educational content.
Woman-led, PurelyB won Malaysia Rising Entrepreneur of the Year and Marie Claire 10 Top Amazing Women awards in 2017. In 2015—its founding year—the company secured a spot on Red Herring’s Top 100 Startups in Asia.
Healthtech in Malaysia—and digital health offerings across the entire continent—couldn’t be booming at a better time. Marketing strategy company Solidiance estimates that Southeast Asian healthcare costs will reach an astounding $740 billion USD by 2025.
Cost-effective and accessible (for both consumers and enterprises), healthtech is perhaps the most significant key to alleviating this financial burden. The country’s entrepreneurs are playing an integral role, with the five hottest healthtech startups in Malaysia offering proof of the nation’s impressive growth and continued commitment to innovation.