BORN from a dream, iHeal Heart Group has grown in leaps and bounds to encompass iHeal Medical Centre Kuala Lumpur, iGLOW, which aims to steer the community towards caring for heart health via health initiative programmes, and CheckupAsia, a doctor-assisted connected health platform that empowers individuals to be accountable and take charge of their own heart health.
At the helm of this impressive growth is the man with the dream: iHeal Heart Group Sdn Bhd chairman and group managing director as well as practising heart surgeon Dr David Khoo Sin Keat.
Describing himself as a doctorpreneur, Dr Khoo has come a long way, as evidenced by his being named Male Entrepreneur of the Year at the recent The Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) 2018 for outstanding achievement awards (up to RM25mil).
Having been a heart doctor since 1989, Dr Khoo has vast experience in the field, which was further enriched by a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in the US.
He also set up the first heart unit in Ipoh Hospital after returning here from his stint in the US.
The idea for iHeal was inspired by his time in the US, where Dr Khoo observed that many notable people were willing to travel to the small town where the hospital was located for treatment.
“It gave rise to the idea that I could build something,” he says. “While at the airport in Chicago, I read a quote by Winston Churchill: ‘To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour’.
“That gave me the push to bring this idea to life.”
Of course, as in all endeavours, Dr Khoo faced many challenges along the way.
According to him, the biggest challenge was to convince people that he had what it took to succeed.
“I relied on my skill sets and job flow as a surgeon, approaching the business as I do an operation, starting from the planning stage right up to implementation.”
He was determined to find a convenient site at the correct location. In the end, he chose the current location in Mid Valley, which is easily accessible and has many amenities and conveniences within the area. iHeal is the first heart centre to be based in a mall.
Dr Khoo also invested in the latest equipment and technology to offer patients only the best.
“There are four basic human needs – to feel welcome, important, comfortable and understood,” he explains. “In addressing these needs, we are able to provide service par excellence.”
Noting that unlike many others, the healthcare sector has not been touched much by technology, Dr Khoo says, “I embrace technology and use it to reach out and impact more people. I want to be the first to embrace IT and the Internet of Things in healthcare.
“For one, digitalising heart health from prevention right up to curative medicine helps establish proactive healthcare, as opposed to reactive healthcare.”
Dr Khoo intends to focus on the entire population in general, rather than just on heartpatients.
“I want to reach out to the healthy in terms of screening. To this end, service, technology and accessibility are important factors. I intend to harness the science of modern medicine and IT to craft the art of promoting heart health.”
On his prestigious win, Dr Khoo says, “Winning this award is testament to my achievement and transformation into a doctorpreneur. This also attests to the strength of my team, who has contributed in making this success possible.”