Health Informatics alumna Ismat Mohd Sulaiman develops AI in Malaysian health data

Name: Ismat Mohd Sulaiman
Based in: Malaysia
Degree: Master's in Health Informatics 2016
Current role: Assistant Principal Director, Health Informatics Centre, Planning Division, Ministry of Health, Malaysia

After you graduated from KI, what was your next step and how did you find this opportunity?

My immediate step was to return to my working place in Health Informatics Centre in Malaysia. I was already working in the health informatics sector there, but I decided to deepen my knowledge through a formal education. So I requested for a study leave and promised to come back to serve the nation.

When I returned, I became the lead for the Health Informatics Standards Unit and the project lead for an artificial intelligence ICT system called MyHarmony, within a national project called Malaysian Health Data Warehouse (MyHDW).

I am lucky that I had a job waiting for me once I finished my studies. But even without a job, I believe my education in KI would have given me a lot of opportunities internationally.

Describe a day on the job in your current role

As part of Health Informatics Standards activity, I plan and execute activities on improving clinical documentation and medical coding. The activities include training, certification, evaluation and reporting via presentations. Additionally, I plan on generating useful information for clinicians and health managers using artificial intelligence (AI) from clinical free-text. Quality documentation and the derived information will be used to aid evidence-based decision making and planning.

How did you transition from your first position to that you have today?

When given the opportunity for a position to lead a unit and an artificial intelligence (AI) project, I thought it would be fun because I can exercise what I’ve learned even though it is challenging. The best part is the network that I have built during my stay in KI, which has enabled me to create collaborations internationally. After all, we need to learn from one another.

What brought you to KI in the first place?

A “Medical University” that offered a Health Informatics Master's Programme was the main attraction. Other universities that offer this programme under the IT faculty, whereas I wanted a healthcare perspective. Personally, I wanted to be in a non-English_as_first_language country, and allow my 3 children to experience a new language. (In fact, my 10 year old can speak Swedish quite fluently and still continues to practice with her friends via skype!). And off course, when I was selected as one of five KI Global Master’s Scholars, the decision was a no brainer.

What is your advice to students at KI who are about to graduate?

Master’s degree in Health Informatics allow you to experience a broad view of the Health Informatics world. Find and choose your passion, and dive in. There’s much more to learn and apply, whether as an industry player or an academician.