Associate Prof. Dr. Fazah Akhtar Hanapiah

Consultant Rehabilitation Physician,

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine,

Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

https://scholar.google.com.my/citations?hl=en&user=8G5ied4AAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate

While gaming devices can be used as a treatment for stroke rehabilitation, the “off the shelf” games were not specific to focus on the rehabilitation goals. Sometimes, therapy was limited due to various constraints which include affordability, human resources and infrastructure, adding challenges to deliver the rehabilitation programme. 

This became a driving force to UiTM rehabilitation physician, Associate Professor Dr. Fazah Akhtar Hanapiah, to design her serious games with a specific function which was more virtual, moving away from the physical – the Medical Rehabilitation Virtual Reality (MRVR) platform. 

A medical doctor at the Faculty of Medicine UiTM, Malaysia and also a fellow at I-PPerForM (Institute of Pathology, Laboratory and Forensic Medicine), she wanted “to improve the outcome of patients with complex disability and see them get better”. For sustainability of such projects, a good eco-system is required between R&D and deliverance to the required community.  VR can address the gaps to deliver rehabilitation in an enriched environment with high fidelity.

This is one of the untapped areas of research in the world and she can say proudly that UiTM is one of the pioneers with the most comprehensive team comprising of medical doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, computer scientists and VR experts from the industry (Motiofixo Sdn Bhd). This is because UiTM is well equipped with the multidisciplinary experts, which not a lot of other institutions have. 

A breakthrough of this MRVR was where she incorporated VR technology to gamify rehabilitation medicine and create a platform that encourages patients to fully engage in therapy either it be hospital based, clinic or community center based or even at home. VR is one of the ways where you can bring treatment to the doorstep, bringing technology to a person in need.  

In the recent Digi Raya video that featured her team and stroke patient, En Md Zin, the innovation with the high-powered technology, combined with the human spirit provided by the family and friends aided the 57 year old stroke victim’s recovery.

Read more at: https://marketingmagazine.com.my/digi-raya-ad-focuses-on-using-tech-to-help-humanity/

From 2012 to 2019, more than 300,000 Malaysians suffered from stroke and bringing therapy out of the hospital and making it more accessible is very critical.

Fazah says “the reason for trying virtual reality and all the research with rehabilitation technology is to do something impactful and meaningful for my patients and their families.” 

This MRVR (Medical Rehabilitation VR) programme is currently in the research prototype stage with collaboration between the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Computer Science & Mathematics, Faculty of Health Sciences and industrial support from Motiofixo Sdn Bhd. They are embarking on a randomised control trial, and hope it will soon be available to patients outside UiTM.

Looking back, Dr.Fazah says “I love to venture into the unknown,  however you have to be brave to face the failures”. She doesn’t mind failures because each failure teaches her something new and she loves the journey.

To read more on Fazah’s breakthrough, please read https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8405454

This MRVR program is currently in the research prototype stage with collaboration between the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Computer Science & Mathematics and Faculty of Health Sciences of UiTM and, industrial support from Motiofixo Sdn. Bhd. They hope it will soon be available to patients outside UiTM. Looking back, Dr. Fazah says, “I love to venture into the unknown; however, you have to be brave to face the failures”. She doesn’t mind failures because each failure teaches her something new and she loves the journey.

To read more on Dr. Fazah’s breakthrough, please read https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8405454