Philips and University of Malaya to establish centre for sleep
23 January 2012
South East Asia’s first excellence centre for sleep disorders
will be established at the University of Malaya Specialist Centre (UMSC)
in collaboration with Philips Malaysia. The centre is scheduled to open
in July this year.
The ASEAN Sleep Research & Competence Centre (ASRCC) will focus on
driving awareness and early diagnosis of sleep disorders through
clinical research, training, and a full spectrum of sleep medicine
The ASRCC will constitute four sub-sections: Training Academy,
Clinical Research Centre, Tele-medicine Centre, and Corporate
- Training Academy: Sleep medicine training
by the ASRCC will be recognized by hospitals worldwide, as it
will be conducted by a global faculty and based on the global
standards by the American Society of Sleep Medicine. The
training sub-section of the ASRCC aims to increase the number of
trained sleep specialists in the region.
- Clinical Research Centre: The ASRCC will be
involved in clinical research to improve the understanding sleep
disorders from an Asian perspective. Patient-oriented product
and application research will also be conducted through this
- Tele-Medicine Centre: Asia needs more
trained specialists and facilities for sleep disorders, as this
field of medicine that is still developing. To overcome this, a
Tele-medicine centre will be set up that will help to meet the
needs of more patients across far flung areas. The hub will
provide sleep consultation across ASEAN through a centralized
hub for sleep reports scoring, analysis and patient management.
- Corporate Services Centre: To raise
awareness of sleep disorders and its link to employee
productivity, the corporate services sub-section of the ASRCC
will offer corporate packages for sleep disorder screening and
Professor Dato’ Amin Bin Jalaludin, Chief Executive Officer,
University of Malaya Specialist Centre, said, “We often forget to
acknowledge the role of a good night’s sleep and its effect on our
health. Research has shown that the quality and amount of sleep we
have can affect our health, safety and productivity. The most common
of sleep disorders, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, is also closely linked
to other diseases. For example, moderate-to-severe OSA patients have
a three-fold increase in the risk of hypertension and a two-fold
increase in the risk of heart failure.
"As such, sleep disorders are a clear concern across different
fields of medicine. I believe the upcoming ASEAN Sleep Research &
Competence Centre may help hospitals across the region to provide
new levels of understanding and competencies in the diagnosis and
management of sleep disorders.”
According to a recent survey by Malaysian Institute of Road
Safety Research on 289 bus drivers, 44.3% were found to have sleep
disorders. Road accidents are one of the significant impacts from
OSA. Other sleep disorders such as Insomnia, Parasomnia, and
Narcolepsy also interfere with normal physical, mental and emotional
functioning causing people to become less productive at work,
irritable, depressed and sleepy behind the wheel while driving.
The ASRCC plans to open its doors for screening and management of
OSA for public vehicle drivers and work with the government for
drivers to undergo compulsory OSA screening. The ASRCC will focus on
all areas of sleep disorders, including Obstructive Sleep Apnea
(OSA), Insomnia and Narcolepsy.
“The upcoming ASEAN Sleep Research & Competence Centre is a great
example of a partnership that will improve the lives of patients
with sleep disorders. As a result, we believe that this will help to
relieve the healthcare costs on economies,” said Naeem Shahab Khan,
Managing Director of Philips Malaysia.
Sleep disorders in Asia
Sleep is the most under-diagnosed and least talked pillar of a
healthy lifestyle. The estimated prevalence of Sleep Disordered
Breathing (SDB) is 24% among men and 9% among women between the ages
of 30 and 60.
Increasing obesity in Asia especially in Malaysia, Philippines,
and Singapore is driving higher prevalence of OSA, which is the most
common disorder that is associated with SDB. 15.1% of Malaysia’s
adult population, or 2.5 million adults, are classified as obese.
Even though OSA was clinically recognized over 30 years ago,
awareness of this condition outside the field of sleep medicine has
been slow to develop2. In Asia, the prevalence of OSA among
middle-aged men is 4.1 to 7.5% and, 2.1 to 3.2% among middle-aged
women. Besides obesity, facial bone structure is also a major
contributor of OSA among Asians.