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Transforming Public Health in Hong Kong

Image Credits: HKSTP, Press Release
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In a significant move towards advancing public health and fostering innovation in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and the Department of Health (DH) have forged a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The primary objective of the partnership is to harness cutting-edge innovation and technology (I&T) to accelerate the digitalisation of public health functions while cultivating an innovation-driven culture within the healthcare sector. This collaboration is poised to better equip the DH to address the ever-evolving challenges of public health and align seamlessly with the smart government strategy.

Over the next three years, under the terms of the MoU, HKSTP and DH will embark on a joint exploration of innovative solutions across four pivotal domains within DH’s public health functions. These domains encompass health regulatory affairs, health protection and health promotion, health administration, and dental and clinical services.

This collaborative effort will zero in on six critical public health application areas: smart health regulatory functions, smart clinics, smart workflow re-engineering, smart customer services, online engagement, and data collaboration. By identifying suitable innovative solutions for the DH, tech ventures will also have the unique opportunity to test their tailor-made solutions in real-life operating environments.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by key figures including the Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry; the Director of Health; and the Chairman of the HKSTP. The Head of Health Informatics and Technology Office of the DH and the Chief Executive Officer of the HKSTP put pen to paper, formalising this groundbreaking collaboration.

In his remarks at the ceremony, the Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry emphasised the government’s multifaceted approach to encourage various departments and public and private organisations to expedite the implementation of digital economy and smart city initiatives.

The DH, as the government’s health advisor, has been proactively responding to this direction by harnessing smart government initiatives and leveraging data. The collaboration, combined with rapidly evolving technologies like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and big data analysis in Hong Kong, is expected to inject new vitality into the city’s public health services, ultimately benefiting the entire populace. Furthermore, the partnership is anticipated to inspire more I&T companies to collaborate with government departments, ushering in digitalisation and intelligence solutions for various public services.

The Director of Health, in his opening speech, underscored the DH’s longstanding commitment to promoting the application of I&T in public health. The imperative brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the pivotal role of I&T in effectively addressing evolving public health challenges. These challenges encompass not only new and known communicable diseases but also risk factors and lifestyles related to non-communicable diseases, health regulatory aspects, and more.

All healthcare professionals are being encouraged to embrace I&T and foster an environment of continuous innovation within the department. Over the coming years, DH will continue to collaborate with industry and academia, creating a vibrant public health ecosystem that nurtures I&T, yielding mutually beneficial outcomes.

The CEO of HKSTP expressed his enthusiasm for this transformative partnership. He affirmed that the alliance with the DH marked an exciting chapter in improving public services. Leveraging HKSTP’s extensive network of proven innovative solutions, the aim was to enhance public health services through the integration of I&T.

The collaboration is a major milestone in the path toward digital transformation in public health, poised to drive innovation and enhance a healthy Hong Kong. The MoU stands as a groundbreaking partnership with significant implications for the future of public health, inspiring a smarter healthcare sector in Hong Kong through innovation and technology. This partnership serves as an inspiration for other government departments and industries to explore digitalisation and intelligence solutions, shaping a more innovative and technologically advanced Hong Kong for its residents.


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