September 26, 2023

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Healthcare: The Impact of Technology and Innovation

In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, the world of healthcare has witnessed a remarkable transformation. The integration of technology and innovation into medical practices has not only improved treatment outcomes but has also significantly altered the way healthcare is delivered.

One individual at the forefront of this healthcare revolution is Prof Lawrence Ho Khek-Yu, a distinguished Senior Consultant, Professor, and Director of the Centre for Innovation in Healthcare at the National University Health System (NUHS) in Singapore. Prof Lawrence shed light on the profound impact of COVID-19 on healthcare practices and emphasised the importance of embracing digital solutions to enhance accessibility and equality in healthcare.

The COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed a paradigm shift in healthcare delivery. With social distancing measures in place, traditional healthcare practices faced unprecedented challenges. In response, telemedicine emerged as a vital solution.

Prof Lawrence noted that teleconsultations rapidly gained popularity, allowing patients and healthcare providers to adapt to this innovative mode of healthcare delivery. While telemedicine has shown promise, it is just one piece of the puzzle in the larger landscape of digital healthcare.

One of the hurdles encountered in the digitalisation of healthcare is the lack of an integrated ecosystem. Video consultations, while prevalent, are only a fraction of what a comprehensive healthcare system should encompass.

Prof Lawrence identified issues such as the scarcity of examination tools and delays in medication delivery as substantial obstacles. Additionally, the limited access to medical information and the inability to provide detailed explanations or drawings during virtual consultations can impede the progress of telemedicine.

Another challenge that cannot be overlooked is the diverse demographic of healthcare consumers. Elderly patients and other segments of society may face difficulties in adapting to technology. Furthermore, telemedicine cannot fully replicate the nonverbal and emotional aspects of in-person interactions. To bridge these gaps, Prof Lawrence emphasised the need for continuous refinement and expansion of telemedicine, making it more inclusive and user-friendly.

While telemedicine represents a significant step forward, Prof Lawrence stressed the need for the medical industry to evolve further. Current diagnostic techniques primarily rely on the five senses, limiting the scope of patient data collection.

The integration of sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) technology offers a promising avenue for collecting more accurate and comprehensive patient data. This, in turn, can lead to more precise diagnoses and tailored treatment plans, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

However, Prof Lawrence cautioned against a rush toward dramatic changes driven by hype. He argued that current medical developments often prioritise the interests of developers and creators over the end-users, leading to a lack of user-centricity. Instead, he advocated for a more gradual and deliberate approach to medical development, with an increased focus on cost-effectiveness and aligning innovations with the specific needs and preferences of patients, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders.

In addition to the medical community, Prof Lawrence called upon academia and investors to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare. He urged academia to shift its focus from research-driven solely by academic interests to practical applications that address real-world healthcare challenges. As for investors, he emphasised the importance of addressing population-level issues rather than concentrating solely on niche areas.

As global populations continue to age, addressing the healthcare requirements of an ageing demographic has become increasingly critical. Prof Lawrence drew attention to the example of Singapore, which has successfully implemented technology to support its elderly population. He encouraged startups and investors to explore this growing market segment and develop innovations tailored to the unique needs of older individuals.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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