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Singapore to Advance Healthcare Innovations, Practice-Based Education

Image credits: singaporetech.edu.sg

A five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between SingHealth and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) aims to promote students’ practice-oriented healthcare education and foster new healthcare innovation projects.

This is a component of the organisations’ focus on empowering the existing and future healthcare workers to use innovation and technology to address national healthcare concerns and provide value-based care for Singapore’s ageing population

“As Singapore’s population ages and our healthcare needs increase, we must build a strong pipeline of healthcare professionals who are not only well-trained clinically, but also equipped with the right skillsets to galvanise innovation and technological advances to overcome current and future healthcare issues.”

– Professor Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth

The future generation of healthcare professionals will be fostered through this partnership, and SingHealth is happy to work with SIT to deepen and expand the capabilities of the healthcare community.

Their collaboration will be crucial in creating a workforce in the healthcare industry that can innovate answers for today’s problems as well as develop practical solutions to enhance the delivery of healthcare.

The SingHealth-SIT MoU is an expansion of an ongoing collaboration between the two organisations that was first started in 2016 with the goal of giving SIT students access to learning and research opportunities. Several new areas of partnership with an emphasis on innovation and practice-oriented education will be included in the MoU.

First, it will examine the co-development of new graduate diploma and certificate programmes with a focus on design thinking, automation, and artificial intelligence for nurses, allied health professionals, and healthcare system engineers. These abilities can be used in a clinical setting to improve patient care.

In addition to training healthcare professionals, the collaboration will drive interdisciplinary innovation programmes to support critical areas of healthcare, such as increasing nursing manpower and improving population health.

These programmes will use holistic healthcare systems engineering approaches, such as the integrated use of robotics, workflow automation, and green and lean infrastructure design, among others, to streamline processes, optimise resources, and reduce workload for a more seamless care delivery experience, as well as expand capabilities in preventive health initiatives.

Another important aspect of this collaboration is the experimentation and co-development of new healthcare innovations. SingHealth’s Medical Technology Office, SIT’s Applied Research Office, and Design Factory@SIT, a design-led innovation centre located at SIT, will make it possible for the students and faculty members to collaborate with SingHealth innovators on tackling real-world healthcare challenges through applied research and innovation.

Participants can apply for grants together to pursue projects that can then be adopted and scaled for clinical implementation. SIT students will gain an in-depth understanding of real-world clinical issues and needs, as well as hands-on experience designing innovative change solutions. Simultaneously, healthcare innovators will gain new ideas and industry perspectives from SIT faculty and students to better address healthcare challenges.

Lastly, the idea of making a co-shared “Living Laboratory” in the community will be explored when the SIT campus in the Punggol Digital District opens in 2024. It will facilitate the design, prototyping, and testing of healthcare innovations in the community, generate valuable insights for wider adoption and make innovation facilities and resources more available to healthcare innovators.

Professor Chua Kee Chaing, president of SIT, remarked that the expansion of the collaboration between SingHealth and SIT builds on the continuing, beneficial partnership that has benefited both schools’ healthcare students and personnel.

This extension provides new graduate diploma and certificate courses as well as possibilities for SIT students and faculty to collaborate with SingHealth innovators to address real-world healthcare concerns through innovation. As Singapore’s University of Applied Learning, SIT must create graduates with technologically sophisticated skill sets to support the local healthcare industry.

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