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SingHealth Transforms Healthcare to Improve Patient Experience with IoMT

Singapore’s healthcare community have learned various things from the Covid-19 experience that can guide the way they deliver care in the future. Accurate information is essential as the basis for informed decisions. Moreover, people can take more control of their healthcare destinies when they are empowered by information and technology.

Singapore’s largest public healthcare cluster, SingHealth’s mission is to define tomorrow’s medicine. SingHealth has gone transformation through technologies like cloud, AI and automation, all with the aim of delivering better outcomes, improving patient experiences and empowering the healthcare workforce to be more effective.

Group Chief Digital Strategy Officer at SingHealth

As Singapore and much of the world is turning the corner on the pandemic, it drives the adoption of transformative technologies in healthcare. Organisational leadership is key. In the last year, however, it was the intense and unrelenting pressures of the pandemic that ultimately proved to be the most potent agent of change for digital transformation in healthcare.

The necessary elements of this transformation—the required infrastructure—are rapidly coming to maturity. It starts with the increasing availability of health data from connected devices. It is unleashed by the increasing sophistication of technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), hybrid cloud and automation. This is made accessible by the growing ubiquity of smartphones.

Modernisation of healthcare with IoMT

In SingHealth’s vision, this connected infrastructure—the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)—serves as both the conduit and the catalyst for healthcare transformation. Under the traditional model, millions of patients are served by a limited number of healthcare providers.

Patients can use AI-powered health assistants to recommend the next course of action, whether it’s going to the emergency room, scheduling a teleconsultation or an office visit. And they can make it happen with a single click via automation.

While this vision is within reach, they recognise that a broader program of modernisation across their enterprise—of their architectures, applications and solutions—is necessary to get there. Much of the data that is so vital to the process transformation is trapped in old, disparate systems and databases; that is a virtual fact of life across all healthcare providers.

The human side of healthcare transformation

The modernisation investments are positioning SingHealth to transform how healthcare is delivered in Singapore, chiefly by putting more control into the hands of individuals. The potential benefits range from improvements in access and outcomes to increased efficiency and even reduced costs.

As important as technology is in their transformation journey, SingHealth believes that it is critical to keep the focus on the human, high-touch dimension of the patient’s healthcare experience. It is a principle that underpins all their efforts: to succeed in their digital transformation, SingHealth needs to blend hi-tech with high-touch.

SingHealth has made several initiatives to improve healthcare, such as co-developing a chatbot known as “Doctor Covid” to improve care for COVID-19 patients at community care facilities, with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS).

As reported by OpenGov Asia, The mobile app, Doctor Covid, boasts a variety of features in the patients’ native languages to help with effective communication and to support the medical teams in close monitoring of their health and well-being.

Using artificial intelligence (AI) such as machine learning, natural language processing and optical character recognition, Doctor Covid will be able to capture, analyse and respond to complex COVID-19-related questions posed by migrant workers in their respective native languages. This will be launched later this year.

Moving forward, data from Doctor Covid may be integrated with other COVID-19 data platforms and registries to form a big data platform with AI analytical tools for operational and research purposes.

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