The implementation of TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (TT-only SE) will be brought forward to 17 May 2021 from the previously announced 1 June 2021.
This means all venues that are required to enforce SE check-in will be required to implement TT-only SE from 17 May 2021. These venues are those that experience higher throughput of visitors such as malls, workplaces, places of worship, schools and educational institutions, as well as places where people are likely to be in close proximity for prolonged periods like dine-in food and beverage outlets and gyms.
This move aims to achieve greater coverage and active participation in the TT Programme, especially for venues or settings where community spread is most likely to occur.
It will strengthen digital contact tracing and help the government better manage the recent rise in community cases, some of which are currently unlinked and have resulted in the formation of community clusters. With more effective digital contact tracing, the speed of isolating close contacts will be improved.
Implementation of TT-only SE
With the nationwide implementation of TT-only SE on 17 May 2021, SE check-in must be performed using a TT App or Token by: using the TT App to scan the venue’s QR code; displaying a TT Token so that a venue staff can scan the TT Token’s QR code or tapping the TT App or TT Token at a SafeEntry Gateway device.
Other modes of SE check-in such as launching your phone’s camera to scan a venue’s QR code and using Singpass App will be discontinued from 17 May 2021. To help ease the transition, scanning of barcodes on personal IDs will be retained until 31 May 2021.
SEGW required to be deployed at more venues
From 15 June 2021, more public-facing venues where people are likely to be in contact for prolonged periods, such as food and beverage dine-in outlets, hotels, and sports and fitness centres, will be required to deploy SafeEntry Gateway (SEGW) to facilitate SE check-in, and help users check that their TT Token is working. The SEGW will not light up or emit a beep sound if the TT Token is not working.
Venue operators can either download the SafeEntry (Business) App to use the SEGW function, or set up the SEGW Box. Venues that are required to deploy the SEGW will be able to apply for free SEGW Boxes. More information on how venue operators can apply for the SEGW Box is available on the SE Website.
TT App Update and TT Token Battery Replacement
As effective contact tracing requires the active usage of the TT App and Token, TT App users should ensure that their App is updated to the latest version, turn on their Bluetooth, and keep the App active in the background; while Token users should ensure that their Token has not run out of battery and always have the Token with them when they leave home.
TT Token users can check if their Token is working by looking out for a green light that blinks about once every minute. If the Token is blinking red, or if there is no light at all, users should replace their Token at any Community Club/Centre (CC), or at Token replacement booths set up at selected malls. Those who have not collected the Token can also do so at any CC islandwide. More information can be found on the TokenGoWhere website.
Importance of TT and SE
The TT Programme and SE are important digital tools that enable contact tracers to quickly identify and isolate close contacts of COVID-19 cases.This also helps to break transmission chains and prevent community outbreaks. While TT data identifies an initial list of close contacts, SE data provides the list of places visited by COVID-19 cases to help Singapore’s contact tracers establish cluster links. The combined use of these digital tools has enabled us to reduce the average time taken to contact trace from 4 days to less than 1.5 days.
These digital tools enable close contacts to be quickly isolated, and the general public to be alerted if they had been to places visited by COVID-19 cases, such as through the TT App or at wereyouthere.safeentry.gov.sg (with Singpass login).
They would then be able to take the precaution of monitoring their health closely for 14 days from the date of visit. Recently, more than 18,000 SMS alerts have been sent to individuals identified by SE as having been to places visited by COVID-19 cases linked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster.
With the recent community cases, active participation in the TT Programme is crucial for effective contact tracing. Singapore government urges co-operation to use either the TT App or Token, and to remain on guard in the fight against COVID-19.
The trial Mobile Money service approved by the Prime Minister will set a precedent for applying a “sandbox” scheme for new services and professions in the digital society. Sandbox is a controlled institutional framework applied to new technologies, products, services, and business models. It is an environment for technology firms to try their new technological apps and business models. After the trial period, management agencies will review the trial implementation and then accept or reject it.
Using laws to set rules to deal with new issues arising from the application of new technologies is a challenge. As per a press release, the apps may have a rapid impact on society that management systems may not be able to keep up with. Many traditional business fields have changed, and businesses have to utilise technology to work more effectively. It is impossible to manage new services and business models within the existing framework because policies tend to lag behind practices. Therefore, a sandbox model is more advantageous.
According to an industry expert, it is impossible to demand state management agencies to create policies for the future. Many countries apply sandbox policies to encourage enterprises to develop new business models, with certain limitations in deployment. The Prime Minister has put into effect the pilot implementation of Mobile Money services – making payments for small-value goods and services with telecom accounts. The pilot programme will last two years.
This is the first service that the government has applied the sandbox mechanism managed by several ministries and branches. The government hopes the service will contribute to the development of non-cash payments, and promote the access and use of financial services, especially in rural areas. Businesses can only provide Mobile Money to remit money and make payments for legal goods and services in Vietnam in accordance with current laws. Mobile Money is only applied to domestic transactions with a monthly transaction value limit of VND10 million (US$4,397).
Vietnam is not the first country that has accepted a new technology platform, but experts said that it has an advantage by learning lessons from predecessors. In Vietnam, the proportion of credit card users is still low, but mobile subscriber density is very high. 99% of transactions with a small value of below VND100,000 (US$4) are carried out in cash. Mobile Money will be a strong solution to promote non-cash payments in society.
The Minister of Information and Communications stated that Mobile Money is a convincing example that shows that telecom carriers can become platforms for many things, not only telecom infrastructure. They can become platforms for data, computing, digital content, authentication, IT services, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Mobile Money is expected to help Vietnam become a digital society. The project is the first sandbox involving many ministries and sectors to be piloted to meet the needs of society. It will pave the way for more sandboxes to be applied to other new services and business models in the future. He added that Mobile Money is a great opportunity for mobile network operators to build an ecosystem to accelerate digital transformation.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said it is accelerating the implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) or the national ID programme to enhance the government’s ability to deliver various social services. NEDA chair said that more than 42 million Filipinos had registered as of September for step 1 or collection of demographic data. Notwithstanding the quarantines, he said nearly 30 million took the second step to supply their biometrics in the registration centres.
OpenGov Asia reported that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) expects the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to register 50 to 70 million people for the national digital ID by the end of the year. It is noted that as of July 2, 37.2 million people had completed Step 1, which involves the collection of demographic information, and 16.2 million had completed Step 2, which involves the capture of biometrics at designated registration centres.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is challenging, but the Philippines has a solid foundation to recover at the right time. Reforms such as Rice Tariffication Law and the National ID are helping us restore our development trajectory and enabling the people, especially the poor, to access affordable food and better social services.
– NEDA Chairperson
Speaking on the progress being made by the digital ID project, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary at NEDA said: “The COVID-19 crisis underscores the need to provide unhampered access to banking and social services for all Filipinos, especially the poor. Therefore, the President gave the directive to accelerate the implementation of the Philippine Identification System or PhilSys to provide all Filipinos with a unique and digitalised ID.”
He underlined that the Filipinos, particularly the poor, would be able to open bank accounts where cash transfers can be received directly. “We aim to register at least 50 million Filipinos by the end of this year,” he said.
The pandemic gave new promptness and highlighted the primacy of financial integration into government crisis containment and rehabilitation efforts. It showed the vital role of financial inclusion in social welfare and protection, as the transaction accounts became a necessary means to receive government cash support from the poorest and most vulnerable in the country.
As per NEDA’s Chairperson, PhilSys would also facilitate financial inclusion by providing every Filipino with a valid proof of identity, which is required for low-income earners to open bank accounts, receive cash transfers, and access other financial services.
Meanwhile, the Philippines’ state-run bank said it has signed up 5.3 million unbanked PhilSys registrants for their own transaction accounts via account opening booths at select PhilSys co-location areas nationwide. The registrants have already used their prepaid cards for a total of P31.8 million in transactions.
The PhilSys registrants can use the Landbank prepaid cards to manage funds, withdraw cash, perform cashless transactions, shop and pay bills online, and receive government subsidies digitally. As per the president and CEO of the Philippines bank, bringing unbanked Filipinos into the financial mainstream lays the groundwork for inclusive growth, particularly as we accelerate initiatives toward economic recovery and sustained development. Access to formal banking services motivates people to save money, repay loans, invest in financial products, and achieve financial independence.
Unbanked PhilSys registrants may access bank transaction accounts after completing the PhilSys Step 2 registration process, which includes validating supporting documents and capturing biometrics data. PhilSys registrants can also activate their bank prepaid cards and conduct transactions through the bank’s mobile branches, which are located in communities across the country where banking services are disrupted or limited.
The bank’s mobile branch is intended to serve unbanked and underserved communities as well as areas affected by disasters, calamities, and other disruptive events, as part of the bank’s increased efforts to promote greater financial inclusion in the community.
A team of scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed a predictive computer model. When tested on real pandemic data would have reduced the rate of both COVID19 infections and deaths by an average of 72% based on a sample from four countries.
The model, called NSGA-II, could be used to alert local governments in advance on possible surges in COVID-19 infections and mortalities, allowing them time to put forward relevant countermeasures more rapidly.
The main goal of our study is to aid health authorities to make data-driven decisions in fighting the global COVID-19 pandemic. The critical knowledge discovered in historical data enables us to provide early warning, preparation, and prevention for crisis control and enhance the resilience of human societies.
– Assistant Professor NTU’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and lead researcher
Through the testing of the model in four Asian countries using data available, the team demonstrated that it could have helped reduce the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths by up to 76% in Japan, 65% in South Korea, 59% per cent in Pakistan and 89 per cent in Nepal.
The computer model achieved the result by recommending timely and country-specific advice on the optimal application and duration of COVID-19 interventions, such as home quarantines, social distancing measures, and personal protective measures that would help to thwart the negative impact of the pandemic.
The team also showed NSGA-II could make predictions on the daily increases of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths that were highly accurate, at a confidence level of 95%, compared to the actual cases that took place in the four countries over the past year.
Harnessing the power of machine learning, the research team developed the model by inputting large amounts of data on COVID-19 mortalities and infections worldwide that is available for the whole of 2020, helping it learn the dynamics of the pandemic.
As the pandemic progresses and the COVID-19 virus undergoes many mutations, it threatens the resilience of global society across every aspect of daily life, the environment, and the economy, and it requires the prompt and prioritised attention of policymakers worldwide.
The developed computer programme could serve as a useful tool to help governments formulate strategies and interventions at an early stage to limit or even counter a predicted surge in cases, reducing infections and mortality rates.
The team plans to introduce more variables, such as economic status and cultural differences, into the model to further improve its accuracy. They are seeking to validate its efficacy by including data from additional countries in Europe and North America, providing insights into COVID-19 evolution across different geographies.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, 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.
As Singapore and much of the world is turning the corner on the pandemic, it is driving the adoption of transformative technologies in healthcare. In the last year, 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.
Minnesota is among the latest states to introduce a secure digital option for residents to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Using an app called Docket, Minnesotans can now view and share their immunisation records with local businesses, restaurants and other public venues where COVID vaccination is required.
The release of the app comes after the state Department of Health has been flooded with requests for vaccination records. So far this year, there have been more than 33,000 vaccine record requests, with 19,000 coming since July 1.
We recognise the importance of having a secure and convenient way to find, view, and share people’s their your family’s immunisation records, such as needing records for school or child care.
– Minnesota Department of Health, Infectious Disease Division Director
Residents who were vaccinated within the state can use the app to pull up their records through the Minnesota Immunisation Information Connection (MIIC), a confidential system that stores electronic immunisation records. The app then gives users the option of saving and distributing a PDF document of the record as they see fit.
The app allows residents to access a digital copy of their vaccination records without having to sign up for an app specifically intended for verifying COVID-19 vaccines. Docket uses two-factor security and searches for immunisation records based on a person’s name and date of birth.
The app also gives state residents a faster way to access their immunisation records. The volume of recent records requests to the health department means it is taking weeks for people to get their vaccination records back, but the app gives an option for people to more directly and quickly access their immunisation information.
Efforts to provide U.S. residents with digital versions of their immunisation records have picked up steam in recent months as employers and retail businesses increasingly require such proof. Reports of individuals providing fake COVID vaccine records have pushed states to launch their own verification apps to give residents a state-verified digital option for proving their vaccination status.
Residents who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use the app can still request a record of their vaccinations from the state or their health care provider. Those requests are currently taking weeks because of increased demand.
Virginia has also announced the addition of QR codes to its vaccination records. The code, which can be scanned using a smartphone, provides the same information as the paper records – however, since it is digitally signed by the Virginia Department of Health, it cannot be altered or forged. Virginia is the fifth state to adopt the secure SMART Health format.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed how big data and analytics technologies are being used in the public health sector. For example, governments and organisations developed contact tracing, where phone numbers and location data from mobile devices were combined with lab results in public health systems to issue alerts when an individual came in contact with a confirmed COVID patient. This information empowered people to preemptively self-isolate and/or head for rapid testing.
Public health agencies must understand how to use data effectively as the use of big data during the pandemic is essential. They should start working on plans to protect the privacy of the end-user and comply with the evolving laws around personal data privacy.
Additionally, organisations should determine what they will do with the data they are gathering. Data is only worthwhile if the organisations use the right tools to read and interpret it. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is vital for processing the vast amounts of data collected by today’s technology.
Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has released a fully integrated 3D version of OneMap, Singapore’s authoritative national map. The tool is the certified national map of Singapore which contains the latest and most comprehensive information on Singapore’s landscape. A product of a collaboration between several government agencies, the map’s services are free to access.
The application, OneMap3D, was unveiled at the Singapore Geospatial Festival 2021, where SLA also signed separate memorandums of understanding (MOU) with the country’s logistics and real estate agencies to expand the industry’s use of OneMap.
The latest was created by converting the original format to 3D using open-source 3D geospatial technology and 3D city modelling. Initially, OneMap was first released in 2010, followed by an improved version in 2017 in 2D that included features such as real-time traffic data and an Application Programming Interface (API) for app developers.
It is built on our commitment to enhance our country’s geospatial capabilities and to provide new geospatial solutions for businesses, government and the wider public.
– Singapore’s culture, community and youth minister
OneMap is the country’s digital map service, and it is constantly updated with information from government agencies, such as where citizens can pick up a free face mask. Singapore’s Civil Defence Force also used OneMap to create MyResponder, an app that alerts all trained first responders to cardiac arrests in the area. The new OneMap3D upgrade will allow citizens to navigate through a neighbourhood in the first-person view, simulating what a route would look like in person.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, Geospatial Technology involves the use of technology for collecting and utilising geographic information. Some of these technologies include Geographic Information System (GIS), GPS, remote sensing, and geofencing.
On the prevalence of the use of geospatial information in Singapore, organisations such as Grab manipulate this data to be able to match drivers with passengers, in real-time. There is already an everyday use of geospatial technology with the likes of GPS for navigating around. It provides location-based services such as:
- Bus explorer: for information on bus routes and arrival timing
- Landquery: Finding out land ownership and land lot information
- Schoolquery: Searching for primary schools which are located within a 1-2 km radius from a location
- Trafficquery: Live traffic information, cameras, ERP gantries and availability of parking lots
SLA Chief Executive says the MOUs with the logistics and real estate agencies are part of SLA’s efforts to collaborate with industry leaders to promote growth and opportunities through geospatial solutions.
SLA’s MOU with the property or real estate company in the real estate space will result in the development of new feature data collection and customised Application Programming Interface (API) to improve the property company’s applications and OneMap geospatial information. As per the company’s CEO, the collaboration has the potential to be a “game-changer” in the real estate industry.
In contrast, the parties will collaborate on geospatial co-innovations to improve hyperlocal and granular data at the street level for last-mile delivery under SLA’s MOU with Singapore’s logistics company. “We are delighted to be SLA’s first express logistics partner for GeoWorks,” says the CEO of the logistics firm.
He went on to say that by having the company’s drivers contribute pictorial information to enable OneMap’s accuracy and data volume, the company could potentially set a new industry operational standard by improving the entire last-mile delivery process.
The SLA and homegrown robotics and automation solution company MOU will see the trial of automated data capture with robots, limiting the time and effort from manual data capture, to develop geospatial innovation in the area of robotics and automation solutions. This collaboration will also allow SLA and the company to develop standards for robotics-ready maps and map information interoperability for compatibility across multiple platforms.
Western Australia’s Main Roads has completed the migration of its customer relationship management (CRM) system into the cloud in collaboration with an American multinational technology corporation. The government agency has transitioned CONNECT, a Dynamics-powered CRM suite by the company, to the cloud as part of a nine-month project.
The project, supported by ASG and WithPrecision, is aimed at modernising the legacy system and providing enhanced support for its network operations centre. The new cloud-based CONNECT platform is being integrated with Main Roads’ raft of legacy software, including its Oracle-based road data application and its record-keeping systems.
Main Roads is planning to create an Azure Data Lake to store data from different systems. To enhance its data and analytics capabilities, the agency also plans to make more use of Microsoft’s Power Platform to turn the stored data into actionable insights.
The platform has been customised to support the agency’s 24/7 Customer Information Centre by allowing staff to record calls as a customer activity or convert them into a case or fault report. Activities, cases or fault reports can also be linked to customised Project pages providing a centralised view of all customer interactions related to road projects across WA.
Main Roads CRM System Manager stated that the new platform has been well received by users. He noted that people very quickly could see the advantage of having a centralised customer system and start building a more holistic view of our customers. It gives the team a real-time view of what’s going on within infrastructure delivery projects which they never had before.
OpenGov Asia recently reported that Transport for NSW is hoping that aggregated data collected by a Dutch consumer electronics company and LiDAR systems might provide it with more timely insight into conditions and hazards on the state’s road network. The agency, in collaboration with iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), currently relies on videos taken by crews for safety assessments, from which certain road attributes are extracted.
However, TfNSW wants to speed up the process, and has embarked on a project that will “convert raw data… into an international standard five-star rating system”. The project will deliver 20,000 km of road attributes in NSW using TomTom’s MN-R map data, as well as prove feature extraction techniques and machine learning for LiDAR data.
MN-R is the model that the consumer electronics company uses to keep its mapping data up-to-date. It combines several layers of data collection techniques, including from the use of its navigation systems and from sensors.
In addition to understanding road conditions and hazards, TfNSW hopes the project could also lead to the development of predictive algorithms around injuries and fatalities in the future. The project will feed into a global ‘AiRAP’ initiative from a non-profit roads rating agency, the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP).
TfNSW is also working with the University of Technology Sydney and geospatial data experts an NSW software company on the project. The local company has previously partnered with the consumer electronics company to extract more than 50 road assets and safety features such as road markings, safety barriers and trees from LiDAR data.
The IRAP global innovation manager, who is overseeing the project, said AI had the “potential to reduce costs and increase the frequency and accuracy of data”. She noted that making faster and more affordable data collection possible means that safety assessments can be done on an annual basis across the whole road network.
The global road safety market size was valued at US$2.88 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4% from 2021 to 2028. During the COVID-19 pandemic, road fatalities witnessed a sharp decline.
Most aspects of everyday lives as consumers or employees have been embedded by Artificial Intelligence (AI) based systems. The further advancement and increased diffusion of AI capabilities pose risks of job replacement and even concerns of what this all means in terms of being human. Singapore Management University’s (SMU)Business Partnerships unit and International Trading Institute delved into the issue of “Working with AI-Enabled Smart Machines”.
University professors and thought leaders documented 30 examples of people doing their everyday work in real-world business settings in partnership with AI-enabled smart machines. These case studies will be used in their co-authored book The Future of Work Now: People Collaborating with Smart Machines.
The case studies covered a range of industry settings including insurance and financial services, knowledge work across other service sector industries, healthcare, factory floor production, and field operations across multiple industries.
One example cited was from one of Singapore’s banks who had massive migration to data analytics starting in 2010 and their follow-on progression into using machine learning. The system was able to draw on the bank’s existing data sources and external data to evaluate the probability of fraud or financial crime.
Before using this new system, the majority of the time spent by the bank employees who were doing transaction surveillance was on data amalgamation and sorting through the alerts generated by the prior generation of rule-based systems. The latter is an earlier type of AI application, with most of these alerts being false alarms.
With the new machine-learning-based system analysing and evaluating the rule-based alerts, the transaction surveillance employees can now focus directly on the alerts identified by the system as having a high or medium probability of being an actual problem.
The employee’s work time is allocated more efficiently, as they no longer need to look at large numbers of false alarms. Additionally, they no longer need to manually amalgamate all the supporting information use to evaluate each alarm as that background data access and integration work was automated as part of the machine learning application.
Another case study was on Southeast Asia’s largest e-commerce platform. They are a digital-native born company whose business is based on AI-enabled data analytics. The case study highlighted the role of their product managers. These are the people who orchestrate the complex process of developing, phasing in and scaling new Shopee e-commerce platform capabilities and feature enhancements.
The product manager’s challenge is to do this in a way that meets business goals, satisfies customer needs, deals with the constraints and problems faced by the technology teams developing the new AI-enabled capabilities and features, and addresses the many conflicting requirements and trade-offs that arise.
The case study highlighted that while product managers are overseeing the processes of bringing AI-enabled capabilities and features of the platform to market, the nature of their role is so multi-faceted and complex that very few of their engagement management, negotiation, coordination, and decision-making tasks can be automated by these same type of AI capabilities. This product manager example illustrates one of the important ways in which human roles are required to manage the implementation of AI-based change efforts within a complex company setting.
The threat is not about AI taking away human jobs. The real threat is when people choose not to team with AI. Organisations need to learn how to capitalise on what AI can do, go beyond just thinking about simple labour displacement and manpower cost savings, and find ways to use the technology to create value in ways that lead to new demand and correspondingly to new employment opportunities.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, AI is becoming more sophisticated at doing what humans do, but more efficiently, quickly, and cheaply. Scientists from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and clinicians from Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) have used artificial intelligence to create a new method of screening for glaucoma.