SingHealth transforms healthcare to improve patient experience with IoMT

By | 3 minute read | August 17, 2021

X-ray on iPad

We in Singapore’s healthcare community have learned various things from the Covid-19 experience that can guide the way we deliver care in the future. We’ve learned the importance of accurate information as the basis for informed decisions. And even more enlightening—and encouraging—we’ve seen how the people we serve can take more control of their healthcare destinies when they’re empowered by information and technology.

Toward tomorrow’s healthcare

Here at SingHealth, Singapore’s largest public healthcare cluster, our mission is to define tomorrow’s medicine. As Group Chief Digital Strategy Officer, one of my key roles is to drive SingHealth’s 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.

As Singapore and much of the world is turning the corner on the pandemic, I have come away with my own important lessons about what drives the adoption of transformative practices in healthcare. Organizational leadership, of course, 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, and these changes are only the beginning.

Patients take larger role in managing their health

What we witnessed over the last year—a demonstrated willingness for individuals to take on a more active role in managing their health—aligns closely with our vision of the future of healthcare. Put simply, we believe this change of mindset is a prelude to an even more dramatic evolution in how healthcare is delivered and received.

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 AI, hybrid cloud and automation. And it’s made accessible by the growing ubiquity of smart phones.

Modernization of healthcare with IoMT

In our 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 we have followed, millions of patients are served by a limited number of healthcare providers. Now imagine a future where people who aren’t feeling well can securely upload their temperatures, oxygen levels and other vital signs into the cloud without waiting. They can use AI-powered health assistants to recommend a next course of action, whether it’s going to the emergency room, scheduling a tele-consultation or an office visit. And they can make it happen with a single click via automation.

Learn about SingHealth’s vision and partnership with IBM:

While we believe that this vision is within reach, we recognize that a broader program of modernization across our enterprise—of our architectures, applications and solutions—is necessary to get there. And the reason is simple. Much of the data that is so vital to our process transformation is trapped in old, disparate systems and databases; that’s a virtual fact of life across all healthcare providers.

The human side of healthcare transformation

The modernization investments we’re making now are positioning us 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 our transformation journey, we at SingHealth believe it’s critical to keep the focus on the human, high-touch dimension of the patient’s healthcare experience. It’s a principle that underpins all our efforts: to succeed in our transformation, we need to blend hi-tech with high-touch.

Listen to Benedict Tan discuss SingHealth’s healthcare transformation with IoMT: