Ministry of Health to Leverage Applications, Robotics etc. to Enhance Healthcare Services

The Minister of Health Gan Kim Yong recently announced that as part of the Ministry of Health’s Health IT Master Plan, an application, called the “Health MarketPlace”, has been developed and is currently in the testing phase. The application, which will be made available to all Singaporeans by end 2017, allows an individual to contact and engage a nurse who is located near him or her to provide simple medical care services. The nurse would subsequently note his or her findings in the application for other healthcare professionals attending to the same patient to refer to in future. Additionally, the application allows an individual to place orders for home care supplies.

Since April 2016, approximately 140 nurses from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Singapore General Hospital, which are participants in the testing phase of the application, have been enrolled and have made close to 75 patient visits in total.

Besides the testing of this application, Minister Gan has also expressed the Ministry’s support for the trial use of robotics in healthcare. This would include establishing prototypes of futuristic hospitals where technology can be incorporated into wards to make wards “smart”. Additionally, the Ministry is examining the possibility of having more efficient and effective models through which telehealth services can be provided.

Finally, there are plans to unveil a platform through which patients’ vital signs can be remotely monitored later this year. This will allow individuals to obtain medical advice and seek the necessary treatment for their conditions more promptly and with less hassle. Also, this will ensure that there is routine monitoring, better management of patients, and a decrease in the number of hospital visits and re-admissions of individuals.

More details can be found in the article here.

Receptiveness Towards Use of Technology Devices for Health Monitoring

Surveys published recently have shown that while not all Singaporeans are well versed with healthcare technology such as wearable devices and mobile health applications, they are generally receptive towards using it.

Also, notwithstanding the healthcare resources that are currently available in Singapore, many Singaporeans recognise the importance of such technology in enhancing the overall health of people and in better connecting patients with doctors. Some are even open to disclosing their health data to third parties for medical research purposes, though they also have concerns about the data security risks that accompany the use of such technology.

More details can be found in the article here.