Digital engagement and transformation of healthcare in Singapore

IHiS, Singapore’s national health IT agency aims to better digitally engage patients in a less transactional manner in the post pandemic era.

By Dean Koh

COVID-19 has pushed digital health technologies such as telehealth and remote monitoring /virtual care into the fore, and the nation-state of Singapore is no exception. Its ‘whole of society’ approach to combating the pandemic, in which the government, private sector and citizens come together as a unit has resulted in an extremely low fatality rate of 0.05% (27 deaths out of more than 57,000 cases at the time of writing).

Another important component in Singapore’s effective approach in containing the pandemic is the Ministry of Health’s method of risk profiling through multi-agency efforts to capture data, and subsequently having tiers to provide different levels of care based on the COVID-19 patient cases’ severity.

Bruce Liang, CEO of Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS), Singapore’s national health IT agency, said during the first episode of the Singapore Digital Dialogue Series that the use of tech, together with the close alignment of the Health Ministry’s risk stratification plans, has resulted in the adoption of a care model that is “manpower light and tech heavy”. With the majority of confirmed COVID-19 cases being relatively healthy, these patients can be managed with the use of remote monitoring tech in newly created Community Care Facilities (CCFs), while manpower can be focused on dealing with higher-risk patients.

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