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Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, Chairman, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Professor Ivy Ng, Group Chief Executive Officer, SingHealth

Assoc Prof Tan Tin Wee, Chief Executive, National Supercomputing Centre Singapore

Distinguished speakers

Guests, delegates, colleagues, friends from Singapore and around the world

1. Thank you very much for inviting me to join the second edition of the AI Health Summit. I am glad to see so many of you here, both from Singapore and beyond our shores. We are all here to engage in conversations around the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare. Your presence, your involvement, your contributions reflect a growing excitement and growing understanding of the potential these technologies have to revolutionise what we do in healthcare, and ultimately, serve our patients and residents.

2. We harness the power of artificial intelligence to do a few things. We need to focus on delivering (a) better diagnosis and treatment, (b) early detection, prevention, and prediction of diseases, (c) faster drug development, and lastly, (d) better understand the risks around intervention and how we must stratify it. Just to name a few examples but you could make an argument that these should be our priorities. The application of AI may take some more time to mature, and we are looking at how AI can help in the shorter term to enhance clinical decision support, increase productivity of our healthcare teams, and support individuals. Patients will be better and healthier residents in their Healthier SG journey for preventive population care.

3. Like everybody else working in this space, you and us are also mindful of the need to mitigate risks associated with AI. To do so, we have to work together with industry leaders, working on measures to ensure patient safety and that we have an idea of wellbeing at the forefront when we use this technology.

4. In order to achieve the impact that we imagine and hope for, we will have to have agile collaboration, quick deployment, and adoption across different sectors. I would like to highlight three broad efforts towards these common causes. The development of enablers and common platforms that facilitate collaboration and allow the easy deployment of AI models across the different institutions. Secondly, working with partners to better equip healthcare professionals to make the best use of AI in their work. And finally, we are working to embrace new AI technologies, such as Generative AI, and how do we make sure that our industry, which historically has had every reason to be conservative and focus on safety, has the insights and capability to develop and deploy in an agile, safe and secure manner to benefit our patients and our clients. 

Collaboration on National AI Platforms

5. One such thing that we are doing around enablers, is common platforms for common AI deployment around a variety of sites.

6. One such platform is AI Medical Imaging Platform for Singapore Public Healthcare, better known as AimSG. Launched by Synapxe with SingHealth as a key collaborator, AimSG is a national healthcare imaging platform. It helps Singapore’s public healthcare institutions adopt AI in the area of diagnostic imaging. It was developed through collaboration with government agencies, industry partners and healthcare professionals. The use of this platform will allow the deployment of validated and credible AI imaging solutions into existing clinical workflows expeditiously. The platform will take care of some key factors – principle design considerations such as technical architecture, cybersecurity and interface with the imaging devices, so that the AI product companies can focus on how they deploy their AI product and the clinicians don’t have to worry about issues such as the architecture design and integration process every time they want to explore a new AI product. We hope this results in speedier implementation, ultimately benefitting our patients.

Collaboration on AI in Healthcare Education

7. Ultimately, the impact on AI is felt through its users (the healthcare professionals) in delivering their work. So, naturally, we need to ensure that our healthcare professionals are adequately equipped to make the best use of AI. They need to understand not only AI’s potential, but also its limitations and ethical implications of using these technologies.

8. It gives me great pleasure to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SingHealth and AI Singapore. The two parties will co-develop an AI curriculum for training and qualifications of AI professionals, specifically in healthcare. SingHealth and AI Singapore will continue to provide platforms for the exchange of scientific, academic and technical information. This will be done through the co-organisation of journal clubs, workshops, and conferences – all the modalities that people in this room are familiar with. But we hope all these will focus around AI and healthcare to create a vibrant ecosystem where ideas are shared, challenges are addressed, and breakthroughs are celebrated. We hope to learn the best possible lessons from each other.

Collaboration on Generative AI in Healthcare

9. But as we are all aware, and has been discussed, these technologies are not without risks. We want to tap on the advances in AI technologies, such as Generative AI, because of its potential to benefit patients. We have to understand the risks and we need to continue working with industry partners in order to do so.

10. Synapxe, our healthtech agency, is working with industry partners, such as Microsoft and IBM, to build Generative AI applications. These will use a dedicated healthcare knowledge base with built-in data security safeguards. The use of this approach empowers our healthcare professionals with the freedom to use this new technology knowing that they comply with the standards required to make sure they do not compromise patient data. These efforts aim to automate healthcare tasks, such as generating patient summary information and tracking medication usage and changes, allowing patients to benefit from clinicians having more time to focus on them, taking away their worry of the technical architecture and the burden to comply with security and privacy regulations.

11. This is an exciting time for AI in healthcare. There is a lot of promise in what we can achieve as a community and especially if we can take proven solutions and easily scale across a variety of settings and sites. This is an exciting time and we can get much done when we can make sure that healthcare professionals have the skills and capabilities to create, safely explore and to deploy the new developments in AI, to benefit their workflows, their patients and their residents.

12. It is now my pleasure to declare the AI Health Summit 2023 open. I wish you all a fruitful and enlightening time. Thank you everyone.

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