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Mr Richard Lim
Chairman, IHIS 

Mr Bruce Liang,

Ms Ngiam Siew Ying,
CEO-designate, IHiS

Mr Chua Chee Yong,
Organising Chairman of HealthTech X 

Dr John Halamka
President, Mayo Clinic Platform 

Distinguished speakers

Colleagues and friends 


A very good morning to all of you. I am delighted to join you today at HealthTech X. I am glad that we have a very diverse virtual audience – clinicians, care professionals, technologists, scientists, administrators, and students. Today, we gather to learn from one another on how we can harness the vast potential of HealthTech to improve health outcomes and build a future-proof healthcare system.

HealthTech Against COVID-19

2. Incorporating technology in healthcare is complex. Not only do we have to consider clinical factors and the patient experience, there are also many systems at play, requiring multiple levels of integration. While COVID-19 has put our healthcare sector to the test, I am glad that we have managed to develop new technology and data capabilities within a short period to support key pillars of our national strategy against COVID-19 – in contact tracing, testing, vaccinations and running our community care facilities.

3. Our HealthTech teams leveraged existing solutions and capabilities, quickly adapting them to meet new demands. Last year, IHiS repurposed the GPConnect system, a clinical management system originally designed for GP clinics, for deployment at the care facilities. This year, it was repurposed again, to support our national vaccination programme, enabling 90 partners to run more than 140 vaccination sites.

4. We must also ensure that new technology platforms are flexible enough to enable solutions to scale. One example is the Patient Risk Profile Portal developed by MOH and IHiS, which helps GPs assess patients’ COVID-19 risk before consultation. Its system flexibility enabled it to be later enhanced for other uses, such as a swab referral system, ART for pre-event testing, and even a COVID-19 vaccination module.

5. These achievements could not have been possible without the help of over 150 organisations that partnered us during the crisis. Many stepped forward to offer support in many ways – augmenting our tech workforce, accelerating IT equipment delivery, expediting network services and offering innovative solutions. On reflection, I have three takeaways from our experience in the past two years:

a. First, that we have very capable and agile HealthTech talents, with deep clinical expertise and strong technical capabilities.
b. Second, we are fortunate to have a strong digital health foundation with good connectivity in place.
c. Third, we can achieve much when stakeholders collaborate closely to achieve common goals.

6. I thank all our HealthTech professionals, our partners, and IHiS for your immense contributions, hard work and sacrifice in supporting Singapore during COVID-19.

Tech for Population Health – Painting the Future

7. Beyond the pandemic, our healthcare system will continue to face new challenges. We must ensure that our systems are future-ready to meet our citizens’ health needs. Today I would like to share four ‘Beyonds’ in the context of technology that will support our journey towards a future-ready healthcare system.

8. First, we need to look beyond digitisation to digitalisation. This has to go beyond shifting from pen and paper to electronic data. It requires a fundamental shift in the way we rethink our processes. Where we can, we should streamline our processes. This may mean using more efficient digital alternatives, without compromising quality; reskilling our workforce; and redesigning jobs. This will enable our care professionals to focus on the most important part of their work – direct patient care.

9. Second, we need to look beyond connectivity to continuity of care. This means moving from a multi-agency or multi-services approach, to one where we put the patient at the centre, as they move seamless across the continuum of care. The National One-Rehab Framework builds on this design philosophy – delivering timely rehab across hospitals, primary and community care, using a shared IT solution, to harmonise patient outcomes and planning. Different therapists along the care journey will have access to the same information. Enabling patients to achieve their goals more seamlessly during care transitions.

10. Third, we need to go beyond one-way to two-way patient engagement and empowerment. One means is through apps that can share health information and engage citizens. I’m glad that our investments in apps like HealthHub, Healthy 365 and TraceTogether, have yielded great promise for user engagement, as we have seen its utilisation increase significantly. We hope this can become an enabler for two-way engagement, where all citizens can proactively manage their health. For example, they can submit their vital signs and wellness indicators for monitoring and analysis, and receive behavioural prompts to improve their health. This also enables clinical decision support for better health outcomes.

11. The fourth is to move beyond retrospective hindsight to predictive insights. By identifying predictive risk indicators, we can more proactively identify population health needs and design timely upstream interventions. This is especially since up to 80% of health outcomes can be influenced by other social determinants. By fusing medical data with other data sources, such as genomics, socioeconomic and lifestyle indicators, we can draw deeper insights to enhance population health. To this end, we have made some inroads through the National Diabetes Dashboard. Through a consolidated database, the dashboard supports data-driven planning at the national and regional health system level. There has also been ongoing work by MOH and IHiS in using this to develop AI predictive models that can identify diabetic patients at risk of kidney failure. So that we can intervene early. We will also make this information available to our primary care practitioners through our National Electronic Health Record system, enabling them to deliver more personalised care to diabetic patients. In the future, we also aim to conduct more longitudinal studies on wellness, and the efficacy of preventive health interventions and chronic diseases management.


12. In closing, we are living in exciting times, where HealthTech can make a difference in countless lives. There are many more possibilities that we can envisage for the future of healthcare. IHiS has prepared an exciting line-up of local and international speakers over the next two days. I’m confident that many new ideas and insights will come up. Let’s continue to make a positive impact in solving the challenges ahead, strengthen our spirit of discovery and innovation and work together to build a future-ready healthcare system for all Singaporeans.

13. Thank you.

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