Other than in healthcare, donations of robotic process automation also benefited 14 industries in saving more than three years of man-hours.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore, one of Singapore’s healthcare clusters operating several hospitals, national specialty centers, and polyclinics was administering more than 1,000 swab tests daily.

Volumes of patient information and swab test results had to be manually input into the country’s national electronic health record (NEHR) system. Each manual entry took two minutes.

At this crucial juncture, technology was leveraged in the form of robotic process automation (RPA)—in the form of digital workers. With these software solutions in place, patient registration time was cut from two minutes to 30 seconds. In just over two months, the healthcare cluster, National University Health System (NUHS), successfully conducted 72,000 registrations with average time savings close to 282 man-days.

COVID healthcare via digital workers

According to NUHS Director Lily Loo: “We were able to leverage the use of RPA to streamline business processes and improve workflow efficiency on both the frontline and for our back-end processes, during this challenging time for the healthcare sector. We were able to host and manage the RPA solutions in a secure environment supported by our partner, Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) and crucially, RPA has allowed us to optimize our resources to focus on supporting essential frontline COVID-19 activities.”

This digitalization effort was made easier by donations of digital worker licenses and services by a firm specializing in intelligent automation, Blue Prism, as part of its COVID-19 Response Program. The program was aimed at assisting pandemic-struck industries quickly and with force. The imperative was to deploy the solutions rapidly to meet the challenges head on.

Helping organizations globally across 14 industries so far, the COVID-19 Response Program has been instrumental in keeping health workers stay safe with healthcare supplies, helping small businesses stay afloat and people to keep their jobs. This was achieved through accelerating loan applications, making it easier to record and report on essential statistics, and facilitating the efforts to get vaccines into arms.

On average, across more than 60 projects, 8,000 hours have been saved by these organizations (equating to more than three years in human hours worked) per project, representing millions of dollars of financial return.

AI-powered robots have been at the forefront of this effort. By relieving humans from resource-heavy and time-consuming processes, the technology from Blue Prism has enabled workers to focus on what really matters: high value, customer-centric care. The program has donated more than 500 licenses globally, with a value of more than USS$5.6m worth of software, to help organizations under strain handle the operational challenges they face.

Said Bill Taylor-Mountford, Blue Prism’s Vice President (ASEAN and Korea): “From supporting frontline health workers to maintaining business continuity in uncertain times, we are honored to have been able to give something back. Providing support for our local community through technology was an obvious way for us to contribute during this crisis, as we transitioned online to cope with the challenges that we all faced.”