By leveraging on collaboration, connectivity and co-creation, the “little red dot” is a case study in healthcare-centric open innovation.

Together with the Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore’s national agency for health technology (healthtech), Synapxe (formerly named the Integrated Health Information Systems [IHiS]) has unveiled new initiatives under its HealthX platform to accelerate health innovation to provide better care for residents and help them attain better health.

The agency has been driving the technology development plans to support the implementation of MOH’s Healthier SG initiative that was launched in July 2023. It had worked with public and private sector organizations, in collaboration with GovTech and industry partners, to develop three new systems and enhance over 20 existing systems.

At the heart of Healthier SG are the Healthier SG Open Architecture and the creation of the National Health Information Grid to enable interoperability and data exchange across the healthcare ecosystem to support comprehensive care.

Earlier in January this year, iHiS had launched the HealthX platform to:

    • accelerate the next generation of health innovation
    • foster multi-channels of collaboration among government ministries and agencies, industry technology partners, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders in the healthtech space
    • facilitate the rapid development and deployment of technology solutions to address pertinent healthcare challenges of the day, which will fuel the force of transformation for tomorrow’s health
    • reduce common barriers to innovation while maintaining important tenets of the health system to prioritize patient safety and uphold cybersecurity

The key enablers of HealthX include:

    1. HealthTech Advisory Centre, a one-stop center for interested healthcare and technology partners to navigate the innovation pathways for design, development, trials, pilots, deployment and scaling of their solutions in the healthcare ecosystem.
    2. HealthX Call-for-Innovation, an open innovation platform for experimentation of ideas and solutions in an agile and iterative basis. The platform features challenge statements by business owners with opportunities for co-development of impactful solutions with the technology industry that can revolutionize healthcare.
    3. HealthX Network of industry partners with innovative technology solutions with potential applications in healthcare.
    4. HealthX Co-Innovation Labs where industry partners can provide expertise and work with Synapxe and the public healthcare sector to co-create prototypes, conduct pilots and scale solution.
    5. HealthX Innovation Sandbox for fast experimentation and assessment in a secure, self-contained, simulated environment on the Healthcare Commercial Cloud.
    6. Outcome-Based Procurement & Spiral Contracting Framework to enhance speed to market for successful innovations.
    7. Cybersecurity Self-Attestation Portal for innovators to learn and self-attest their products against the public healthcare infrastructure and cybersecurity requirements via AI tools and chatbots (to be available later this year).

Supporting better health and better care through AI

Synapxe has been at the forefront of applying advanced deep learning and AI capabilities in healthcare.

    • To support general practitioners (GPs) in discovering personalized insights on patients’ health, Synapxe developed the nation’s first Assisted Chronic Disease Explanation using AI (ACE-AI). This will be piloted by end 2023 with 20 GPs in support of Healthier SG. Using a deep learning algorithm, it identifies risk factors and automates risk calculations to detect early signs and risks of chronic diseases, along with other smart features. This assists doctors with chronic disease management of their patients.
    • Another first in Singapore, a new platform to accelerate the adoption of AI-powered medical imaging diagnostics, AIM.SG will enable the rapid development, testing and deployment of imaging AI models. This vendor-neutral platform — co-developed by Synapxe, SingHealth, and NTT Data — can support imaging AI models from different sources for various imaging modalities that previously were not possible. AI imaging models automate the analysis of medical images with speed and accuracy, enabling more efficient triaging of patients with urgent care needs, and help radiologists generate radiology reports with accuracy and efficiency. This not only helps to improve the quality of diagnoses, but can also reduce unnecessary tests and procedures. This platform will be piloted at Changi General Hospital and Singapore General Hospital before potential implementation at other healthcare institutions.
    • Augmented Video Analytics for Medication Adherence (AV-MED) is a prototype co-developed with the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics. At its early experimental stage, AV-MED aims to help improve medication adherence amongst patients. This is envisioned through deploying object detection AI modeling and video analytics to capture patients’ consumption of medication. In future, Synapxe can adapt the technology to support use cases in other care settings such as home care and chronic or infectious disease treatment.

Said the agency’s CEO Ngiam Siew Ying:

By harnessing cutting-edge technologies, reducing barriers to health innovation, and fostering collaboration through HealthX, we are paving the way for a future where healthcare is smarter, more accessible, and ultimately, improves the health of millions every day, everywhere. – Ngiam Siew Ying