16 Apr 2024

Career Stories

Lim Chee Yuen: From pharmacist to informatics

Share this article

Lim Chee Yuen, a Lead Informatics Specialist at Synapxe, draws inspiration from hiking and applies it to her work. As a hiking enthusiast, she believes that the experience of trekking through a tropical rainforest is much like working in HealthTech – it requires boldness and creativity to venture off the beaten track and explore novel solutions when challenges arise.

Interestingly, Chee Yuen’s career journey did not begin with a background in tech. Instead, she was trained as a clinical pharmacist and served in various public health institutions for a decade. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, Chee Yuen’s career reached a turning point when she realised how the use of technology was crucial in improving workflow efficiency, reducing wastage, and empowering staff and patients to make joint decisions regarding health issues.

'Voltage converter’ for healthcare systems

Now, Chee Yuen supports the adoption of Logical Observation Identifier Names and Codes (LOINC) in the Singapore healthcare ecosystem. This involves the mapping of local laboratory tests to a universal “language” that every system can understand. This ensures that the laboratory data can be easily, accurately, and meaningfully interpreted.

The potential benefits of health data sharing include the standardisation of data to facilitate research studies and the improvement of infectious disease management. The adoption of LOINC also promotes the development of evidence-based healthcare policies and guidelines that are tailored to the real needs of the population.

To illustrate this, think of LOINC as a ‘voltage converter’ – but for data. Just like how different countries use different voltages for electricity, different healthcare institutions can have diverse ways of identifying the same laboratory or clinical observation. Electricity cannot run smoothly through two circuit systems with different voltages unless the voltage has been converted with a voltage converter. Similarly, the use of LOINC enables seamless health data exchange between institutions.

Being subject matter experts in the use of LOINC, Chee Yuen and her team conduct stakeholder engagement sessions to provide LOINC education and consultancy services to institutions that are keen on onboarding LOINC.

In a typical day, Chee Yuen first takes the time to address time sensitive requests in her inbox. These include unattended system tickets pending resolution, or unanswered queries from stakeholders who are onboarding LOINC. Thereafter, her agenda is filled with tasks such as organising and updating a collection of standardised codes used in the National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) system to describe clinical laboratory observations, providing support for projects as a LOINC consultant, and publishing newsletters for stakeholder engagement. 

Life’s a hike

Besides her passion in HealthTech, Chee Yuen is also an avid nature lover. She co-runs an Airbnb experience with her friends, where they bring guests on treks in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. This presents an opportunity for Chee Yuen to keep pushing herself to see things from various perspectives though her communication with people from all walks of life.

The challenging treks also help Chee Yuen build up her resilience and cultivate her ability to bounce back easily from setbacks. This is particularly applicable to her role in Synapxe, where she is faced with the challenge of onboarding institutions.

As the saying goes, difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. On that account, Chee Yuen’s proudest achievement in Synapxe to date is witnessing laboratories from private and public institutions onboarding LOINC – a testimony of efforts bearing fruit. This step towards the goal of more sharable and meaningful health data provides Chee Yuen with a sense of encouragement.

As more institutions onboard LOINC, the benefits become more tangible. Chee Yuen hopes that eventually, health data can be shared seamlessly to provide a collection of knowledge that allows all stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem to be better informed. For example, clinicians may have access to more holistic patient information, and patients may have a better view of their treatment progression. With more information, all parties can make better decisions to support the health of the nation. 


If you have a passion to shape the future of HealthTech in Singapore, find out more at https://www.synapxe.sg/careers.


Related articles


By continuing to use and navigate this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.