02 Sep 2022

Career Stories

Ryan Leong: Software Engineering intern for HealthHub project

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Ryan shares about his life as a Software Engineering intern with IHiS' Software Engineering and Development (SEED) department and how his work with HealthTech impacts Singapore.

What is your current role and job scope? What's a typical work day like for you?  

I am currently an undergraduate intern Software Engineer with the Software Engineering and Development (SEED) department. Together with my team, I’m primarily responsible for the implementation and integration of clients’ enhancement requests into applications developed by IHiS. I currently work on HealthHub, a one stop web portal and mobile application for healthcare information and services. We work hand-in-hand with other colleagues such as the Business Analysts and the Tester teams to guarantee a seamless solution for every request to continuously improve on not only the functional aspect of the target system, but also the user interfaces and user experiences.

What got you interested in the Tech and HealthTech sector and why did you choose to join IHiS?

Initially, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after finishing my 'O' levels and had selected IT on a whim. As I gained hands-on experience throughout my studies from writing simple functions to creating full applications, I became fascinated by what could actually be done. In one of my Polytechnic classes, the lecturer listed potential employers to explore after graduation, and IHIS was among them, which was also my first exposure to HealthTech. Being able to continue working on tech-related work, which basically covers all tech companies, but also be able to add value to others' lives, sparked my interest in HealthTech. 

Additionally, it was around that time that I got to know about HealthHub, and I realised that it was a very convenient tool that a large number of local residents use on a daily basis, which led me to realize that there is a demand for HealthTech. Moreover, I experienced first-hand how it managed to simplify people's lives with features such as making appointments and accessing medical records online anywhere, anytime, which further inspired me.

So when I discovered IHiS’ role in developing HealthHub and the impact of their other HealthTech work, I took the opportunity to apply for an internship there.

What is a memorable moment you encountered/experienced on-the-job? Are there any exciting work or good working culture that you can share with those who are considering to join the Tech/HealthTech sector or IHiS?

After familiarising myself with HealthHub, I had to develop and integrate pending enhancement requests. Some of these were supposed to be quite straightforward. But as a new member, I was overwhelmed by the complexity of the repositories and databases and could not figure out where to make the changes. Upon asking for clarification within my team, I expected a quick and short response due to their busy schedules. They instead called me and spent nearly the entire day going over every detail like setting up, terminology, server access, and so on. There were also times when unexpected problems arose during implementation and testing, ranging from easy to complex. With my teammate’s assistance, we were able to quickly narrow down the error and fix it before deployment. This meant so much to me as a new undergraduate intern looking for job experience.

Over time, the requests I handled became more complex since I had proven my competence and gained the trust of my team by completing all previous requests on time. I have learned a lot from my time here, both in terms of technical skills as well as character building skills like being more proactive. Moreover, the job here never felt monotonous or repetitive since I was constantly adapting to the unique requirements of each client’s change requests.

Where do you see your contribution towards building a Smart Nation? What are some ways your work motivates you, impacts the public and/or helps Singapore?

HealthHub, one of the widely used healthcare applications in Singapore, is a prime example of how technology can improve the delivery of healthcare. It is a web portal and mobile application for national health information and e-Services that empowers citizens to take charge of their health and that of their loved ones. HealthHub enables Singaporeans to conveniently perform many transactions across healthcare institutes, such as access health records for themselves and their family, make appointment bookings, pay for bills and order medication. It simplifies the entire healthcare process for everyone.

Having a vision for making technology a positive force in people’s lives, it is an honour as well as a motivation for me to be part of the HealthHub development team. Through the constant improvements we make to HealthHub, we are slowly but surely making a positive difference to the HealthTech sector and also playing a part in building a Smart Nation by providing tech solutions that improve and enhance the delivery of health services.

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