28 Nov 2023

Career Stories

HealthTech career switch that boost the nation’s fight against pandemic

Lianhe Zaobao

Share this article

Koh Juan Zhen, an analyst at Singapore’s national HealthTech agency, Synapxe.

An artificial intelligence (AI) tool that predicts the severity of a patient’s pneumonia through chest X-ray, and the use of deep learning algorithms to detect and verify if drugs and vaccines have adverse effects, were tools which combined health and technology developed by Koh Juan Zhen (33 years old), an analyst at Singapore’s national HealthTech agency Synapxe, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Koh, who has contributed to the country's fight against the pandemic, is actually a "newcomer" in the HealthTech field.

After graduating from Nanyang Technological University School of Business, Koh’s first job was digital marketing in the tourism industry. Three years later, she decided to do a career switch upon discovering her interest in data analytics at work.

To decide if data analysis was suitable for her, she left her digital marketeer job and became a research assistant for a university professor.

“Analytics is about leveraging the data around us – such as the way we use our phones, the things that we do daily, etc. – and making sense of all the data collected to help improve the way we do things. During this period of time, I had the opportunity to work with different statistics and software tools. This experience has inked my interest in data analytics.”

In pursuing her passion, Koh first chose to improve her professional skills and studied for a master’s degree in analytics. However, one of her concerns was the financial burden of transitioning from a full-time worker to a full-time student.

“Fortunately, I have a supportive family, my husband has a stable job, and I also did not have any children then. So, I was confident that I could continue my studies without financial pressure… I started looking for scholarship opportunities and later received the Ministry of Health Holdings (MOHH) Scholarship.”

Upon completing her one-year master's programme, Koh joined Integrated Healthcare Information Systems (IHiS, which has been renamed Synapxe in 2023) in 2019, when the COVID-19 pandemic happened.

During this period, Synapxe’s Data and aNalytics and AI teams were actively looking for ways to develop technology to support doctors and healthcare partners in the fight against the pandemic. This provided Koh an opportunity to participate in two significant coronavirus-related projects within three years.

“I see the role of data science and data analytics akin to an accelerator. We work with healthcare professionals because they have the relevant domain knowledge, and we can help with the process of developing new tools to enhance public healthcare outcomes.”

转行医疗科技逢疫情 为对抗冠病添战“疫”利器











Source: Lianhe Zaobao © Singapore Press Holdings Limited | Reproduced with permission.


Related articles


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