07 Jul 2023


MOH agency IHiS, Microsoft to develop AI tool to help healthcare workers in Singapore

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Healthcare professionals in Singapore will have an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to help them get quick and accurate answers to questions about care protocols for medical conditions or subsidies available to patients.

Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) – a healthtech agency under the Ministry of Health (MOH) – is collaborating with tech giant Microsoft to develop Secure GPT for Healthcare Professionals. The generative AI application will automate some healthcare tasks, so workers can better focus on caring for patients.

Powered by Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, Secure GPT for Healthcare Professionals will tap a dedicated healthcare knowledge base. Security safeguards will be in place, aligned with healthcare data requirements. Secure GPT can also generate condensed patient information, as well as track medication changes and usage, saving time for doctors who now rely on numerous and lengthy clinical notes.

The IHiS-Microsoft partnership on generative AI and cloud computing innovations will modernise public healthcare IT and security infrastructure, using advanced analytics and machine learning to securely deliver better care.

The partners signed a memorandum of understanding at an event held at Microsoft’s Singapore office in Cecil Street on Friday afternoon.

“The intelligent collaboration tools on cloud and AI-powered platforms will not just deliver greater convenience to clinicians, but also enable better focus on patient-centric work and change the way individuals take control of their health and health outcomes”, said IHiS chief executive Ngiam Siew Ying.

Microsoft Singapore managing director Lee Hui Li said that as generative AI gains traction, it is important that the company work closely with Singapore’s healthcare ecosystem to create innovations that can “radically change” how healthcare professionals work.

IHiS and Microsoft previously jointly developed Health Discovery Plus, an app to allow asymptomatic Covid-19 patients to submit their own vital signs. It has since evolved to facilitate healthcare management of other medical conditions such as hypertension and acute myocardial infarction.

Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary, who spoke at the event, noted that even advanced AI models have limitations, fabricating false information and displaying bias.

The authorities are committed to ensuring AI is safe and preventing harm caused by such flaws in the technology, said Dr Janil, who is also Senior Minister of State for Health.

He noted, for example, that the Health Sciences Authority oversees the development of AI medical devices to ensure their quality and safety, while MOH has guidelines for the development of AI in healthcare.

“By working together, (the) Government, industry partners and research communities can develop and implement AI solutions that meet the ethical and governance standards outlined in our AI governance frameworks and guidelines,” he said.

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited | Reproduced with permission.

IHiS has rebranded as Synapxe, the national HealthTech agency. Read more about our new identity here.


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