Drones, Augmented Reality and Robots are all being trialled in Singapore Hospitals under the Ministry of Health Holding Company, Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS). The company has taken charge of all of the Singapore Public Health Sector technology and is set to transform the sector radically.
Robots are being used to transfer laboratory samples and pack drugs for patients and more recently, trials with direct patient care have started. Robots are moving patients from beds to toilets and turning them over in bed to prevent bed sores.
Changi General Hospital has piloted the use of robots to deliver medicines, patient records and laboratory samples 24/7. It is the first trial of the Panasonic HOPSI robot outside of Japan. The HOPSI is fitted with security to prevent damage, tampering and theft and is able to manoeuvre around the hospital corridors safely without causing collisions.
Here is a demonstration video of the HOPSI.
Drones are being used to transfer medicine and equipment between hospitals and could be invaluable in acute emergencies.
Augmented reality permits doctors to read patient records without screens in front of them.
Sensors are being used to monitor chronic disease management in the homes of the elderly by tracking medication compliance and relaying that information back to medical centres.
Apps are providing access to public health information for preventative care for the general public and also to individual patient medical records. A form of “Uber App” is being used to match patients’ needs with suppliers, for example, matching people who need wheelchairs with the wheelchair suppliers and nurses who can care for them. It makes rapid access to the appropriate services much quicker.
Finally, big data and its analysis is revolutionising the sector by providing insights into the use and effectiveness of the services. Healthcare now is about data analysis and continuous innovation and Singapore is a world leader.