Public healthcare facilities to get data-driven design

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health and the Environment and Water Resources, delivering her opening speech at HI.TEC 2019. PHOTO: MOH HOLDINGS

SINGAPORE - A new framework for smart healthcare infrastructure has been developed to help public healthcare facilities better harness technology and make decisions driven by data.

Under the framework, future hospitals and other facilities will be designed with the help of data analytics and other technologies such as virtual reality (VR), said Ms Yvonne Lim, deputy director of healthcare infrastructure projects at the Ministry of Health's holding company for public healthcare assets, MOH Holdings.

Workflow simulations and evidence-informed design can help architects and designers improve the layout of a new facility's buildings, she said.

The facilities can then be mocked up in VR so doctors and other healthcare professionals can provide feedback on how to improve the building plan before it gets built.

Ms Lim announced the details of the framework on Wednesday (April 3) at the Healthcare Infrastructure Technology and Engineering Conference held in Max Atria at Singapore Expo.

As part of the framework, a database of smart technology products and equipment - referred to as smart enablers - has been compiled, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices, air quality sensors and computer systems.

These smart enablers can be used to predict, for example, when a lift will need maintenance, or to monitor and optimise the indoor air quality to balance patient comfort and energy usage, Ms Lim said.

The data collected from these systems will be used to improve the facility's predictive models and will, in turn, inform the design of subsequent new facilities.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor in her opening speech on Tuesday, the first day of the two-day conference, said the framework will be implemented in new large-scale healthcare projects, starting with the Woodlands Healthcare Campus which is currently under construction.

She also announced that MOH Holdings is in discussions with the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) to develop a healthcare mock-up facility at the BCA Academy for pilot testing healthcare innovations.

"With finite land, manpower and fiscal resources against the backdrop of increasing healthcare demand, there is greater urgency today to leverage IT and digital innovations to support both the development of Singapore's healthcare infrastructure and the subsequent delivery of healthcare," Dr Khor said.

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