Singapore’s Pragmatic Approach to Technology Disruptions

Aaron Tan | Computer Weekly | June 1, 2017

Conceived in 2014, Singapore’s National Health IT Masterplan is coming to fruition, with key projects such as the National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) system already in place. This was revealed by Singapore’s health minister Gan Kim Yong earlier this week at the opening of the National Health IT Summit, a gathering of top medical and IT practitioners in the city-state.

The progress of the masterplan is laudable, given that it normally takes a more than a few years to rally an entire industry together on a single mission to harness IT to improve patient care and medical outcomes. It also helps that Singapore’s healthcare sector is dominated by public healthcare clusters operated by a handful of government-linked service providers, making it easier to tackle challenges such ensuring the portability of healthcare records across otherwise disparate IT systems.

Indeed, the NEHR – and more importantly, the healthcare data it holds – is key to Singapore’s efforts to take its affordable, world-class healthcare system to the next level. Besides giving physicians a “single version of truth” on each patient’s health condition (thus enabling better care), the NEHR’s repository of medical information is a gold mine for uncovering treatments for medical conditions that affect Singaporeans...