Singapore – The Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Microsoft for deeper collaboration in generative AI and cloud innovation today. They also announced the development of the Secure GPT for Healthcare Professionals powered by Azure OpenAI Service to enable healthcare workers to generate insights and automate tasks for greater efficiency. The signing of the MOU was witnessed by Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Communications and Information & Health, at the IHIS-Microsoft Generative AI Micro-Conference for discovery discussions on Generative AI and its practical applications in healthcare.
13 speakers from IHiS, Microsoft, Ministry of Health (MOH), Avanade and Epic, shared insights on a range of topics including The New Era of Intelligence in Healthcare, Key Considerations to Deploy and Scale AI, and the Use of Data Science and AI in Chronic Diseases and Mental Health. The conference was attended by over 400 clinicians, technology professionals and students from institutes of higher learning – both on site and virtually.
MOU aims to deepen collaboration in Generative AI and Cloud Innovation for Health
The MOU sets the foundation for IHiS and Microsoft to bring together different capabilities, competencies, ideas and resources to improve the day-to-day work experience for healthcare professionals and enhance the patient experience via innovations in generative AI and cloud. The MOU outlines five key aspects of collaboration between IHiS and Microsoft:
- Learning and discovery: cross-learning opportunities to build technical skills and domain knowledge in generative AI and cloud in health. The IHiS-Microsoft generative AI Micro-Conference is one such example.
- Collaboration in the entire innovation lifecycle: covering ideation, qualification, incubation, development, deployment, scaling and change management to increase adoption.
- Using Azure and security technologies: optimizing, automating, and modernising public healthcare IT and security infrastructure at scale to support diverse secure computing needs. This will enable public healthcare institutions to better deliver and scale up care securely, beyond the hospital to the community through advanced analytics, machine learning, and AI on a secure cloud platform.
- Improving clinical and operational insights through Microsoft Azure Intelligent Data Platform and Azure OpenAI Service: to build intelligent applications with generative AI to support multiple use cases for health.
- Harnessing Microsoft 365 on Cloud: enabling greater collaboration to enhance the daily work experience with AI-powered Microsoft 365 tools.
“This exciting collaboration with Microsoft will transform the way healthcare is delivered to improve the health of millions everyday. The intelligent collaboration tools on cloud and AI-powered platforms will not just deliver greater convenience to clinicians, it will enable better focus on patient-centric work and change the way individuals take control of their health and health outcomes”, said Ms. Ngiam Siew Ying, Chief Executive Officer of IHiS. “The Secure GPT for Healthcare Professionals will be the first of several innovations with Microsoft. What we are seeing now is only the start, as the technology improves and evolves for use in ways that will reimagine the future of health for the greater good.”
Use cases will include greater automation of tasks and transformation of clinician workflows, such as summarising clinician notes and generating responses to queries on healthcare protocols – to enable healthcare professionals to better focus on direct patient care. It could also generate greater insights, as well as enhance operational efficiencies. (Refer to Annex A for more information on the MVP)
“The democratisation of both accessible healthcare and the influence of technology like AI continue to emerge as a priority across government, as well as our customers and partners, as we build a resilient, digitally inclusive Singapore,” said Lee Hui Li, Singapore Managing Director, Microsoft. “As generative AI becomes an integral part of our work and daily lives, I’m confident that the strength and depth of our collaboration with IHiS have set foundations of trust that will fuel our work across Microsoft, as we solve the toughest healthcare challenges of our world today.”
Long-standing collaboration between IHiS and Microsoft
IHiS and Microsoft have collaborated over the past decade to deliver better patient and frontline healthcare worker experiences for Singapore. The most recent collaboration was Health Discovery Plus (HD+) that runs on Azure. Developed and first introduced by IHiS at the community care facilities during the pandemic as Health Discovery (HD), it enabled mostly asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to submit their own vital signs. The smart clinician dashboard helped flag anomalous indicators, enabling pre-defined SMS messages to be sent via a single click. As a result, a lean healthcare team could track the health of thousands of quarantined patients, while minimising the risk of exposure for them during the height of the pandemic.
HD is now known as HD+, as it is packed with more features on a mobile app with an integrated chatbot, in-app notifications and supports patients in other care settings such as polyclinics, and public hospitals – to facilitate healthcare management for medical conditions including hypertension and acute myocardial infarction. It is also available as a kiosk with multi-language support, simplified steps, and visual cues to support the elderly at senior activity centres across Singapore. As of June 2023, HD+ has supported more than 10,000 patients, collected more than 660,000 vital signs submissions and triggering over 45,000 alerts that prompted clinical interventions.