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Singapore sets up the first healthcare IT laboratory

Singapore’s Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) announced a joint development project to set up the country’s first healthcare IT laboratory to provide cutting edge software for public hospitals to transform patient care.

The laboratory is the result of a collaboration between the Health Ministry's IT arm, Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS), and Allscripts, a US-based healthcare solutions provider.

The new centre will begin the operations in April, and will be jointly funded and staffed by Allscripts and IHiS’ IT developers, analysts and products designers of up to 15 people to start with.

Under the agreement, the US-based provider Allscripts will train staff on its methodologies for software development quality assurance, sustaining engineering and operational support, while IHiS will provide access to clinical staff and resources for the definition, deployment and testing of software features and solutions.

The laboratory will work on enhancing medication management. Projects may include emergency, critical care and specialist mobility systems at hospitals. The lab is also working on an interface software for robots to speed up the care processes.

The lab will work closely with doctors and healthcare staff at Singapore General Hospital, KK Women's & Children's Hospital, Changi General Hospital and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital to conduct trials and refine the advanced applications.

The joint team will also explore tele-health, mobile health and healthcare analytics solutions.

The IHiS-Allscripts Technology Laboratory will accelerate IT solutions for SingHealth, Alexandra Health and Eastern Health Alliance regional health systems and the Asian healthcare industry.

Allscripts provides core electronic health records systems and healthcare solutions at about 1,500 hospitals and over 10,000 post-acute care organisations in US, Asia, Australia, Canada, and the UK.

IHiS chief executive officer, Dr Chong Yoke Sin, said: "The uniqueness of this collaboration is the fact that we can work directly with the developers of Allscripts in order to develop systems which fit our unique environment. We have also got the understanding that we will go ahead of the curve and build innovations that maybe will have that wow factor for our patients."