Innovation Challenges

Challenge Owner(s)
Health Management International (HMI), National Healthcare Group (NHG), SingHealth, National University Health System (NUHS), St Luke’s Eldercare
Organiser(s)
Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Ministry of Health (MOH), National Health Innovation Centre (NHIC)
Industry Type(s)
Healthcare, ICT and Media, Logistics
Opportunities and Support Up to $2 million funding with testbedding opportunities
Application Start Date 5 November 2020
Application End Date 21 December 2020
Website Click here to learn more

About Challenge

 

COVID-19 tested healthcare systems around the world and highlighted the need for healthcare to be more resilient in the face of adversity. In the post-covid new normal, efforts to revolutionize healthcare has revealed boundless opportunities for innovations to enable this transformation.

Enterprise Singapore, in partnership with five of Singapore’s leading healthcare providers, brings you the Healthcare Open Innovation Challenge. The Challenge leverages Singapore’s leading healthcare system, providing a unique opportunity for enterprises to engage with clinicians and healthcare providers throughout development.

If you have an innovative technological solution that improves the processes within healthcare delivery, enhance patient management and engagement, and form a complete seamless care continuum, this is for you. Successful participants stand to receive grant funding and the chance to co-develop, testbed and deploy your solutions with our healthcare providers.

 

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Challenge Owner(s)SingHealth
Industry Types(s)
Healthcare, Professional Services

SingHealth

How might we leverage technology and big data to prioritise care for patients based on clinical need and urgency?

What We Are Looking For

Given finite healthcare resources, we aim to harness technology and big data to prioritise care for patients based on clinical need and urgency. We envision a platform powered by predictive analytics, which will empower the medical teams to execute clinical interventions to provide targeted patient care and optimise the healthcare resources.

Prioritising access to care based on patient risk profiles can assist in optimal allocation of healthcare resources, thereby maximising care outcomes for patients. For example, with platforms that leverage predictive tools and algorithms, patients may be categorised and stratified according to risk, and the appropriate level of care is administered based on the risk categories. This not only ensures that patients receive the best care possible, it also empowers clinicians in clinical decision-making and generates potential time savings when only a subset of patients require intensive follow-up consultations.

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Challenge Owner(s)SingHealth
Industry Types(s)Healthcare

SingHealth

How might we create a patient-centric, end-to-end service experience for patients requiring pharmaceutical care, and for staff involved in their care journey?

What We Are Looking For

Current pharmacy services for Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOC) patients are largely unplanned and reactive in nature. Patients are triaged on-site at registration counters, with majority receiving medication via face-to-face dispensing. There is little integration in workflow, process and system for patient journey between the SOC and the pharmacies. Thus, patients’ dwelling time in healthcare institutions and their waiting time in the pharmacies remain long. In addition, engaging patients early in their healthcare journey to identify needs and preferences can increase compliance with a plan of care and treatment.

We hope to explore a patient-centric approach that is personalised to shape the outpatient visit journeys for our patients, one which provides a single platform to support an end-to-end seamless visit experience. This includes but is not limited to a one-stop service of triaging, payment, consent taking, medication reconciliation and supply, counselling or education, and treatment monitoring. Staff may also access the platform for tele-services and documentation of clinical activities via secured devices.

The vision is for patients to be treated by the right healthcare professional at the most appropriate location in their pharmaceutical care journey. An ideal solution would include predictive capabilities to assess and identify needs, and determine a suite of service options available to each patient immediately after medical consultation. There is an opportunity to enhance patient pharmaceutical care journey, improve experience and engagement, reduce dwelling time and waiting time of patients by recognising who requires medication reconciliation and counselling, face-to-face dispensing, home delivery, or self-pick up of their medications.

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Challenge Owner(s)National Healthcare Group (NHG)
Industry Types(s)Healthcare

National Healthcare Group (NHG)

How might we better enable primary care physicians to instantly access and analyse clinical dermatoscopic images to assist with their diagnosis?

What We Are Looking For

The incidence of melanoma, a type of skin cancer, has been rapidly increasing over the last 30 years. Early detection and accurate diagnosis are crucial as this allows for prompt treatment, reducing mortalities and morbidities.

Dermatoscopes, a handheld device that can be used in a clinical examination of suspicious skin lesions, can be bought at around $2,000 (for an advanced model). However, such devices are often not user-friendly and require an additional adapter to take pictures via a smartphone or a camera.

The National Skin Centre is developing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) software platform that will aid with the diagnosis of melanoma utilising a modified ABCD (Asymmetry, Borders, Colour, Dermoscopic structures) criteria, as well as an attachable smartphone dermoscopy device. As a whole, the solution would allow for pictures of the lesion to be taken via a smartphone, and analysed using the phone application with the AI software.

The Centre is looking for expertise in the further development and translation of their AI software into a mobile application that could be accessible to more users on their own devices. This allows for pictures of the lesion to be taken by and analysed on a smartphone. Expertise is also being sought for producing and commercialising the smartphone dermoscopy device at scale.

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Challenge Owner(s)National Healthcare Group (NHG)
Industry Types(s)
Food Manufacturing, Healthcare

National Healthcare Group (NHG)

How might we test the texture of food and / or consistency of fluid served to patients with a more efficient and accurate method or product?

What We Are Looking For

Patients with dysphagia or swallowing impairment are frequently recommended by speech therapists to modify their food textures or fluid consistencies. However, it can be challenging to know if modified foods and fluids have been prepared accurately. If not prepared properly, the foods or fluids can increase the risk of aspiration and choking for paediatric and adult patients with dysphagia.

At present, we rely on a combination of expertise and experience to visually identify textures or consistencies. There are descriptive guidelines, complemented with test methods in the International Dysphagia Diet Standard Initiative (IDDSI) framework (more information below). The test methods used by trained food service staff and healthcare workers include: syringe flow test, fork drip test, fork pressure test, and spoon tilt test. Checks on food texture and fluid consistency are conducted on a daily basis, especially during or after food preparation, and prior to consumption.

However, there are various shortcomings in use of visual identification and IDDSI test methods, due to the subjective and varied nature of foods and fluids. Also, the current tests take excessive time and resources.

The solution should objectively, efficiently and reliably identify the level of food textures or fluid consistencies (according to current IDDSI standards). It should also have features such as temperature measurement and an analytical ability to assess and inform on the direction of error (size, density, hardness / softness or moisture level, etc.).

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Challenge Owner(s)National University Health System (NUHS)
Industry Types(s)
Healthcare, Logistics

National University Health System (NUHS)

How might we improve the operational efficiency of the medicine supply processes within the hospital for inpatients?

What We Are Looking For

If a particular medicine prescribed for a patient is not available at the ward, the hospital pharmacy will dispatch a porter to deliver the medicine to that ward. This process is highly dependent on availability of portering staff on duty.

Despite the implementation of online medication, ordering delivery of medications is still a largely manual process where the porter (or a pharmacy staff member) has to document the medicine being supplied, destination, and time of delivery, and do additional checks at multiple supply points.

Being a manual process, errors can occur. For example, the medicine could be delivered to a wrong location, and time will be wasted by the portering, pharmacy and / or nursing staff to track it down. Also, if the delivery is misplaced, there is potential exposure of patient identifier (data). In addition, porters often have to wait for or try to locate ward staff to take receipt of the delivery. Furthermore, the medication could be misplaced within the ward, a place with high levels of activity and staff movement.

The ideal solution eliminates the possibility for human error by removing human touch points in the medication supply process. To maximise the benefit of an autonomous solution, there needs to be automated drop-off of medications efficiently and securely at designated points in the wards without the need to disrupt nurses performing their patient care duties.

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Challenge Owner(s)National University Health System (NUHS)
Industry Types(s)
Healthcare, Logistics

National University Health System (NUHS)

How might we improve inventory management within hospital ward clean utility rooms?

What We Are Looking For

Inventory management is a key component in day-to-day hospital inpatient operations. There is a myriad of supply categories found in each ward’s clean utility rooms, such as consumables like diapers; linen; specialised consumables required for intravenous (IV) infusions like needles and IV plugs; and blood-taking and pharmacy-related products like medications, infusion bags, and milk feeds.

Currently, there is a two-bin system: that is, the total stock is split into two separate bins. When one of the bins is empty, a RFID card is placed on the second bin to trigger automatic ordering of stock. However, this only addresses the ordering issue and does not offer full inventory management, as the system cannot monitor fully the usage and expiry dates. This leads to the inability to account for fluctuations in stock movements, and manual checks are still required for expiry dates of products.

A smart inventory management system to automate ordering, establish an audit trail for picking and returning, and track expiry dates of supplies should result in higher efficiency, reduction in human errors, and potentially cost savings.

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Challenge Owner(s)St Luke’s Eldercare
Industry Types(s)Healthcare

St Luke’s Eldercare

How might we better predict and prevent falls of seniors in Senior Care Centres (SCCs)?

What We Are Looking For

Falls can happen to all seniors: Seniors who are ambulant or less frail; frail seniors; and seniors living with dementia.

After a fall, seniors may take much longer to recover and regain their mobility, increasing the risk of further falls. This affects their quality of life and life expectancy adversely. This also significantly impacts the lives of their caregivers by increasing dependency levels.

There is also a high element of unpredictability when preventing a senior from falling despite staff members’ help. Falls are more likely to happen when:

  • A senior’s physical health has deteriorated without any clear signs for staff members to note;
  • A senior attempts to stand or walk without a centre staff attending to him/her in time. This could lead to a senior falling because of a lack of strength or tripping over objects in their path;
  • An ambulant senior, who is normally moving independently, trips or suddenly loses mobility in an area where staff members have no line of sight or cannot react in a split second to prevent the fall.

Solutions presently available tend to focus on detecting a fall after it occurs. We are looking for solutions that can provide real-time monitoring to assess the seniors’ health-based indicators to provide predictive fall susceptibility (i.e. determine possibility of a fall of individual seniors), to pre-emptively warn staff or even flag emerging conditions to prompt long-term interventions for improved future mobility.

This should be complemented by a study over time on the conditions of the seniors and/or the environment. This solution will help ensure the safety and quality of life for all seniors, and the continued independence for ambulant seniors at the centres.

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Challenge Owner(s)St Luke’s Eldercare
Industry Types(s)
Healthcare, ICT and Media

St Luke’s Eldercare

How might we better monitor seniors within Senior Care Centres (SCCs), so that we can prevent seniors from leaving the premises without the knowledge of centre staff?

What We Are Looking For

50% of our SCC seniors are diagnosed with dementia. Many of them are prone to wandering and may wish to leave the premises. SCC staff members are accountable for every senior’s safety during operation hours. When seniors leave the SCC without the knowledge of the centre staff, they are likely to get lost for a lengthy period of time; may not have the ability to seek help; and are at risk of danger from traffic, falls, and even dehydration.

Such abscondment incidences are likely to occur when:

There is high traffic flow and a flurry of activities. Centre doors are controlled at all times but it is challenging to monitor every individual’s entry and exit.

There is a high level of movement in the centre. For example, during activities or at the end of the day when seniors are assisted to washrooms or are being picked up to head home.

We are looking for a solution that can detect seniors attempting to leave the premises, and prevent any door access to seniors from exiting during that time without our staff knowing. The solution should alert staff in the shortest amount of time for better responsiveness. This could be integrated with identity recognition technology that links with door access or any tracking mechanism (that cannot be removed easily) that is non-invasive to seniors’ bodies.

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Challenge Owner(s)Health Management International (HMI)
Industry Types(s)Healthcare

Health Management International (HMI)

How might we provide a personalised and seamless experience throughout the patient journey, to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty?

What We Are Looking For

With growing competition and increased use of Digital Health, delivering a seamless online-offline patient experience is key for hospitals to improve customer satisfaction and deliver care to a larger audience – ultimately driving patient loyalty.

The patient journey starts well before patients reach the hospital: doing online research for self-diagnosis, finding the right doctor or service, and booking the appointment. How can the hospital make any of these steps easier for patients? There could be a range of useful digital tools for patients, such as chatbots, symptom checker, e-appointments, etc.

Once the patient arrives at the hospital (whether as an outpatient or inpatient), how can we address common pain points, such as waiting times, navigational issues, and information gaps on process or procedures? Allowing patients to self-manage their journey, including registration, ordering, payment, etc., could help reduce time spent and movement in the hospital. Better data management, patient monitoring and process automation could also speed up patient check-in, management and support processes, as well as improve the visibility and traceability of the whole patient journey.

After the patient has left the hospital, the recovery journey is often overlooked. Here, digital tools could help improve adherence to medications or post-surgery follow-up care. The patient may not have access to his / her health records and know what his / her body is going through. This is where remote monitoring tools and tele-consultations could help the patient to check in with healthcare professionals from home, be triaged, and continue with extended post-discharge care.

The objective of this challenge is to improve the delivery of services or even identify new services across the entire patient journey. Using Digital Health solutions and Smart Hospital technologies, we can deliver healthcare to more patients, increase stickiness, and empower patients to manage their health better.

We are seeking a comprehensive solution that is future-ready to power our hospital operations, to address most, if not all, of the pain points above. Solutions addressing specific pain points are also welcomed, as we look to integrating them into our future-state ecosystem.

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