Data management applications have become indispensable instruments for medical professionals and institutions operating in the rapidly evolving healthcare sector. These apps facilitate the storage, access, and analysis of patient data, streamlining workflows, and significantly enhancing overall healthcare efficiency.
Amid the growing emphasis on technological advancements, it is essential to maintain a patient-centric approach, valuing patients as people rather than just focusing on clinical outcomes. Data management tools offer significant advantages in terms of efficiency and accuracy, but it is essential to remember that patients are not merely data points or numbers. Each patient is unique, with their own set of needs, emotions and concerns.
To achieve this, it becomes crucial to humanising these applications and tools in the healthcare ecosystem, incorporating empathy and understanding. By doing so, organisations can ensure that patients’ needs, experiences and well-being are central to design and implementation, ultimately leading to better overall healthcare outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Healthcare data management applications should be designed to be more personable, allowing patients to actively engage in their care. Patient portals and user-friendly interfaces should enable people to see their health records, test results and treatment plans easily.
Patients who have the necessary access to information are better able to comprehend their diseases and engage collaboratively with their healthcare professionals. By creating accessible and patient-centric platforms, individuals can take a more active role in managing their health and making informed decisions about their care.
Effective communication forms the foundation of exceptional healthcare. Humanised data management applications incorporate features that facilitate seamless communication between patients and their healthcare providers.
Patient-centric features can enhance interactions and collaboration between patients and healthcare professionals. These capabilities include secure messaging, video consultations, and real-time updates on medical reports. By enhancing communication, these applications lead to greater patient satisfaction and improved health outcomes.
Access to relevant data and improved data management empowers healthcare professionals to make better judgments and provide superior patient care. Automated data management procedures save time and effort, allowing professionals to focus more on patient care rather than administrative tasks. This streamlined approach enhances overall efficiency and ensures that patients receive the attention and treatment they need without unnecessary delays or distractions.
By prioritising data protection and privacy measures, patient information remains safe and confidential. Such secure applications enable a comprehensive view of a patient’s health history through the seamless and protected integration of diverse healthcare data sources.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight on 27 July 2023 at Voco Orchard Singapore aimed to provide valuable knowledge and insights to the Singapore Healthcare industry, focusing on key topics such as digital integration, cybersecurity, cloud and data governance.
The session was designed to equip healthcare professionals and institutions with the latest trends and best practices in these areas, fostering a more human adoption of technology and enhancing overall efficiency and security within the healthcare sector.
The pandemic served as a pivotal moment for people to realise the significance of health, says Mohit Sagar, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia. The far-reaching impact of an illness with no boundaries was starkly evident, posing a threat to countless lives and capturing global attention.
“This event is a call to all people and health institutions to rethink the current health system and look for new ways to strengthen and humanise health services,” Mohit warns the delegates.
During the epidemic, and in its aftermath, the demand for data management software is becoming increasingly vital for medical staff and healthcare organisations. They face the challenge of adapting to ever-changing circumstances, and effective data management solutions are crucial in facilitating their response to the evolving healthcare landscape.
These mechanisms play a crucial role in streamlining patient data flows, enabling quick access, and analysing vital information necessary for providing optimal patient care. However, these applications need to go beyond being mere technical aids; they should embody genuine concern and care for every individual in need of medical attention.
Mohit stressed the critical importance for healthcare professionals and services to recognise that every patient is a unique human being with their own individuality and life story, going beyond just medical data and statistical figures. The primary goal of these programmes is to ensure that patients are treated with decency, honesty, and kindness throughout their healthcare journey.
Data management applications must be designed with a human perspective that goes beyond mere technical functionality to encompass qualities of empathy and understanding in every facet. These applications need to be crafted with a deep appreciation for the individuals whose medical data they handle, appreciating that each patient is far more than just a collection of data points.
Mohit opines that there are several factors to take into account while trying to humanise data management solutions. At the outset, empowering patients by providing quick access to health information can be achieved through an intuitive patient portal that offers easy access to their health records, test results, and treatment plans.
“Patients who are actively involved in their care tend to be more committed and have a better understanding of their health conditions,” he strongly believes.
Excellent communication between patients and medical professionals is the key to providing top-notch healthcare. Humanised data management applications must prioritise features that enable secure and efficient communication to facilitate seamless interaction between patients and healthcare providers.
“Certain features can enhance the relationship between patients and healthcare providers,” Mohit observes. “Secure text messages, video consultations with medical professionals, and real-time updates regarding individual medical reports are some examples of features that can achieve this.”
These applications need to provide more personalised and tailored services to address diverse health concerns, considering that each individual has a unique background and specific needs. This means taking into account individual factors when offering treatment suggestions or relevant medical data.
Amid significant cyber changes and the ever-expanding digital landscape, data security has become a paramount concern in the development of health applications, Mohit points out. With the proliferation of interconnected devices and the increasing reliance on technology for healthcare services, the volume of sensitive medical data being generated and transmitted has surged.
This escalating data flow raises the stakes for ensuring robust data protection measures are in place to safeguard patients’ privacy and confidentiality.
“Given the availability of sensitive medical data, strong safeguards for patients’ private information must be in place. When patients feel that their data is safe and protected, they are more likely to trust and actively participate in their treatment process,” Mohit concludes.
Casa Goh, Country Director of Singapore at Veeam, highlights that as businesses grow and evolve, their data systems tend to become more complex, often comprising a mix of on-site, cloud, and hybrid data centres, making it challenging to manage and consolidate data from various sources, leading to sharing issues and increased maintenance costs.
Casa believes data management has become more challenging than necessary for companies due to the multitude of pressing issues they face. The increasing adoption of cloud computing has led many companies to shift their data workloads to the cloud or contemplate doing so.
“This change has some benefits, like being able to grow and save money,” Casa explains. “But it also creates problems with data migration, synchronisation and making sure data is the same in both on-premises and cloud settings.”
In the digital world, numerous cyber threats, including data theft and ransomware attacks, pose significant risks to businesses. As companies prioritise safeguarding private information, implementing robust security measures and data encryption methods becomes crucial. However, while essential for protecting sensitive data, these security measures can also introduce complexities in the process of managing data.
In traditional data management, chores like data entry, data cleaning, and data integration are often done by hand. Not only do these processes take a lot of time, but they are also prone to mistakes. Data handling can be slower and less accurate when done manually and it can be hard to keep up with the growing amount of data.
Within a company, data is often spread out over many different systems, databases, and applications. Integrating these different sources of data and making sure that the data is consistent can be a difficult and time-consuming task. This can lead to data silos, which make it hard to view and analyse data thoroughly.
Medical technology is rapidly evolving, introducing wearable devices, remote patient tracking, and telemedicine, among other innovations. These technologies generate vast amounts of sensitive patient data, making it essential to prioritise patient privacy and adhere to data laws. To achieve this, data protection measures must be implemented differently to ensure the confidentiality and security of patient information.
According to Casa, the key trends necessitating a different approach to enhance data protection are as follows:
- A surge in demand for global delivery
- Increasing demand for telehealth and remote clinical trials
- The industry’s focus on personalised healthcare and therapeutics
- A significant shift towards cloud adoption
Moreover, the Health and Life Sciences industries are undergoing a digital transformation, revolutionising healthcare delivery and research methodologies. However, the complete integration of local and national healthcare systems’ assets and knowledge is still in its nascent stages.
Even though the use of digital tools for patient care, diagnosis, and data analysis has come a long way, there are still problems connecting different parts of healthcare and sharing important information.
As these industries continue to adopt digital innovations, the possibility for better collaboration, better patient outcomes, and ground-breaking research grow. This has led to more efforts to speed up the integration of digital assets and knowledge on a larger scale.
Bad cyber actors are increasingly targeting healthcare and life sciences organisations worldwide. As a result, the industry is rapidly shifting its focus from solely preventive measures to prioritising asset security and implementing quick recovery strategies. This approach aims to ensure continuous operations and minimise disruptions caused by potential cyberattacks.
Recognising the significance of patient data, medical research, and essential services, healthcare and life sciences companies are intensifying their efforts to implement robust security measures to safeguard their digital assets. Additionally, they are proactively establishing resilient systems and backup plans to ensure a swift recovery and restoration of operations in the event of a hacking incident.
“This shift toward asset security and quick recovery is important for keeping operations going and giving patients, researchers, and other stakeholders trust in a cybersecurity landscape that is becoming more dangerous,” Casa believes.
Hybrid cloud has become an integral aspect of the IT landscape, as specific workloads in institutions cannot be fully transitioned to the cloud. Acknowledging this reality, companies face challenges in effectively managing hybrid cloud delivery while ensuring the safety of valuable assets, all within their conventional 24/7/365 operational environments.
The hybrid approach allows institutions to strike a beneficial balance between on-premises infrastructure and cloud services, optimising speed, scalability, and cost-effectiveness for various workloads. However, seamlessly integrating and securing data and applications across these diverse settings proves challenging, making it difficult to maintain smooth operations in this dynamic environment.
As the hybrid cloud model continues to change, institutions must adopt new strategies, strong security measures, and flexible management methods to use it to its fullest and take advantage of its benefits.
According to Casa, Veeam’s comprehensive data management and protection options play a pivotal role in ensuring smooth business operations. With features such as data security, data recovery, and data freedom, Veeam enables companies to concentrate on their core tasks, explore new opportunities without data loss concerns, and thrive in an increasingly data-driven environment.
The worst kind of disaster is ransomware. In the past year, 85% of businesses have been hit by ransomware at least once, reveals Casa. Of those, 19% were able to get their data back without paying the ransom, while 33% paid the ransom but didn’t get their data back.
“Besides, the sensitive nature of patient data makes healthcare companies a prime target for ransomware attacks,” says Casa. “Veeam uses advanced means to protect against ransomware and helps restore data to a time before the attack.”
Veeam provides fast and reliable backup and recovery solutions for virtualised environments. Its backup mechanism is based on images, enabling a quick and effortless recovery process. Additionally, Veeam offers options for high availability and fault tolerance, ensuring critical systems and data remain accessible even in the event of hardware or software failures.
Veeam’s platform is easy to use and has a simple layout that makes backup and recovery easier. IT administrators will find it easier to manage and keep an eye on their data protection jobs. Veeam offers a central place to handle your data across different cloud platforms. This makes it easier to keep track of and control data assets.
“You can easily move data between cloud environments and on-premises systems using Veeam Data Freedom,” Casa explains. “This flexibility is important in the fast-changing business world of today, where companies often use more than one cloud provider or keep a hybrid IT system.”
Moreover, Veeam’s hybrid/multi-cloud options empower businesses to select the most cost-effective cloud services for specific workloads, preventing vendor lock-in. With Veeam’s data management solutions, companies can establish efficient disaster recovery strategies across multiple clouds, ensuring continuous operations even in the event of data loss or system downtime.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a crucial law that safeguards information and data in the healthcare domain. Veeam’s advanced solutions for protecting medical records assist healthcare organisations in meeting these compliance requirements and ensuring the security of private patient data.
Regularly backing up important medical records is essential to prevent data loss from hardware failures, human errors, or cyber threats. Veeam’s solutions ensure that hospitals and clinics can swiftly recover medical data, thereby maintaining seamless patient care and smooth business operations.
Veeam’s solution could have features like “immutable backups” that make it impossible to change or delete backups for a certain amount of time. This adds an extra layer of safety against data being changed or deleted.
In offering all these options, Veeam allows organisations to showcase their commitment to securing sensitive information, building trust, and upholding a positive reputation by implementing their robust data security measures.
“By prioritising data protection, they not only safeguard valuable assets but also demonstrate their responsibility towards their stakeholders and customers,” Casa concludes “This emphasis on data security reinforces their credibility and reinforces confidence in their ability to handle sensitive information with utmost care and integrity.”
Dr Hu Yanyan, the Deputy Director of Architecture and Development at the MOH Office for Healthcare Transformation (MOHT), recognises the significance of humanising health management data applications.
In today’s world, where data has acquired the status of a valuable resource akin to “oil,” it becomes all the more crucial to ensure that these applications are designed with a human touch.
As one of Singapore’s foremost healthcare practitioners, Dr Hu Yanyan acknowledges the country’s commendable healthcare system, which delivers exceptional health outcomes while remaining accessible and affordable for its citizens.
He discloses that the MOHT was established to drive the restructuring of Singapore’s health system, facing both challenges and opportunities. MOHT concentrates on several long-term initiatives with the potential to bring fundamental improvements to health promotion and treatment.
Furthermore, MOHT collaborates with partners to design and test new initiatives. They also work together with the Ministry of Health (MOH), AIC, IHiS, and other stakeholders to develop essential expansion tools, including technology, analytics data, financial planning, and incentives.
Additionally, Singapore has taken proactive steps to leverage cloud technology for data storage and security, intending to enhance customer satisfaction.
“MOHT seeks to combine all of this into new systemic solutions that are effective from start to finish and have a major impact on health care and outcomes,” he explains. “MOHT has made significant progress in implementing data security measures for its patients.”
Dr Hu places great value on safeguarding and maintaining patient health data confidentiality. With the ever-increasing reliance on technology and data in the healthcare sector, it becomes crucial to ensure that patient information remains secure and protected from unauthorised access.
By implementing robust data security measures and stringent access controls, the MOHT aims to maintain the trust and confidence of patients, knowing that their personal health information is handled responsibly and only accessible to those with proper authorisation.
Before transferring patients’ data to the cloud, MOHT takes the necessary steps to carefully analyse the data. This process involves identifying which data should be retained, managed or migrated to the cloud.
“A deep understanding of the data serves as a strong foundation for designing an appropriate security strategy that aligns with the level of sensitivity associated with each data element,” Dr Hu knows from experience.
Having this understanding will help determine the relevant data elements required to address these challenges effectively. The first stage for organisations, according to Dr Hu, is to identify the specific data necessary to achieve their objectives and support their business processes. This process begins by clearly defining the questions that need to be answered or the problems that need to be solved.
Dr Hu also underscored the criticality of understanding data security requirements. In an ever more connected information technology environment, data security holds the utmost significance for him. The organisation’s data encompasses valuable and sensitive customer personal information, financial data, company secrets, and other strategic information.
Safeguarding this data from unauthorised access or breaches is a top priority to ensure the trust of customers and maintain the confidentiality of critical business assets. As a result, ensuring data security is a primary concern in protecting this precious asset from potential threats and vulnerabilities.
The level of data security must vary based on the type of data being processed and the sensitivity of the information it contains. Different types of data require different levels of protection to ensure appropriate measures are in place to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information.
This approach allows organisations to tailor their security strategies according to the specific needs and risk profiles of the data they handle. More sensitive systems, such as medical data, personally identifiable information, or corporate secrets, necessitate higher levels of security to prevent unauthorised access and misuse of the data.
Dr Hu stressed the importance of companies carefully determining the appropriate level of security for each type of data they handle. By understanding the varying sensitivity levels of their data, organisations can confidently proceed to the stage of building robust and competitive data solutions. This understanding allows them to implement targeted security measures that ensure data protection while still enabling innovative and efficient data-driven solutions in the healthcare sector.
As per Dr Hu, this stage is crucial for addressing the numerous challenges and requirements that organisations face while managing data and information technology. During the design process, several key criteria must be thoroughly examined to construct an effective solution that aligns with the existing corporate goals and needs.
To start with, Data Architecture forms the primary foundation that needs to be addressed while creating durable and long-term solutions. It outlines how data will be structured, stored, managed, and accessed within the organisation’s context.
Additionally, Technology Architecture is a crucial factor to consider when developing data solutions. Dr Hu explains that it involves the selection and integration of hardware, software, networks, and other technology platforms that facilitate data processing and storage.
On the other hand, Security Architecture, an integral part of data solutions, is also of utmost importance. Its goal is to safeguard data from potential attacks and security hazards. To address potential security threats, data security, encryption, access authorisation, identity management, and robust data protection methods must be deployed.
Finally, processes and operations are critical components in creating successful data solutions. Dr Hu emphasised that the stages and workflows involved in managing data and adopting technology are referred to as processes. Having efficient and structured processes will aid in optimising data and technology usage while enhancing productivity and overall effectiveness.
Dr Hu firmly believes that by following these three procedures, healthcare professionals can make patient data security their top priority and ensure its protection. He reiterates the importance of understanding the need for data security, assessing the sensitivity of the information and being aware of the potential risks of data breaches.
According to him, taking this critical first step establishes a strong foundation for safeguarding and preserving patient health data and promoting trust among patients and stakeholders in the healthcare industry.
Dr Hu also advocates for collaboration among relevant professionals and stakeholders. By leveraging the collective expertise and insights of various stakeholders, healthcare organisations can develop data-driven solutions that not only address current challenges but also stay adaptable to future advancements and changes in the industry. This collaborative approach fosters a culture of innovation and enables the healthcare sector to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of technology and data management.
“In an evolving digital environment, organisations can create innovative and sustainable data solutions that have a positive impact on company continuity and success by working together,” he concludes.
Casa Goh appreciated the valuable contributions and knowledge shared by the attendees, urging them to embrace technological collaboration as a means to leverage each other’s assets, skills, and competencies for mutual business benefits.
“Collaboration provides partners with access to specific information, abilities, and technologies that they may not possess, leading to the development of more comprehensive and innovative solutions,” Casa is convinced.
He emphasised the significance of maintaining the human element at the core of any innovation, development, or deployment process. It is crucial in creating a more patient-centric and user-friendly healthcare system and healthcare data management applications. By integrating human-centred design concepts and empathetic approaches, healthcare data management software can better cater to the needs of healthcare professionals, patients, and other stakeholders.
Mohit stressed that cloud-based solutions offer essential attributes such as accessibility, collaborative infrastructure, security, and data analysis capabilities. Implementing modern data protection and solutions can result in enhanced patient care, increased productivity and efficiency, reduced costs, and improved organisational security.
“The implementation of smarter data management techniques can result in enhanced productivity and efficiency, freeing up healthcare personnel to concentrate on giving patients high-quality personal care,” Mohit explains.
He agrees that partnerships are vital for efficiency and more sustainable development. Technological partnerships can be a strategic approach for companies to foster growth, enhance competitiveness, and navigate the complexities of the ever-changing technological landscape.
However, it’s essential for partners to have clear objectives, shared values, and open communication to make the collaboration successful and mutually beneficial.
“By embracing cloud-based solutions and modern data management techniques, we can unlock a new era of enhanced patient care, increased productivity, and improved organisational security,” says Mohit. “In this journey, strategic partnerships will be vital to speeding up progress.”
In a stirring address at the Emerging Enterprise Awards (EEA) 2023, Senior Minister of State Tan Kiat How underscored the pivotal role of continuous learning and skills acquisition in navigating the dynamic landscape of the modern world.
Emphasising that education should be viewed as a lifelong journey, extending beyond formal academic years, he articulated the need for individuals to adapt to the evolving demands of an ever-changing workplace.
Acknowledging the government’s commitment to supporting Singaporeans in this quest for perpetual learning, Tan Kiat How also appealed to business owners and industry leaders to create an enabling environment for employees to upgrade their skills. He highlighted the Forward Singapore report, a comprehensive guide to the nation’s major developmental shifts, urging those unfamiliar with it to explore its insights.
The Senior Minister of State asserted that embracing technology as a strategic enabler is integral to overcoming traditional constraints and enhancing competitiveness. He underscored Singapore’s pioneering role in digital technology adoption, dating back to the 1980s when the nation became one of the first in the world to integrate computers into its public service and workplaces.
Singapore places a paramount emphasis on the pivotal role of digitalisation in revolutionising its educational landscape. With a focus on enhancing learning experiences, fostering global competitiveness, and preparing students for the future workforce, the nation is embracing innovative teaching methods and personalised learning through advanced digital tools.
The integration of technology not only streamlines administrative processes but also facilitates seamless transitions between in-person and online learning models. This commitment to digitalisation reflects Singapore’s dedication to staying at the forefront of educational innovation, equipping students with essential technological skills for the evolving global landscape.
This commitment to technological advancement has persisted, forming the bedrock of Singapore’s digital foundation. Senior Minister Tan shed light on the government’s SMEs Go Digital programme, an initiative integrating emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud services into Industry Digital Plans (IDPs).
These IDPs serve as roadmaps, guiding businesses across various sectors in adopting digital solutions and upskilling their workforce. In a recent example, the Tourism (Attractions) IDP incorporated AI to streamline workflows and provide data-driven insights, enhancing decision-making for attraction operators.
The government’s holistic approach extends beyond specific sectors, with a thorough examination of industry disciplines sector by sector. This involves updating strategies, incorporating emerging technologies, and ensuring that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can boost productivity and competitiveness while navigating the complexities of digital transformation.
Senior Minister Tan cited the Chief Information Security Officers-as-a-Service initiative, where cybersecurity consultants aid firms in enhancing cyber resilience through “check-ups” and tailored health plans.
Encouraging firms and networks to actively engage with these programmes, Senior Minister Tan emphasised the need for Singapore to embrace its agency in shaping its future. He urged the nation to leverage its strong foundation and the strategic roadmap outlined in Forward Singapore.
As Singapore charts its digital odyssey, the EEA 2023 serves as a platform not just for acknowledging achievements but for inspiring a collective commitment to a future where technological innovation and lifelong learning propel the nation to new heights.
The Senior Minister of State added that Singapore’s exceptionalism relies on collective ambition, hard work, and unity, ensuring that the nation continues to defy the odds and stand as a beacon on the global stage.
Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Electronics & IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar shared comprehensive insights into India’s tech landscape at the 26th Edition of the Bengaluru Tech Summit.
Minister Chandrasekhar navigated through a spectrum of crucial tech domains, unravelling India’s transformative journey and the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in the digital economy. He shed light on India’s burgeoning semiconductor industry, the transformative potential of AI, and the instrumental role of startups in shaping the nation’s economic future.
Minister Chandrasekhar reflected on the dynamic shift in India’s semiconductor narrative, echoing the sentiments articulated by India’s Prime Minister at the Semicon India 2023 Summit. He underscored the evolving perspective from “why India” to “when in India” and “why not in India.”
This transformation signifies the growing confidence and capabilities within India’s tech ecosystem, a testament to the nation’s progress in diverse domains such as AI, semiconductors, electronics, Web 3, supercomputing, and high-performance computing.
“Pre-2014, India’s semiconductor story was a series of missed opportunities,” reflected Minister Chandrasekhar while tracing the trajectory of the semiconductor industry’s evolution.
Despite lacking a design legacy, Minister Chandrasekhar emphasised India’s strides in the semiconductor sector. Acknowledging the catch-up game after missed opportunities, he highlighted India’s leapfrogging approach, skipping a generation to explore novel opportunities for the next decade.
The focus on talent, design, packaging, and research has propelled India towards becoming a significant player in the global semiconductor ecosystem, marking a definitive trajectory of growth.
Minister Chandrasekhar reiterated India’s emphasis on harnessing AI’s transformative power resonates deeply with India’s commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology for societal betterment and enhanced living standards across diverse segments of the population.
“We believe that AI when harnessed correctly, can transform healthcare, agriculture, governance and language translation”: MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar
By integrating AI technologies into these sectors, the aim is to revolutionise service delivery, streamline operations, and democratise access to advanced services for all citizens. However, he also addressed the inherent risks posed by the potential misuse of AI by bad actors, stressing the need for legislative guardrails to ensure safety and trust in AI applications. Aligning with global sentiments, Chandrasekhar highlighted the necessity for regulatory frameworks to prevent misuse and foster ethical AI deployment.
“The world is now aligning with India’s view that we need guardrails of safety and trust for the Internet,” he said.
In an increasingly tech-dependant world, Mnster Chnadrashekhar believes that innovation and entrepreneurship are vital – startups are the pillars of India’s tech evolution. Elaborating on India’s startup landscape, Minister Chandrasekhar showcased the pivotal role played by startups since 2014, citing the emergence of 102 unicorns and a substantial influx of FDI.
He emphasised how startups are not just economic entities but integral components of India’s tech vision, contributing significantly to the digital economy’s $1 trillion goal. With a focus on nurturing the futureDESIGN DLI startups, Chandrasekhar envisaged their potential to become the unicorns of tomorrow, driving innovation across AI, semiconductors, and next-gen electronic systems.
Minister Chandrasekhar’s insights underscore India’s rapid tech evolution, emphasising the nation’s strides in semiconductors, the transformative impact of AI, and the pivotal role of startups. As India charts its course towards a $1 trillion digital economy, its vision encapsulates the imperative of regulatory frameworks, innovative strides, and collaborative efforts in harnessing technology for inclusive growth and global relevance.
OpenGov Asia reported that Minister Chandrasekhar, who spoke at two influential tech events: the Indian Express Digifraud & Safety Summit 2023 and YourStory Techsparks’23, expressed similar views on India’s technological advancements, regulatory policies, and the nation’s promising future in the global tech landscape.
At these tech summits, Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar outlined India’s ambitious technological trajectory, reinforcing the government’s dedication to fostering innovation, ensuring a safe digital environment, and harnessing the transformative power of technology for the nation’s progress.
Collaboration with other entities is paramount in this digital era. Especially in the healthcare sector, having a robust digital infrastructure and leveraging technological advancements is crucial for effective cancer control. With the robust infrastructure established through collaboration, the Manatū Hauora’s Polynesian Health Corridors (PHC) programme is well-positioned to pioneer innovative approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
This initiative is a collaborative effort between PHC and critical partners, including Te Aka Mātauranga Matepukupuku (Cancer Research Centre) and Te Poutoko Ora a Kiwa (Centre for Pacific and Global Health), housed within Waipapa Taumata Rau at The University of Auckland. The programme spans six partner countries: the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.
Recognising the need for effective cancer control measures, Polynesian health leaders have identified cancer control as a top priority and a focal point for the PHC programme. During the design phase led by Waipapa Taumata Rau (University of Auckland), collaborative efforts are being made to shape the cancer control programme in alignment with the healthcare landscapes of each partner country. This inclusive approach ensures that the programme is tailored to address specific regional needs and challenges.
As part of the broader initiative, PHC aims to support the six partner countries in the seamless implementation of planned activities, emphasising integrating these initiatives into the New Zealand Health System. The design phase is anticipated to be substantially completed by mid-next year, paving the way for the subsequent steps in the programme’s execution.
Established in 2020, the Polynesian Health Corridors (PHC) programme operates under the auspices of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). It was conceived to fortify the ties between Aotearoa, New Zealand’s robust health system and its partner countries. PHC operates within the Global Health Group at the Public Health Agency|Te Pou Hauora Tūmatanui, a division of Manatū Hauora.
The collaboration with partners such as Te Aka Mātauranga Matepukupuku and Te Poutoko Ora a Kiwa underscores the commitment of the PHC programme to leverage collective expertise and resources for the benefit of Polynesia. The emphasis on a multi-year cancer control programme reflects a forward-thinking approach to addressing the complex challenges of cancer within the region.
The multifaceted design of the cancer control initiative encompasses a spectrum of considerations, including early detection strategies, treatment modalities, and holistic support systems for affected individuals and their families. By actively involving partner countries in the design phase, PHC ensures that the programme aligns with the cultural nuances and healthcare infrastructures unique to each Polynesian nation.
In addition to its primary focus on cancer control, the PHC programme signifies a broader commitment to strengthening healthcare ties between Aotearoa, New Zealand and its Polynesian partners. The strategic collaboration with Waipapa Taumata Rau, a leading health research and education institution, adds a dimension to the initiative. Waipapa Taumata Rau’s expertise is instrumental in shaping the design phase of the cancer control programme, contributing evidence-based insights and leveraging its research capabilities.
As the design phase progresses, PHC anticipates a pivotal role in supporting the implementation of planned activities, fostering collaboration between partner countries, and facilitating seamless integration into the New Zealand Health System. The interconnected nature of this initiative underscores the importance of global cooperation and shared knowledge in tackling complex health challenges.
This initiative exemplifies the power of international cooperation in addressing pressing health concerns and sets a precedent for future collaborations in global health. The PHC programme’s collaborative efforts extend beyond regional boundaries, fostering a shared knowledge and resources model that transcends geopolitical constraints. As the design phase unfolds, the programme’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility remains central to its vision for transforming cancer control in Polynesia.
In emphasising the importance of inclusivity, technology must cater to individuals with physical impairments who face challenges in using traditional input devices like mice and keyboards, which often leads to their exclusion from technical professions.
To foster inclusive accessibility, multiple alternative methods should be actively identified and implemented to facilitate individuals with physical impairments to engage in coding activities. The evolution of these alternative input methods signifies a positive shift towards a more inclusive and accessible technological landscape.
In an initiative to encourage digital inclusion and technological education, a KidBright Workshop has targeted students and teachers from 10 schools catering to children with disabilities. This workshop showcased the power of the KidBright AI Platform in guiding participants to construct embedded system projects.
Dr Patchralita Chatwalitpong, The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) Vice President for Science and Technology Human Resources Development, emphasised the significance of advancing science and technology education among disabled individuals. “Disabilities children also have the right to gain knowledge in this digital realm. Physically impairment is not merely the obstacle for it,” she addressed.
KidBright, a coding learning tool developed by NECTEC-NSTDA, emerged as a beacon of innovation. As an open-source embedded programming platform, KidBright enables children to learn coding through its embedded board and KidBright Integrated Development Environment programme (KidBright IDE). The platform’s accessibility and user-friendly interface empower young learners to delve into coding seamlessly.
The genesis of this impactful project traces back to 2018, when NSTDA initiated a pioneering effort to promote coding skills specifically tailored for children with disabilities. From 2018 to 2020, KidBright boards and UtuNoi STATION packages were distributed across these schools, accompanied by a series of workshops for both students and teachers. These workshops provided comprehensive training on programming KidBright boards and equipped participants with the skills to create embedded system projects.
The inclusion of data science knowledge in 2019 and 2020 further enriched the project, empowering educators and students to devise innovative solutions catering to the needs of people with disabilities. Notably, several of these inventive creations garnered accolades in innovation contests.
The project’s trajectory leapt in 2023 with a strategic expansion into artificial intelligence (AI). This follow-up session spotlighted the development of science projects utilising the KidBright AI Platform. Led by the adept Educational Technology Research Team and spearheaded by Dr Saowaluck Kaewkamnerd, this workshop aimed to deepen participants’ understanding of AI and encourage the creation of innovative projects with real-world applications.
This multifaceted project exemplifies the commitment to advancing education in emerging technologies and ensuring inclusivity in digital literacy. Integrating coding, embedded systems, data science, and AI into the curriculum empowers students, especially those with disabilities, to become adept in the digital landscape. The KidBright AI Platform catalyses nurturing creativity, problem-solving skills, and a passion for technology among the younger generation, transcending barriers and fostering a more inclusive and technologically literate society.
Further, the recognition of inclusivity has gained global attention, exemplified by its acknowledgement in the United States. The Alliance for Access, the Computing Career Centre from Washington University, outlined several approaches that can enhance programming accessibility for students with diverse disabilities. To illustrate:
- Clear Instructions and Examples: Providing clear instructions and relevant examples universally benefits all students, promoting a better understanding of programming concepts.
- Speech Input Software: Students who face challenges with conventional keyboards can leverage speech input software.
- Macro-Writing Programmes: Utilising a macro-writing programme for individuals with mobility impairments becomes invaluable. This programme facilitates the creation of shortcuts, simplifying the typing process.
- IDE Features: Integrated development environments (IDEs) may incorporate features specifically beneficial for students with disabilities.
- Word or Syntax Auto-Completion: Predictive typing assists users by anticipating their input.
- Syntax Highlighting: Color-coded representation of typed code enhances visual distinction.
- Variable Name Highlighting: Ensures consistent spelling of variable names.
- Inline Spell-Check: This feature can benefit some students, promoting accurate coding.
By highlighting and implementing this in the programming environment among disabled children in Thailand, educators can create a more inclusive and supportive learning experience for students with disabilities, not only enhancing the knowledge of students but also fostering inclusivity and equality.
Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Defence, Heng Chee How, and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health, Dr Janil Puthucheary, recently visited the Critical Infrastructure Defence Exercise (CIDeX) 2023, underscoring the government’s commitment to fortifying national cybersecurity.
The exercise, held at the National University of Singapore School of Computing, witnessed over 200 participants engaging in operational technology (OT) critical infrastructure defence training.
Organised by the Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS) and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), with support from iTrust/SUTD and the National Cybersecurity R&D Laboratory (NCL), CIDeX 2023 marked a collaborative effort to enhance Whole-Of-Government (WoG) cyber capabilities. The exercise focused on detecting and countering cyber threats to both Information Technology (IT) and OT networks governing critical infrastructure sectors.
This year’s edition boasted participation from DIS, CSA, and 24 other national agencies across six Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) sectors. With an expanded digital infrastructure comprising six enterprise IT networks and three new OT testbeds, participants operated on six OT testbeds within key sectors—power, water, telecom, and aviation.
CIDeX 2023 featured Blue Teams, composed of national agency participants serving as cyber defenders, defending their digital infrastructure against simulated cyber-attacks launched by a composite Red Team comprising DIS, CSA, DSTA, and IMDA personnel. The exercises simulated attacks on both IT and OT networks, including scenarios such as overloading an airport substation, disrupting water distribution, and shutting down a gas plant.
The exercise provided a platform for participants to hone their technical competencies, enhance collaboration, and share expertise across agencies. Before CIDeX, participants underwent a five-day hands-on training programme at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)’s Cyber Defence Test and Evaluation Centre (CyTEC) at Stagmont Camp, ensuring readiness for cyber defence challenges.
On the sidelines of CIDeX 2023, the DIS solidified cyber collaboration by signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with key technology sector partners, expanding its partnerships beyond the earlier agreement with Microsoft earlier in the year.
Senior Minister Heng emphasised the importance of inter-agency cooperation, stating, “CIDeX is a platform where we bring together many agencies throughout the government to come together to learn how to defend together.” He highlighted the collective effort involving 26 agencies and over 200 participants, acknowledging the significance of unity in cybersecurity.
Dr Janil echoed this sentiment, emphasising CIDeX’s role in the Whole-of-Government (WoG) cyber defence effort. He remarked, “Defending Singapore’s cyberspace is not an easy task, and it is a team effort.”
He commended the strong partnership between the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and the Digital and Intelligence Service, recognising the exercise as a crucial element in strengthening the nation’s digital resilience and national cybersecurity posture.
By leveraging collaboration, innovation, and a robust defence strategy, Singapore aims not just to protect its critical infrastructure but to set a global standard in cybersecurity practices.
CIDeX 2023 serves as a compelling embodiment of Singapore’s unwavering dedication to maintaining a leadership position in cybersecurity practices. This strategic exercise underscores the nation’s commitment to cultivating collaboration and fortifying its resilience against continually evolving cyber threats.
Beyond a training ground for sharpening the skills of cyber defenders, CIDeX 2023 encapsulates the government’s profound commitment to adopting a robust, collaborative, and forward-thinking approach to safeguarding the integrity and security of the nation’s critical infrastructure in the dynamic landscape of the digital age.
The Cyberport Entrepreneurship Programmes’ 20th Anniversary Celebration and Graduation Ceremony was a major event attended by notable personalities, distinguished guests and budding innovators.
Cyberport is Hong Kong’s digital technology flagship and incubator for entrepreneurship with over 2,000 members including over 900 onsite and close to 1,100 offsite start-ups and technology companies. It is managed by Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, wholly owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government.
With a vision to become Hong Kong’s digital technology hub and stimulate a fresh economic impetus, Cyberport is dedicated to cultivating a dynamic tech environment. This commitment involves nurturing talent, encouraging youth entrepreneurship, aiding startups, fostering industry growth through strategic partnerships with local and international entities, and driving digital transformation across public and private sectors, bridging new and traditional economies.
Professor Sun Dong, the Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry, Hong Kong highlighted Cyberport’s incredible journey and the achievements of its vibrant community. Expressing his delight in commemorating Cyberport’s two-decade-long legacy, he emphasised the institution’s pivotal role as an ICT powerhouse in Hong Kong.
From its humble beginnings to its present stature, Cyberport has emerged as a catalyst for innovation, nurturing over 2,000 technology companies and startups and showcasing an exponential growth rate over the past five years.
Cyberport’s community has attracted a staggering US$38 billion of investment, marking its significance as an ICT flagship in Hong Kong. The establishment takes pride in its contribution to nurturing numerous innovative ideas and fostering dynamic business ventures, with seven notable unicorns in fintech, smart living, and digital entertainment sectors.
Cyberport excelled at the prestigious Hong Kong ICT Awards, with 25 startups securing 28 accolades, including the esteemed Award of the Year. This achievement showcased the institution’s exceptional calibre and innovation prowess nurtured within its ecosystem.
Acknowledging the pivotal role of startups in Cyberport’s success story, Professor Sun Dong shared how these young enterprises, often starting with a simple idea at a small table, grow in tandem with Cyberport’s support. The institution provides not just financial aid but also a nurturing environment where entrepreneurs can leverage extensive networks, collaborative spaces, and expert guidance to cultivate their ideas into commercial successes.
The graduation of more than 200 startups from the Entrepreneurship Programme stood as a testament to Cyberport’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurial talent. This initiative empowers startups to translate their ideas into tangible commercial solutions and market breakthroughs, laying the foundation for their future success.
Looking ahead, Professor Sun Dong outlined Cyberport’s exciting plans, including the upcoming expansion block slated for completion in two years, aimed at providing additional space for the community’s development. He also highlighted Cyberport’s initiative to establish the Artificial Intelligence Supercomputing Centre, a pioneering endeavour set to commence in 2024, envisioned to be a pioneering and substantial facility in Hong Kong.
Cyberport’s extraordinary journey showcases significant achievements while charting a promising future, embodying the core values of innovation, collaboration, and collective growth.
Professor Sun expressed gratitude on behalf of the Government, acknowledging their hard work and contributions to the tech ecosystem emphasising the importance of collective participation for a better future.
The vibrant success of events like the Cyberport Venture Capital Forum 2023 resonates with Cyberport’s commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration, further cementing its role as a catalyst for technological advancement and entrepreneurial growth in Hong Kong.
The Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (CVCF) 2023 saw a turnout of over 2,500 participants during its two-day hybrid event. Themed “Venture Forward: Game Changing through Innovation,” the forum convened 80 global visionary venture experts, entrepreneurial pioneers, and influential thinkers. With more than 120,000 page views and over 300 fundraising meetings facilitated, it solidified its position as a pivotal platform fostering networking and collaborative opportunities.
In a significant stride towards technological innovation and sustainable development, the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) have joined forces to revolutionise India’s construction and wastewater treatment sectors.
This pioneering collaboration under the “Access to Knowledge for Technology Development and Dissemination (A2K+) Studies” Scheme of DSIR is aimed at aligning with India’s Smart Cities Mission and its ambitious commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070.
DSIR’s allocation of two crucial research studies to TERI signifies a pivotal step in bridging the informational gap on advanced building materials, designs for energy efficiency, and the assessment of membrane-based sewage wastewater treatment systems for reuse and recycling.
A significant milestone in this partnership was marked by a high-profile Stakeholder Consultant Meeting held at the prestigious India Habitat Center in New Delhi. Attended by key decision-makers, esteemed experts from academia, industry leaders, and policymakers, this event became a platform for insightful discussions and collaborations.
Dr Sujata Chaklanobis, Scientist ‘G’ and Head of A2K+ Studies at DSIR, emphasised the importance of promoting industrial research for indigenous technology development, utilisation, and transfer in her address. Her words underscored the crucial role of research and innovation in fostering sustainable technological advancements.
Mr Sanjay Seth, Senior Director of TERI’s Sustainable Infrastructure Programme highlighted India’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2070. He stressed the imperative integration of cutting-edge technologies and innovative designs in buildings to significantly reduce energy consumption, a key step towards a sustainable, low-carbon future.
The first session of the consultation centred on leveraging emerging technologies and innovative solutions for advanced building design to enhance energy efficiency. Experts from various domains provided insightful suggestions and information, fostering dialogue on energy-efficient building designs and sustainable construction practices.
The second session delved into the current status and prospects of membrane technologies in India for sewage treatment. Insights from academia, including professors from prestigious institutions, shed light on research gaps and opportunities for commercialisation in the domain of membrane-based technologies.
Industry experts also provided valuable perspectives on the current membrane market, innovations, and opportunities, creating a comprehensive understanding of the landscape and paving the way for future developments.
The amalgamation of insights from academia, industry, and end-users enriched the discussions, providing a roadmap for future innovation and development in these critical sectors. The event culminated with a commitment from both DSIR and TERI to embark on an innovation journey, heralding a sustainable and resilient future for India.
The DSIR-TERI collaborative consultation stands as a beacon of transformative progress in advancing sustainable building practices and sewage treatment technologies. It underscores the power of partnership in driving technological evolution for a more sustainable tomorrow.
India’s ambitions intertwine technological progress with a steadffast commitment to sustainability, envisioning a future where innovation not only drives economic growth but also champions environmental stewardship.
Through strategic initiatives and cooperation, India aims to leverage cutting-edge technologies to address pressing global challenges, ensuring a harmonious balance between technological advancement, environmental preservation, and societal well-being.
NITI Aayog, in collaboration with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, initiated the India Australia Rapid Innovation and Startup Expansion (RISE) Accelerator under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) to bolster circular economy startups from both countries, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-Kanpur) and the African-Asian Rural Development Organisation (AARDO) jointly organised an international training programme, focused on exploring the application of nanotechnology in promoting plant growth and crop protection for sustainable agriculture.
According to an IIT-Kanpur statement, the programme served as a forum for experts from diverse fields to discuss and deliberate on solutions to meet the urgent global challenge of achieving food security and promoting sustainability in agriculture.