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MCI (P) 100/09/2019

HEALTHTECH: BETTER HEALTHCARE. BETTER HEALTH. 02 Why HealthTech is a Big Thing

04 What Can We Expect When Surgeons Meet Robots 06 How Digital Therapeutics Are Disrupting and Evolving Healthcare 08 Bruce Liang Offers a Glimpse into the Future of HealthTech 11 Prof Lim Chwee Teck Shares What It Takes to Commercialise HealthTech Innovations

Issue

01 2020


Contents Vision

EDITOR’S MESSAGE

POWER BOOST

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What HealthTech Has to Offer You and Me

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Impact of COVID-19 on Tech Businesses and Professionals

HealthTech – Not Just About Life and Death

To be the leading infocomm and digital media professional society in Singapore

THE BIG IDEA

Mission Lead the Way

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Why HealthTech is a Big Thing

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What Can We Expect When Surgeons Meet Robots

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How Digital Therapeutics Are Disrupting and Evolving Healthcare

To lead and contribute to the vibrancy and growth of Singapore’s infocomm and digital media industry

Add Value

SPOTLIGHT

To add value to the infocomm and digital media professional’s career and personal development

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Bruce Liang Offers a Glimpse into the Future of HealthTech

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Prof Lim Chwee Teck Shares What It Takes to Commercialise HealthTech Innovations

#LATEST@SCS 16

SCS Leadership Bench Refreshes

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SCS Honours 18 New Fellows

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New Certifications for Enterprise Architecture

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Highlights at the Inaugural DevSecOps Seminar

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What’s New in SCS

GEEK SPEAK 25

Beware of Virus Attack!

Be the Voice To engage and be the voice of the infocomm and digital media community

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The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

9:41 AM

HealthTech is More than a Matter of Life and Death

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hanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, health is a hot topic these days.

Interestingly, even as this pandemic subjects healthcare systems around the world to a stress test (pun intended), it also brings about renewed interest in HealthTech solutions like telemedicine – its adoption rate shot through the roof in recent times. But HealthTech is not limited to telemedicine. CEO of IHiS, Bruce Liang, will tell you that the National Electronic Health Record system is already saving patients the trouble of repeating their medical history to different doctors. And Outpatient Pharmacy Automation Systems are helping pharmacies streamline their manpower resources. And that’s not all. With robots, Artificial Intelligence (AI), 3D printing and sensors increasingly deployed in HealthTech innovations, we can expect HealthTech to play a bigger role – from disease detection

EDITOR Tan Teng Cheong CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alan Goh Vladyslav Koshelyev Jaime Pang Rei Ern Kuldeep Singh Rajput

ADVERTISING SALES & ADMIN Claudia Lim For ad sales enquiries, Tel: 6226 2567 ext 12 Email: claudia.lim@scs.org.sg Mailing Address 53 Neil Road Singapore 088891

EDITORIAL SUPPORT Claudia Lim

EMAIL scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg EDITORIAL & DESIGN Lancer Design Pte Ltd

and diagnosis to intervention, treatment and management. And in the fast-growing area of preventive healthcare? Digital therapeutics are making breakthroughs with predictive analytics. Indeed, HealthTech not only presents an exciting future for patients and healthcare providers, but also HealthTech developers and startups. According to Prof Lim Chwee Teck from NUS Engineering – while it takes years for HealthTech solutions to go from lab to market, no day is the same in the lab. Well, COVID-19 may have changed the world for good – but HealthTech is here to stay. So be sure to stay in the know. Enjoy reading!

TAN TENG CHEONG Editor Fellow, SCS tan.teng.cheong@scs.org.sg

FEEDBACK We value your feedback for this magazine. Simply email scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg with your comments to help us produce an even more interesting and relevant magazine for you in subsequent issues. You are welcome to submit articles for inclusion consideration. For advertising enquiries, please call 6226 2567 or email scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg. The IT Society is the official publication of the Singapore Computer Society. Any part of this publication may be reproduced as long as credit is given to the publisher, Singapore Computer Society. All views expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.

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THE BIG IDEA

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 01/2020

Why is HealthTech a Big Thing? As the population of elderly increases, access to quick medical diagnoses and treatments is crucial to treat diseases early during their onset. For one, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a diagnostic aid could alleviate burdens on healthcare staff, free up time for more doctor-patient interactions and allow prognoses to be produced more efficiently.

JAIME PANG REI ERN Student, NUS High School of Math and Science Member, Team DEMUSHI (Champion for Pre-tertiary Category of SCS Splash Awards 2019)


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hanks to improvements in healthcare over the years, life expectancies of average Singaporeans have gone up to 82.8 years. It is expected that a quarter of the Singapore population will be above 65 by 2030. Foreseeably, demand for healthcare services will also increase considerably, calling into question as to whether our nation’s healthcare sector will be able to meet these growing needs. To add to the problem, the elderly are generally more vulnerable due to weaker body systems. This means that it is important that they receive adequate medical support to slow the onset of conditions such as arthritis and Parkinson’s disease. Increasing focus on HealthTech innovations on both clinical and non-clinical fronts in recent times suggests that this is an area where the answer may well be.

IT HELPS DOCTORS WITH EARLY DISEASE DETECTION One field where technology, in particular, AI, shines is the automation of medical diagnoses. Actually, AI diagnostics is not new. Stretching as far back as 1980s, the first few diagnostic expert systems like PUFF are still used today. Since then however, AI computational capabilities have increased greatly. There are now machine learning models that can be trained quickly and easily to detect trends in patient data for early disease prediction. The availability of numerous online medical datasets, such as the Breast Cancer Wisconsin (Diagnostic) Data Set1, also makes it easier for AI engineers to train models.

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When my team and I worked on our AI innovation prototype for the Splash Awards, we used the fact that Parkinson’s patients exhibit micrographia – shaky or squashed handwriting due to decreased motor control – and a dataset of spiral drawings by Parkinson’s patients from the University of Brno to train a simple supervised learning network that classifies spiral images based on their likelihood of being drawn by a Parkinson’s patient. IT SUPPORTS DOCTORS IN MEDICAL DIAGNOSES Deep learning algorithms have also proven to be capable of detecting anomalies in complex medical imagery to a high degree of accuracy. Unlike traditional supervised learning models, deep learning models can formulate their own feature detection strategies using layers, and even reveal insights that would have gone undetected by humans. Notably, engaging clinicians in assessing logic of diagnosis models is essential in ensuring that decisions are made based on concrete medical knowledge. But the steps of reasoning are not always clear or easily quantifiable to humans due to application of complex black box functions in training, making their reasoning hard to justify. Nonetheless, a recent study2 by the NHS foundation trust evaluated several deep learning diagnosis models from 2012 to 2019, and found them to be roughly on-par with medical professionals. This demonstrates the potential deep learning models have in supporting doctors’ diagnoses.

THE BIG IDEA

IT ENCOURAGES EVERYONE TO EMBRACE PREVENTIVE CARE Beyond acute healthcare settings, HealthTech is also increasingly looked to for its role in preventive care. The perpetuation of consumer technology means almost everyone, including the elderly, has a smartphone nowadays. Hence, instead of deploying human caretakers, mobile and web applications can assist the elderly in their daily lives by allowing them to monitor their own health – conveniently and easily. Besides apps which track medicine dosages, diets and sleep quality, apps like ActiveSG also allow users to track their daily physical activity rate and incentivise them to keep fit with vouchers to be won. IT EXPANDS HEALTHCARE CAPACITY TO COPE WITH AGEING POPULATION AI and modern technologies show massive potential as tools to support the well-being of our growing elderly population. However, for AI to deliver on its promise, there needs to be quality training datasets – which are often hard to get, costly and subject to various safety regulations. A lack of data for AI model training in particular diseases may lead to inaccurate predictions. Similarly, inaccurate datasets, skewed by experimental error or containing artefacts, would compromise accuracy. Thus, while HealthTech innovations offer much hope in supporting the healthcare sector and the healthcare needs of our society, both healthcare professionals and the general public need to support medical data collection efforts. Only then, can we all fully benefit from what technology offers as we go into the future.

http://archive.ics.uci.edu/ml/datasets/Breast+Cancer+Wisconsin+%28Diagnostic%29 Liu, X., Faes, L., Kale, A., Wagner, S., Fu, D., & Bruynseels, A. et al. (2019). A comparison of deep learning performance against health-care professionals in detecting diseases from medical imaging: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Digital Health, 1(6), e271-e297. doi:10.1016/s2589-7500(19)30123-2

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THE BIG IDEA

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 01/2020

Robots: The Newest Partner in a Surgeon’s Toolbox

Robots have long captured the human imagination in films, comics and literature, but they are no longer just works of science fiction – they exist among us and assist us as we go about our daily routines. Under certain circumstances, even our life and death depend on them while we are under the care of healthcare robotics and medical devices.

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uring minimally invasive surgeries, clinicians often encounter a multitude of issues: accurate visualisation of the target anatomy under medical imaging, the need for precise execution, the risk of prolonged radiation exposure and high dependency on individual skill level. Put together, they limit the range of treatment options that

can be adopted. At the same time, the possibility of haemorrhage, infection, and perforation of adjacent organs or tissues adds an additional level of risk to procedures. Enter healthcare robotics and medical devices, which are radically disrupting traditional surgery and improving clinical

ALAN GOH Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder, NDR Medical Technology

care. Highly specialised systems are enhancing surgeons’ abilities to perform complex yet delicate interventions on vital organs like kidneys and lungs, and becoming a mainstay in operating theatres. Far from replacing our skilled professionals, technology is equipping and enabling them to perform tasks with higher precision, safety and confidence.


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ANT – A ROBOT SYSTEM FOR SURGERY One of these is ANT (short for Automated Needle Targeting), developed by NDR Medical Technology. ANT is the world’s first robotic system which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and image processing. At a time when such technologies are still in nascent phases of development for broad application in surgery, ANT combines the two for high accuracy in needle positioning.

technology use in dynamic organ lesion targeting, and various other medical procedures that require precise needle trajectory access. These procedures include biopsy and ablation.

The non-invasive system is able to align the entry point to the selected target with accuracy of up to ±2mm – making for a sophisticated system that augments the skills and competencies of medical professionals. In addition, ANT can integrate with existing imaging modalities like Fluoroscopic C-Arm and in the near future, Computed Tomography (CT), to perform calibration and navigation. Notably, its seamless integration into the current standard of care protocol for the above procedures at no added risk reduces dependency on skill levels of both senior consultants and medical residents.

But differences aside, one thing is clear: both systems are pushing the envelope in bringing about better surgery outcomes and reducing complications.

ANT – COMING TO AN OPERATING THEATRE NEAR YOU The first ANT prototype, named ANT-X (X stands for X-ray Fluoroscopy assisted), has entered the penultimate stages of clinical trial testing for treatment of kidney stones. In collaboration with clinicians at Japan’s Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Science, completed trials have demonstrated ANT-X’s advantages over conventional freehand procedures. Additionally, a new study at the same site aims to provide further evidence of lower perioperative risks and faster recovery times – paving the way for regulatory approval and entry into regional markets. Concurrently, NDR is also developing ANT-C – where C stands for Computed Tomography. Unlike ANT-X, the ANT-C version pioneers

While the robotic positioning device is the same for both ANT-X and ANT-C, they differ in terms of software: ANT-X is adapted for fluoroscopy-guided procedures like kidney stone removal, whereas ANT-C is used for CT-guided procedures such as lung biopsy.

ANT – A HUMAN-ROBOT PARTNERSHIP With robotic systems like ANT helping surgeons achieve better accuracy and performance, patients also enjoy higher quality of care. This is crucial, as estimates show that by 2030, the number of elderly retirees in Singapore will triple to over 900,000. As Asia’s third-fastest ageing population, Singapore can expect to navigate

THE BIG IDEA

unique challenges associated with extended longevity – making the adoption of new problem-solving technology key to solving our public health problems. Besides building partnerships with surgeons that promote surgical excellence, reliability and consistency, robotic systems like ANT also build trust among stakeholders such as patients by enhancing their peace of mind. In pairing clinicians with sophisticated technology, higher sampling precision can be achieved to avoid ambiguous results, and guide clinicians in providing the right followup and critical care for patients. Together, these new physician-robot teams are set to transform the landscape of patient experience. Predictably, we will see more humanrobot collaborations enhancing surgical capabilities in a wide spectrum of procedures and settings in the near future. But for now, we can first count on the ANT systems to assist surgeons in bringing about earlier diagnoses, more positive clinical outcomes and better patient care quality.

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THE BIG IDEA

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How Digital Therapeutics Are Disrupting and Evolving Healthcare

THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 01/2020

KULDEEP SINGH RAJPUT Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Biofourmis Inc.

A growing ageing global population and rising healthcare costs are driving healthcare professionals, governments, health insurers, tech startups and the population at large to look to HealthTech for solutions. Among which, digital therapeutics with their potential to predict serious health events days or weeks in advance, offer hope for reducing healthcare costs and improving treatment outcomes.


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eveloping a new drug can cost US$2.9 billion1; and in many cases, much more. To add to that, the economic burden of chronic conditions is estimated to be at US$47 trillion2 from 2011 to 2030 globally. Closer to home, 38% of the population3 aged 60 years or older in Singapore has three or more chronic conditions. In Singapore as well as many other countries, the bulk of healthcare costs is either heavily subsidised or covered by health insurance. Naturally, governments and health insurers pressure pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers to lower costs, even as they simultaneously press them to provide product and treatment efficacy evidence and improve treatment outcomes. Case in point, in the United States – the country with the highest healthcare costs4 in the world among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, the government and health insurers limit their spending by putting in place programmes that pay hospitals and physicians based on patient treatment outcomes. BY BEING A GOOD SUPPLEMENT TO EXISTING TREATMENTS Proving the value of drugs and managing chronic conditions, however, can be costly. That’s why pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers are tapping into new technology-enabled methods such as digital therapeutics. Defined by the Digital Therapeutics Alliance as “evidence-based therapeutic interventions driven by high-quality software programs to prevent, manage, or treat a medical disorder or disease”, digital therapeutics are used independently or in concert with medications, devices, or other therapies to optimise patient care and healthcare outcomes. For example, wearable biosensors – a component of digital therapeutics – automatically collect patients’ physiological data 24/7. By combining patients’ medical

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history with their responses to questions answered through a patient-facing mobile application and data collected from the biosensors, Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms can develop a highly precise biometric patient profile, and even predict a health event that requires medical intervention. Currently, new drugs under development are already experimenting with the use of digital therapeutics as companion therapy along with the investigational drug, in both pre- and post-approval stages. By gathering patient-reported data such as symptoms, medication side effects, daily activities and other information, the companion therapy allows pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers to monitor and manage therapy for chronic conditions remotely. It also enables pharmaceutical companies to validate the effectiveness of their drugs to governments and health insurers. IT SPEEDS UP CLINICAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT Pharmaceutical companies, faced with pressure from governments and health insurers to lower costs and improve patients’ health, are eager to find less expensive ways to study and develop drugs. With the ability to collect real-world data from a large patient population as they go about their everyday activities, digital therapeutics offer a means for pharmaceutical companies and providers to gain insights without incurring significant costs. Furthermore, as much of the data are automatically collected and analysed, the technology enables providers and drug companies to better optimise their resources and increase overall productivity. Seeing the possibilities digital therapeutics bring, pharmaceutical companies around the world are warming up to their adoption in the research and development process. In recent times, pharmaceutical company Novartis utilised a digital therapeutics platform, which continuously

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monitors and analyses real-world data flow, to demonstrate the efficacy of its Entresto heart failure drug in Southeast Asia. Besides proving the value of Entresto, insights gleaned from the data enabled the team to optimise drug therapy and identify clinical issues before they evolve into medical crises requiring hospitalisation or emergency treatment. IT IMPROVES TREATMENT OUTCOMES As countries increasingly transition from traditional healthcare models – marked by episodic and on-demand interactions – to continuous and autonomous delivery of health services in community settings5, patients and healthcare providers alike can expect to benefit from companion digital therapeutics. At consultations, patients no longer need to struggle to explain their symptoms or recall incidents from days or weeks before. They can send real-time data of their conditions to healthcare providers through their companion therapeutics app. Meanwhile, with digital therapeutics flagging precursors to clinical events, healthcare providers receiving clinical intervention recommendations via the predictive analytics platform can carry out prompt interventions such as adjusting a patient’s medication dosage or gathering more information through a video consult. More importantly, the predictive capabilities of the technology can help healthcare providers improve treatment outcomes and avoid much more costly medical events. Pharmaceutical companies and providers have only just begun to explore opportunities digital therapeutics bring to their respective areas of healthcare. The fields of predictive analytics and wearables are also evolving at a rapid pace. Given these dynamic forces, we can expect digital therapeutics to transform the healthcare industry in Singapore – and the rest of the world – in the coming years.

DiMasi, Grabowski, Hansen (2016). Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry: New estimates of R&D costs. Journal of Health Economics, Volume 47, May 2016, Pages 20-33. Bloom DE, Cafiero ET, Jané-Llopis E, Abrahams-Gessel S, Bloom LR, et al (2011). The Global Economic Burden of Non-communicable Diseases. Geneva: World Economic Forum. 3 Chan et al. (2018). Transitions in Health, Employment, Social Engagement and Intergenerational Transfers in Singapore Study (THE SIGNS Study) – I: Descriptive Statistics and Analysis of Key Aspects of Successful Ageing. December 2018. https://www.duke-nus.edu.sg/docs/librariesprovider3/research-policy-brief-docs/the-signs-study---i-report.pdf 4 OECD (2020), Health spending (indicator). doi: 10.1787/8643de7e-en (Accessed on 04 May 2020) https://data.oecd.org/healthres/health-spending.htm 5 Abolade T.O and Durosinmi A.E (2018). The Benefits and Challenges of E-Health Applications in Developing Nations: A Review. Conference Paper December 2018. https://www. researchgate.net/figure/Difference-between-the-traditional-model-of-healthcare-and-the-new-model-of-health_tbl1_329877708 1 2


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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 01/2020

MR BRUCE LIANG Fellow, SCS Chief Executive Officer, IHiS Chief Information Officer, Ministry of Health

BETTER HEALTHCARE. BETTER ECONOMY.

BECAUSE IT’S IN HEALTHCARE

First Encounter with Tech: I was originally in Arts stream but I chanced upon a software programming class when I was 15. I realised I had more flair at programming than Home Economics so I moved to Computer Science when I entered JC. Currently Reading: The Restful Mind by Gyalwa Dokhampa reminds me to be mindful about mindfulness. Relaxation Off Work: Sweat, drinks and family.

While healthcare emphasises safety and rightly so, since it deals with lives – technology is best appreciated for the speed and convenience it brings. But what happens when we fuse these two topics, which are perceivably different in principles and values, into “HealthTech”? The IT Society chats with Bruce Liang from IHiS to find out about notable HealthTech innovations that are already benefitting you and me, and the future possibilities we can look forward to. Q: Question, BL: Bruce Liang Q: What made you decide to move into healthcare after a long stint with Accenture? BL: I was in Accenture for about 19 years. It was good but I felt a local establishment could offer a different sense of fulfilment. As such, I seriously considered public healthcare when approached. While a couple of close friends cautiously supported my career move, more friends advised against it due to the unique challenges. Little did they know that the “challenges” were what piqued my interest – and now, eight years on, I am still learning. Q: How is HealthTech different from tech in other industries? BL: Healthcare dates back more than 1,000 years. Backed by centuries of science, research, clinical practice and academic depth, it is one of the most established industries. With patient safety being the primary consideration, healthcare organisations tend to evolve than transform.

Comparatively, information technology is less than a century old. At a rapid development stage with fast evolving solutions and delivery methods, it is a great innovation enabler and a strong business disruptor. Unsurprisingly, the priority is often to leverage technology for speed, even if it means taking some risks. Coincidentally, both healthcare and information technology sectors attract the brightest – we can see HealthTech as a marriage of two smart individuals with very different backgrounds! The marriage can turn in many different ways, but it’s absolutely amazing when it clicks. To see smart people from multi-disciplines working closely towards a common goal, the brilliance and energy is infectious. Q: What are the unique challenges in HealthTech? Why is it more difficult to make changes? BL: There are many stakeholder groups with different priorities, and to move forward it’ll mean that everyone’s

expectations have to be aligned. The complexity of this landscape often causes many HealthTech startups to struggle. In most industries, consumers pay for what they consume. In healthcare, the beneficiaries – patients – may not be bearing most of the costs. Instead, a large part is borne by insurers and governments. This has tremendous implications on service and product offerings. Not only must consumers want the service, the payers (insurers and government) must also believe in its value. Telemedicine is a good example. Consumers may want it but payers need to be convinced of its efficacy in different clinical settings and disease conditions, and its cost effectiveness. Conversely, payers may believe in telemedicine in some settings but consumers may not want it. Healthcare professionals are another major stakeholder. Carrying significant professional and ethical obligations, they need to buy in to the tech innovation first before using it on their patients.


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And we have the regulators, Ministry of Health and Health Sciences Authority, who are out to protect consumer interests. In times of stress and when solutions are too complex for consumers’ understanding, it cannot be on a caveat emptor basis. This is why HealthTech products have to undergo extensive evaluations to secure regulators’ approval. Particularly, HealthTech applications which are clinically related could take longer. Q: As the largest HealthTech company in Singapore, what are some things IHiS does? BL: In a nutshell, we help the healthcare sector to digitise, connect and analyse. Our main focus is public healthcare, but we also support the non-public healthcare sector if benefits accrue to patients in public healthcare. Undertaking about 900 projects per year with support from clusters and public healthcare institutions, IHiS covers the entire spectrum of tech, including tech policy development, strategy, plans, design, build, rollout, operations, architecture and standards, clinical informatics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), data science, Internet of Things (IoT)/ robotics integration, cyber defence, etc. Where digitise is concerned, our work spans across care settings from primary, acute, intermediate and long-term to preventive. For primary care, we work with over 200 general practitioners on the GP Connect – an integrated IT system comprising a clinic management system (CMS) and an electronic medical records solution; while for acute care, we collaborate with hospitals. For instance, we introduced a Command, Control and Communications (C3) system with Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Leveraging AI, C3 provides real-time visualisation of the hospital ground operations by predicting potential choke points and identifying optimal resolution to ensure timely patient discharge. To help with the COVID-19 outbreak, we also developed 39 C3 Disease Outbreak (DO) modules to track staff, patient and asset movement in the new screening centres; and patient flow and wait time for laboratory and radiology

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COVID-19 test orders and results – among others. Additional DO widgets are under development now. For intermediate and long-term care (ILTC), our Nursing Home IT Enablement Program (NHELP) enables nursing homes to greatly reduce time healthcare staff spent on retrieving and sorting patients’ records for emergency hospital admission – from over 25 minutes previously to less than 10 minutes now. In addition, by allowing detailed documentation of patients’ conditions, NHELP facilitates better care planning and patient care. Its linkage to National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) also improves consistency of patient records. Towards empowering health ownership, we work with other healthcare sector partners on preventive healthcare projects. For example, HealthHub – a one-stop health information and services portal or mobile application – provides Singaporeans with reliable, personalised health-related content as well as access to e-services such as managing medical appointments and payments, and requesting for online medical reports. Development of a virtual Health Booklet that sends personal reminders to encourage individuals to better manage their health is also underway with Health Promotion Board. Apart from digitise, we connect. Notably, the deployment of NEHR to public and private healthcare institutions across Singapore to support “One Patient, One Health Record”, is one such initiative. To augment the NEHR, we work with Clinic Management System (CMS) providers under the SmartCMS programme to enable seamless information flow between clinics and the public healthcare system, while advancing the Singapore primary care sector’s engagement and partnership. The result is – over 270 institutions contribute data to NEHR, and more than 26,000 healthcare professionals from over 1,400 healthcare providers in Singapore across the whole care continuum have access to NEHR for care delivery purposes today.

“HealthTech combines two engines of the economy – tech and healthcare. There are innovations, investments and accelerated adoption in tech; while demand for healthcare continues to grow in the face of ageing population, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and threats from novel viruses. Put them together – HealthTech is almost recession proof – an attractive proposition for tech and healthcare professionals.”

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Finally, we analyse by leveraging AI to power predictive models which can improve efficiency and patient care. For one, the Multiple Readmissions Predictive Model analyses over a thousand indicators to identify patients who are likely to be readmitted due to deteriorating health conditions attributed to suboptimal post-discharge community care and support. With this information, healthcare professionals can intervene under the Hospital to Home (H2H) programme to arrange for post-discharge community-based support services. Most importantly, discharged patients can remain well at home. Then in another deep-learning AI software system that we supported SNEC in deploying – SELENA+, it highlights potential vision threatening eye conditions and refers abnormal cases to human graders for follow-up. Proven to be efficient in delivering fast and accurate results, we will build on SELENA+’s capabilities to develop a predictive cardiovascular disease risk assessment model to help doctors identify high-risk patients and save lives with timelier interventions. Q: Which is your favourite IHiS project? BL: They are all favourites but I thought the Outpatient Pharmacy Automation System (OPAS) project is special as it integrates several multidisciplinary technologies such as robotics and Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) with intelligent systems to automate inpatient and outpatient pharmacy systems at public healthcare institutions across acute and primary care settings. You may not be aware but to automate the prescription filling process and ensure drugs picking accuracy in one complete, end-to-end system, we adopted the most advanced pharmaceutical technologies and the latest robotics from industries such as car manufacturing and assembly in OPAS. Furthermore, as it is deployed in many different public healthcare institutions like polyclinics, hospitals, specialist centres and pharmacies, we had to tailor the system to the design of individual sites.


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Q: What major HealthTech shifts do you see in the future? BL: Shifts in HealthTech would be largely aligned to shifts in healthcare. We expect healthcare to place greater emphasis on prevention and management. The technology behind these areas is very interesting and different from the tech we put in clinics and hospitals. Take for example – diabetes prevention, it involves behavioural modifications and motivation. So rather than using medical tech, it’ll be more effective to use consumer tech such as smart watches, smartphones and social media apps to nudge consumers into better lifestyles. Foreseeably, this will encourage more consumer tech companies to move into the healthcare space. And with nudges happening at personalised levels, data analytics applications and data scientists working on a mix of data attributes spanning across lifestyle, medical, social economics, and even, genomics will become more common. Healthcare will also increasingly move outside hospitals and clinics to community settings such as homes or local care centres. This calls for remote sensing, diagnostics and care tech, and an online marketplace for patients and caregivers to buy health related services and products. We will also see an increase in the use of AI and data science in diagnosis – either in the form of consumer apps like symptoms checker and triaging, or provider apps such as retina image analysis for diabetic condition, and x-ray analysis for pneumonia or tumour scanners. Data science will also be widely applied to improve care plan effectiveness and determine optimum care and treatment plans by looking at patient profiles, treatment plans and outcomes, and care teams.

What is a quote you live by?

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 01/2020

OUTPATIENT PHARMACY AUTOMATION SYSTEM (OPAS) IN ACTION Every deployment of OPAS involves multidisciplinary technologies such as robotic arms, medication picking robots, conveyors, LED, barcodes and RFID.

OPAS in Punggol Polyclinic

Drug dispensing system automatically picks and packs medicine blisters strips into a bag and labels it for the patients, upon receiving electronic orders.

Three drug dispensing systems are linked together to provide higher throughput rate by parallel packing.

The Drug Packaging Automation system automatically collates packed drugs from various machines and puts them in a basket.

What is one piece of advice for aspiring HealthTech professionals?

What excities you most about HealthTech? Who inspires you professionally?

I am looking forward to the day when HealthTech...


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FROM INNOVATION TO SOLUTIONS:

Bringing HealthTech from Lab to Market PROF LIM CHWEE TECK Director, Institute for Health Innovation & Technology Founding Director, Singapore Health Technologies Consortium Earliest Tech Experience: Learning Computer Science in Junior College Currently Reading: I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong and 10% Human by Alanna Collens Pet Topic: Health Innovation Favourite Ways to Relax: Jogging, photography

In an era of rapid transformation and disruption, the fact that HealthTech innovations can take an average of five to 10 years to reach patients – makes them an anomaly. The IT Society speaks to Prof Lim Chwee Teck, who sheds light on the process, the multidisciplinary teams that make it happen, and what HealthTech can do for us in future. CT: Chwee Teck

Mechanical engineer meets HealthTech. CT: My background is in mechanical engineering. I had my first brush with HealthTech in the early 2000s, when I was Assistant Dean at the Faculty of Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS). During that time, there was growing interest and support in biomedical sciences – so I was tasked to help set up the Division of Bioengineering, which is now

our Department of Biomedical Engineering. To take on the new portfolio, I had to do a lot of research. It got me thinking how engineers like myself could contribute to the field. The learning curve was steep. I knew almost nothing about biology. But I was fascinated. I wondered if mechanics can help in the study of diseases. That led to one of my first biomedical projects – measuring the increased stiffness of malaria-infected red blood cells

quantitatively. We eventually used the change in cell stiffness as a biomarker to detect diseases such as malaria and cancer. Complex problems need multidisciplinary solutions. CT: During that time, it took about five to six years of research and results to convince clinicians of the usefulness of my research. My hard work paid off, but the bigger gain for me was being able to better communicate and explain to clinicians and help them appreciate how our work can lead


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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 01/2020

“The satisfaction one gets from working in HealthTech is great. There’s the joy in seeing technologies we develop turning into actual products which can directly help patients. There’s also the opportunity to solve complex problems and make an impact while working with diverse teams. Each time I step into the lab, it feels like I’m embarking on an exciting adventure. ”

to better diagnosis and treatment of patients. If we look at some of the pressing issues and challenges today – the current COVID-19 pandemic being one of them – they are extremely complex and require a multidisciplinary approach involving people of various expertise coming together to tackle them. As the saying goes, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. So having an interdisciplinary team contributing different viewpoints and solutions is important. The good thing is, interdisciplinary teams are becoming more common. Over the years, I’ve worked with diverse teams including microbiologists, oncologists, and more recently, data scientists. Researcher at heart – entrepreneur by choice. CT: Throughout my career as a Biomedical Engineering professor, I co-founded six startups. One of them – Biolidics Ltd – went public two years ago, and is now developing diagnostics and contributing towards the fight against cancer and COVID-19. Some people think that working in the HealthTech space is a thankless job as the process of bringing a technology from lab to bedside is long-drawn – from prototyping, product development, first-in-man test, clinical validation to regulatory approval. It can take between five to 10 years or even longer. And at the end of it all, the product may not even get commercialised if the

technology were to fail at any one of these steps. There is also the need to raise capital from investors who may be more keen to look at quick returns – something that HealthTech may not be able to deliver. Nonetheless, I see every part of this process to be important and necessary if I truly want to see the HealthTech developed in my lab benefitting patients and doctors in clinics and hospitals.

is to prevent or detect the onset of diseases at the very early stage. Of course, there are also exciting developments on the treatment front. Precision therapy promises more accurate treatments for patients based on their genetic make-up among other factors, as people with the same disease can sometimes respond very differently to the same treatment.

The future of HealthTech is about prevention. CT: Rather than focusing on clinical care, HealthTech is increasingly shifting towards preventive care. Singapore has a rapidly ageing population that is ranked high in life expectancy but low on health quality for a duration of about 10 years. So how can we prolong health in tandem with longevity?

Next challenge – the microbiome. CT: Since reading I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong and 10% Human by Alanna Collen, I’ve come to appreciate the complexity of the human body – and the role bacteria plays in our human body. We are essentially vessels containing 10 times more bacteria than there are human cells, and its make-up differs from person to person.

One possibility: we can use sensors to continuously monitor our health conditions – and I don’t mean just using wearables like fitness trackers. Seniors tend to be less technologically savvy, and less receptive to using unfamiliar gadgets. So taking it a step further, can we incorporate sensors into items we use every day such as beds that monitor our sleeping patterns, mirrors that scan our faces, toothbrushes that sample our saliva and toilet bowls that test our urine and stool to assess our overall health? The system can then alert us or our doctor if anything is amiss. The idea

This make-up affects our susceptibility to various diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, obesity as well as cancer therapy. In fact, research has shown that we could potentially do a fecal transplant from a patient who responds to cancer treatment positively to help another whose microbial make-up interferes with anti-cancer drugs, or restore an individual’s gut microbiota after a course of antibiotics. It’s exciting – I’m discovering new things affecting our health every day, and fresh possibilities for solving our complex healthcare problems.


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Healthcare to HealthTech – What Is in It for Us?

POWER BOOST

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VLADYSLAV KOSHELYEV Member, SCS Academy Lead, Facebook Founder, Yellow Red

For centuries, millions of people struggled to get adequate healthcare because they lived too far away from quality hospitals. Now, technology enables medical professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients regardless of where they live. And as regulations and innovations like remote surgery, drone drug delivery and portable scanners mature, having an always-on care anywhere may well become a reality.

I

n fact, I regularly send data from wearable devices and annual checkups to my doctors to get their professional advice. I also educate myself on the latest diet, exercise and lifestyle with quality information and research available from the Internet.

MEDICAL ATTENTION ANYTIME, ANYWHERE But that’s not all. Not too long ago, I experienced first-hand a basic form of telemedicine – one of the technologies poised to transform healthcare in the coming years. I was jolted awake one night at 3am by my wife who was gently but urgently shaking me. She was feeling severe pain in her back, and asked for any help I could think of. I frantically looked through our first aid kit, but was clueless which pills could help. On impulse, I started a videoconference with my dad – one of the best general practitioners in his country. It was

afternoon in Europe and he was still at work. After asking my wife a few questions, he made a diagnosis – neuralgia, pain caused by a nerve stuck between bones and muscles. Using the camera to show him our medical supplies, he picked a few medications that could alleviate the pain and treat the condition. Within 30 minutes, my sweetheart was able to go back to sleep. NEW TREATMENT POSSIBILITIES My other remarkable experience with the new biomedical technologies took place when I accidentally broke my tooth in half (yes – that hurt). The x-ray looked nasty – and a few years ago, it would have been impossible to treat this kind of damage. To my surprise, the dentist used a scanner to produce a digital model of my tooth and 3D-printed the missing part, which fitted into the rough contours of the broken bone perfectly. Seeing and going through the whole procedure left me with an absolute sense of wonder.

THE PROMISE OF BETTER QUALITY OF LIVES However, compared to the cutting-edge implants that allow people to feel the touch, smell the scent, and see the world around them; my 3D-printed tooth is nothing. Bionic implants are not only increasingly enabling people who struggle with disabilities to lead productive lives, but also outperform “natural” ones. The famous TED talk by the MIT engineer Hugh Herr showed him running, dancing and rock climbing with the new generation of bionic prostheses. Indeed, progress in medicine has been so rapid that even predictions promising radical lifespan extension from futurists such as Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey De Grey, have started to draw a second glance. Believe them or not, there is no denying that HealthTech advances have empowered us to live longer and lead more fulfilling lives. The future of HealthTech is truly exciting.


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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 01/2020

Insights into the After COVID-19 Era Signs show that the post-COVID-19 world is going to be very different – but how? This is what 125 SCS members shared with us in the After COVID/Before COVID (AC/BC) survey conducted from 21 to 27 April 2020. ENABLE DIGITALISATION ADVANCE “The circuit breaker measures have forced us to leverage technologies to carry on with our work. I believe people will be more tech savvy and open to technology after COVID – a big push for Singapore’s digitalisation efforts.”

“Technology must be fully integrated as part of the business process flow: starting from our first interaction with clients, to the completion of transactions and management of long tail business relations.”

KEY INSIGHTS FROM THE AC/BC SURVEY HIRING ORGANISATIONS

83.1%

of organisations are affected by the pandemic outbreak

TECH PROFESSIONALS

More businesses face cost constraints in this challenging climate

16%

believe that their current job roles will remain the same in the next 6 months

23%

believe it would be the same within the next 12 months


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POWER BOOST

15

ENSURE BUSINESS CONTINUITY “We need to rethink Business Continuity Plans by implementing and managing tech systems and services to better support remote businesses.”

EMBRACE REMOTE WORK CULTURE

“More organisations will adopt a hybrid model for their workforce. Effort is needed to synchronise different working styles and culture of members in remote working environments.”

“Travel for meetings will be re-evaluated – opening up vast opportunities, breaking down barriers across geography, time zone differences, availability of participants, and whittling down to essentials.”

48.4%

felt that their job roles are affected by COVID-19

80.7%

do not foresee a change in employment after COVID-19

While

94.4% 45% felt that they need training,

cannot find the time to do so


#LATEST@SCS

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 01/2020

Refreshed Leadership, Renewed Passion Drives SCS Forward

O

n 26 March 2020, the line-up of the SCS Executive Council 2020/21 was announced at the Society’s 53rd Annual General Meeting (AGM). At the AGM, the new Executive Council reaffirmed the Society’s commitment to helping SCS members develop skills and increase employability, in addition to working with the government, industries, and tech professionals across all domains to tackle challenges and be ready for the future. In light of the COVID-19 situation, SCS exercised caution onsite to safeguard the well-being of all attendees. A livestream of the AGM was also set up for registered members as part of safe distancing measures.

“In the world we live in today, the line between tech and non-tech is blurring. To rise up to the challenges and rewards this brings, SCS is ready to journey with you and co-create our shared future together.” – Dr Chong Yoke Sin, SCS President

KEY INITIATIVES LAUNCHED IN 2019

Memorandums of Intent (MOIs) with Four Non-Tech Associations To strengthen digital skills of non-tech professionals from Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF), Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) and Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF)

Emerging Tech and Industry (ETI) Workshop To equip lecturers from Institutes of Higher Learning with insights on emerging tech and applications

Data Centre and Blockchain Specialist Groups To fuel the next wave of technological improvements and grow SCS’ communities of practice


The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

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SCS EXECUTIVE COUNCIL 2020/21

President Dr Chong Yoke Sin, FSCS iGlobe Partners

Vice-President Dr Kwong Yuk Wah, FSCS

National Trades Union Congress

Vice-President Lawrence Ng, SMSCS

Vice-President Ong Whee Teck, FSCS

PSA Corporation

Trusted Services

Honorary Secretary Tan Teng Cheong, FSCS

Honorary Treasurer Sam Liew, FSCS

Council Member Dennis Ang, FSCS

Council Member Andrew Chow, FSCS

Council Member Adrian Chye, SMSCS

BetterIDEAS

GIC

Nanyang Polytechnic

ST Engineering Electronics

Mediafreaks Group

Council Member Goh Li-Li, MSCS

Council Member Han Chung Heng, FSCS

Council Member Grace Ho, MSCS

Council Member Khoo Boo Beng, MSCS

Council Member Khoong Hock Yun, FSCS

Singtel

Oracle

SWAT Mobility

Accenture

Tembusu Partners

Council Member Lum Seow Khun, FSCS

Council Member Prof Miao Chun Yan, FSCS

Council Member Ong Chee Beng, MSCS

Council Member Yeo Teck Guan, FSCS

Co-opted Member Chak Kong Soon, FSCS

Microsoft

Nanyang Technological University

Amazon Web Services

Singapore Pools

Stream Global

Co-opted Member Jason Chen, MSCS

Co-opted Member Stephanie Davis, SMSCS

Co-opted Member Kaylee Fung, MSCS

Co-opted Member Bruce Liang, FSCS

Co-opted Member Lim Bee Kwan, FSCS

IBM ASEAN

Google Asia Pacific

Google Asia Pacific

Integrated Health Information Systems

Government Technology Agency

Co-opted Member Benjamin Mah, SMSCS

Co-opted Member Leslie Ong, FSCS

Co-opted Member Tony Tay, FSCS

Honorary Legal Advisor Dr Toh See Kiat, FSCS

Honorary Legal Advisor Jeffrey Lim, MSCS

Oracle

Tableau Software

NCS

Goodwins Law Corporation

Joyce A. Tan & Partners LLC


#LATEST@SCS

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 01/2020

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18 Outstanding Members Honoured as SCS Fellows

T

hese members have made notable contributions to SCS, positively influence the tech industry and are well respected in their fields. To recognise their efforts and achievements, they were conferred with the prestigious title of SCS Fellow. Our heartiest congratulations to the newly conferred Fellows!

Gavin Ang

Mark Chong

Chief Operating Officer, Global Mobility Laboratory

Group Chief Technology Officer, Singtel

Andrew Chow

Jennifer Huang

Nicholas Aaron Khoo

Koh Kong Meng

President, ST Engineering Electronics

Project Lead, Singapore University of Social Sciences

Co-Founder, Yup.gg

Managing Director & General Manager, Hewlett Packard

Sam Liew

Lim Chee Kean

Andrew Lim

Low Aik Lim

Managing Director, GIC

Chief Executive Officer, Ascent Solutions

Managing Director, Singtel

Director, CIO Academy Asia

Low Chin Chau

Prof Miao Chunyan

Seow Keng Tain

Tan Kiat How

Managing Director, Zipify

Chair, Nanyang Technological University

Senior Vice-President, Great Eastern Life Assurance

Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Media Development Authority

Tan Ngah Leng

Tan Seng Chong

Martin Yates

Yum Shoen Liang

Service Delivery Director, Tata Consultancy Services

Manager, IBM Singapore

Chief Technology Officer, Dell Technologies

Head, Defence Science & Technology Agency

A FEW WORDS FROM OUR NEW FELLOWS “As enterprises increasingly embark on their digitalisation journey, our professions are rapidly being updated, and skills have to be unlearnt and relearnt. In all these, SCS plays a significant role in bringing our large family of tech professionals together. Like many of our Fellows here, I value this opportunity to share and give back to our community.”

“In this dynamic, fast-changing world where the digital economy continues to disrupt traditional businesses, SCS’ role in bridging this divide is greater than ever before – and I feel assured that we can depend and look upon SCS to stay connected and relevant. It is an honour to be conferred as an SCS Fellow and I look forward to contributing further.”

– Andrew Chow

– Lim Chee Kean


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SCS Partners IASA to Award Enterprise Architecture Certifications

O

n 21 February 2020, SCS signed an agreement with IASA, the global professional body for IT architects, to promote and award enterprise architecture (EA)-related training and certifications in Singapore. Under this partnership, SCS and IASA seek to build a greater pipeline of IT professionals who can understand the relationship between business and technology, and develop critical competencies to create, model and analyse digital enterprises. The following programmes have been launched: 1. Certification in Business IT Architecture Fundamental (BITAF) 2. Certification in Architecting Software with Object Oriented Analysis and Design (ASOOAD)

3. Certification in IT Architect Foundation (CITA-F) 4. Certification in Business Technology Strategy (BTS) 5. Certified IT Architect Associate in Business Architecture (CITA-A in Business Architecture) 6. Certified IT Architect Associate in Information Architecture (CITA-A in Information Architecture) 7. Certified IT Architect Associate in Software Architecture (CITA-A in Software Architecture) 8. Certified IT Architect Associate in Infrastructure Architecture (CITA-A in Infrastructure Architecture) 9. Certified IT Architect Associate in Solution Architecture (CITA-A in Solution Architecture)

As the SCS-IASA certification programmes are supported by Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme Plus (CITREP+), Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents can enjoy up to 90% funding support. Self-sponsored Singaporeans aged 25 and above can also use SkillsFuture credits to pay for these approved skills-related courses.

Upcoming course schedules are available on www.scs.org.sg. For further details, please contact Evelyn Chan or Seah Mee Ling at scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg.

From left: Dr Timothy Chan (Professional Certifications Committee Chairman), Dr Chong Yoke Sin (SCS President), Paul Preiss (Founder & CEO of IASA Global) and Nelson Eng (Enterprise Architecture Chapter Executive Committee Member)

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 01/2020

DevSecOps: Integrating Security into the DevOps Cycle

O

rganisations are increasingly shifting to Agile and DevOps methodologies. However, for security vulnerabilities to be detected and addressed in a timely manner, security has to be built into every part of the application development processes.

Saumya Upadhyaya from GitLab and Er Chiang Kai from V-Key. Advocating the importance of security in every step of application and software development, the speakers shared various examples of how their organisations implement security in their DevOps processes.

To promote this, the Quality Assurance (QA) Chapter and Infocomm Security (IS) Chapter came together for the first time to jointly organise a DevSecOps seminar themed “Strengthening Quality with a Cybersecurity Mindset�.

During the panel discussion moderated by Gin Wong from Singapore Pools, the

Held on 13 January 2020, the seminar featured industry speakers Stefan Streichsbier from Guardrails,

audience also took the opportunity to pose questions to speakers via Slido. Some questions answered included the role of security specialist in the current DevSecOps landscape, how to ensure governance for outsourced development projects and the best security practices and mindsets required for developers beyond security scanning and penetration.


The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

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COMING YOUR WAY:

New SCS Website

T

he refreshed SCS website will soon be up. Integrated with the new membership system and enhanced user experience, the new website will have much to offer you – our members!

ENJOY SEAMLESS ONLINE SERVICES INCLUDING • event registration • member profile management • membership renewal • update of professional log (for certified members)

GET THE LATEST SCS UPDATES

GAIN ACCESS TO RECOMMENDED READS AND VIDEO RESOURCES

SCS is now on WhatsApp! Save our number (+65 9619 9020) on your mobile and sign up for our broadcast service via http://bit.ly/SCSwhatsapp to receive our latest highlights and events. Not to worry, your contact remains private and will not be visible to others on our WhatsApp.

Obtain Your Digital Credentials with Skills Progression and Profiling Accelerator (SPPA)

S

CS rolled out the beta version of SPPA in February to assist IT Project Managers in maintaining a repository of knowledge, skills and abilities. The pilot has now been extended to over 2,000 certified Project and Outsourcing Managers.

Learn, grow and adapt as you align your skills portfolio with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)’s Skills Framework for Infocomm Technology

Explore various career paths for vertical or lateral transfer of skills to increase employability in the ever-changing IT landscape

Identify relevant workplace skills and understand emerging demand and competencies to facilitate career progression

If you are an IT Project Manager and would like to join the pilot, please contact SPPA secretariat at sppa@scs.org.sg. Next up: Stay tuned for updates on SPPA for Infocomm Security Specialists.

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 01/2020

Huawei – Empowering Singapore’s Flourishing AI Ecosystem Today and Tomorrow Imagine if you could manage your stress levels. How would that change the way you learn and help you become a more effective student? Using facial recognition, brainwaves, Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as mobile phones, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), a team of Republic Polytechnic students designed an application – named Mediated Learning Environment System (MILES) – to help students learn better.

M

ILES went on to win second place at the Huawei Atlas AI Developer Challenge Competition 2019. It was also recognised by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat at the Smart Nation & U Festival 2019 hosted by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office. Seeing strong potential in the Singapore AI industry, Huawei seeks to collaborate with universities, research institutes and enterprises to nurture and train new AI talents, as well as strengthen the burgeoning AI industry ecosystem. Committed to cultivate 100 AI architects and 1,000 AI developers in Singapore over the next three years, Huawei has put in place plans for the next five years to make this ambition a reality. EQUIPPING THE AI EDUCATORS Huawei aims to contribute towards growing the pool of AI talents in Asia by partnering and supporting 1,000 universities and AI training organisations around the

world with curriculum development and training facilities. And Singapore, given its proximity to universities in the region, is anchored to become the headquarters for AI talent training. As part of this thrust, Huawei held its first Artificial Intelligence Educator Symposium at the National University of Singapore (NUS)’s School of Computing on 10 October 2019. Over 130 educators from local universities, polytechnics, and top China universities met to share innovative ways of teaching AI to students of different ages. Significantly, the Symposium set the ground for Singaporean and Chinese educators to share ideas on the topic of AI education and how to prepare the next generation of students for challenges and opportunities brought about by rapid AI advances.

“It is vital for the people today to promote AI through education – so as to benefit the people tomorrow. Huawei aims to improve education conditions and quality for all our stakeholders by building bridges to connect the digital divide, equalise educational opportunities, and help improve teaching quality.” – Chang Xin, President of Huawei Intelligent Computing Asia Pacific


The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

FUELLING THE AI ECOSYSTEM Huawei’s AI Developer Programme currently supports over 1.3 million developers in creating innovative AI solutions. Towards bolstering AI industry capacity and capabilities, Huawei has recently announced our intention to invest US$1.5 billion in a second iteration of an AI Developer Programme over the next five years. Under the new programme, Huawei aims to support AI advancements through equipping developers with Huawei’s advanced computing capabilities, and promoting an AI development industry framework. One initiative under this investment is Huawei’s 5G-powered AI lab in Singapore. Equipped with AI, 5G and Cloud technology, the AI lab offers a 5G testbed, AI support and tools such as ModelArts, as well as Huawei’s one-stop AI development platform and some of the most innovative IoT developer boards and kits. Besides this lab, Huawei has also launched a series of talent, innovation and Singapore-China bridging programmes, which provide training and workshop opportunities for hands-on practice with testing and integration facilities. More importantly, the bridging programmes provide an open and advanced platform for ecosystem development and industry collaboration.

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“Our various programmes showcase our commitment in taking the AI ecosystem in Asia to the next level. We plan for the long term and will continue to drive efforts to sustain and improve the AI ecosystem. We welcome further cooperation with Singapore universities, research institutes and enterprises.” – Nicholas Ma, CEO of Huawei International

One example of the Singapore-China bridging programme is the recently held Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) Innovation Bootcamp in Singapore. In addition, the company is also collaborating with CapitaLand and Business China on a Youth Interns Exchange Scheme, which offers Singapore university students internship opportunities in China and Singapore from 2020.

This advertorial is brought to you by Huawei.


• Dun & BradStreet Business Eminence Award (2019) • HR Advocate award by SHRI (2018, 2019) • Purpose-driven organisation by SHRI (2018, 2019) • Employer Branding award (special mention) by SHRI (2019) • Leading HR practices for L&D Award (special mention) by SHRI (2017, 2019) • Leading HR practices for CSR Award by SHRI (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) • Leading HR practices for Quality work-life integration (special mention) by SHRI (2017, 2019) • Recruitment Agency of the year (under 50 employees) by HR Asia Recruitment Awards (2019) • Best Specialist Recruitment Agency by HR Asia Recruitment Awards (2018, 2019) • Best Recruitment Firm for Engineering & IT by HRM Asia Awards (2016, 2017, 2018) • Leading HR practices for Tech-HR Resource Management by SHRI (2017) • Silver Award for Best Recruitment Innovation by a Recruitment Agency by HR Asia Recruitment Awards (2016) • Top 50 most promising Big Data Solution Providers by APAC CIOOutlook (2016) • Red Herring top 100 Asia Award (2015) • Red Herring top 100 Asia Award (2014) • Best Social & Community Product (finalist) by SiTF (2014) • Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ Asia Pacific (2012) • Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ Asia Pacific (2011)

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Singapore (HQ) | USA | India | Malaysia www.sciente.com

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GEEK SPEAK

25

Beware! Virus in Our Hood

V

irus. Did you just say “virus”? Scary!

But if you are only thinking about the virus that is making the news headlines now, you – the tech geek – are seriously missing out on the other virus that’s just as scary, if not scarier. No – and this time it doesn’t originate from some wild animal in a seafood market. It’s the one that scores where coronavirus has failed, and with the power to truly bring the world to a complete stop.

And social media like Facebook and Instagram, and instant messaging like WhatsApp and Telegram? Thanks to them, even if you are keeping your physical distance, you are anything but practising social distancing (I can only deduce that the person who coined the term “social distancing” is a tech idiot). It’s business as usual too. Okay, maybe not so usual, if we consider that the client you are meeting for the first time on Zoom is actually in his shirt, tie and shorts. Or that the colleague that you are having a Google Meet with hasn’t brushed his teeth yet this morning.

EVERYDAY TECH SAVES THE DAY You’ll ask – isn’t the world already at a standstill?

Want to guess how circuit breaker in the pre-internet days would be like? I don’t.

Ha! Just think – you are still binge watching your favourite series on Netflix and YouTube. Let’s not forget shopping – whether it’s groceries, food from hawker centres or posh restaurants, or even the newest iPhone SE – you simply need to tap a few buttons on your almighty mobile gadget.

HEALTHTECH TO THE RESCUE It’s a fact – coronavirus has changed us. And not just the way we interact and work, but also our appetite for technology. For example, telemedicine didn’t take off for a long time. Then COVID-19 came along. Suddenly the sign-up rate increased by at least five times. Boom!

Other HealthTech innovations are also rolling off the press fast and furious. Just one week after the first reported COVID-19 case in Singapore, the algorithm of virtual assistant – Ask Jamie – on government agency websites was updated to handle COVID-19 queries. Six weeks in, an automated self-help temperature scanning system was deployed to over 30 government and community buildings. The first TraceTogether app was launched nationwide eight weeks into the outbreak. PERSONAL HYGIENE GOES A LONG WAY Keep this pace up and we’ll surely overcome coronavirus in no time and live happily after – just like any good old fairy tale. But wait – where’s the plot twist? Its distant relative living in the virtual world is lurking in the shadows. Any misstep in our cyber hygiene, and it could launch a backdoor attack on us.


Powering the Future of Healthcare Be a part of Singapore’s largest HealthTech company to power the future of smart health deployed across the nation.

Together, we build HealthTech for a Healthier Nation!

Start your application here by scanning this code 6 Serangoon North Avenue 5 #01-01/02 Singapore 554910

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