A Research Blog

From left: Tan Chin Yee, Anthony Li, Izza Atiqa Ishak, Zach Tan Ye Zan, Prof Ivy Ng (Group CEO, SingHealth). Missing from photo: Tan Qian Ying Gayle.

In January of this year, SingHealth Residency held the first-ever SingHealth Hackathon that called for innovations that would promote better coordination, communication and rehabilitation to improve patient care systems. The SingHealth Hackathon 2017 was co-initiated by Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS) alumna, Dr Rena Dharmawan, and NUS Alumna, Dr Cheong May Anne.

Fifteen teams, made up of staff and students from SingHealth and Duke-NUS, submitted their innovations, and three were selected as top prize winners. Today, we catch up with second-year Duke-NUS students, Tan Chin Yee and Anthony Li, members of winning team CHIT (Communicating Healthcare, Integrating Technology), to find out more about the application they devised, their SingHealth team members and what’s next for them.

Describe CHIT.

Chin Yee: CHIT is a secure communication platform for a patient’s medical team, which includes their doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and more, to communicate about the patient. Each patient’s records, medication and care are tagged to a patient-specific chat room. This way, every person on the medical team is kept up-to-date, and reduces any potential of miscommunication.

How did you come up with the idea of CHIT?

Chin Yee: As second year students at Duke-NUS we do clinical rotations. In the course of our work, we realised that there are challenges both within and between teams of doctors, nurses and allied healthcare professionals, to communicate and coordinate care in the wards.

Anthony: We thought it would make more sense to be able to update the team on what is going on in real-time. Also, if there is an urgent question, a centralised communication application would make it easier for the team to provide the answer and allow the person asking the question to give the best possible care.

Chin Yee: This brought us together to conceptualise CHIT which stands for “Communicating Healthcare, Integrating Technology.”

Who was on your team? Did you have any mentors during the Hackathon?

Anthony: CHIT is made up of me, Chin Yee and Zach Tan Ye Zan, all Duke-NUS students, and Singapore General Hospital podiatrists, Izza Atiqa Ishak and Tan Qian Ying Gayle. All of us were interested in how technology can help improve healthcare and make an impact to our patients’ management.

Chin Yee: We were really lucky to have two great mentors, Dr Ravindran Kaneswaran from National Cancer Centre Singapore and Dr Hairil Bin Abdullah from Singapore General Hospital, as well as Drs Cheong May Anne and Rena Dharmawan to guide us.

What are your thoughts about the Hackathon experience and the opportunities it presented?

Anthony: This Hackathon was a meeting point for healthcare professionals from various backgrounds to converge with the goal of solving problems in the healthcare system. Having a focus on healthcare systems, specifically in SingHealth, made us more mindful when it came to conceptualising an innovative technological solution. SingHealth also provided us tremendous support, when it came to the ideation phase, which was very empowering.

Chin Yee: What was also something unique about the Hackathon is that it allows anyone from within the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre to enter as individuals, and join a team with the idea that best resonates with their beliefs.

What’s next for the team members of CHIT?

Chin Yee: We are currently surveying grants to apply to so that we can start the development of a working prototype. We hope to be able to field test this in the wards and someday see our idea become a daily productivity tool for the medical teams.

Anthony: Eventually, we hope to be able to get full funding and launch CHIT on every care team’s mobile and desktop. So, watch this space!

In picture from left: Tan Chin Yee, Anthony Li, Izza Atiqa Ishak, Zach Tan Ye Zan, Prof Ivy Ng (Group CEO, SingHealth). Missing from photo: Tan Qian Ying Gayle. 
Photo credit: SingHealth Residency

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