SINGAPORE: At the AI Health Summit on Thursday (Nov 23), Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Janil Puthucheary spoke on the topic of the hour—Artificial Intelligence, or AI, specifically about how the technology can be harnessed for the advancement of Singapore’s healthcare.

This is something the government is ready to do, he wrote in a Facebook post, sharing photos from the event. “Better medical treatments, earlier detection of diseases, and faster drug development – these are just some of the ways in which we are harnessing the transformative power of AI in healthcare.

 

But we cannot do this alone. We are collaborating with AimSG to help our healthcare institutions adopt AI in diagnostic imaging. We are working with AI Singapore to provide cutting-edge AI education for our healthcare workers. We are teaming up with industry partners to build Generative AI applications.”

Dr Puthucheary, a paediatrician by profession who has been representing Pasir Ris–Punggol GRC in Parliament since 2015, ended his post by saying, “The AI revolution is here, and we are ready for it.”

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One important announcement the Senior Minister made during his speech was signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SingHealth and AI Singapore to ensure that the country’s healthcare workers are properly equipped to make the best use of AI.

They need to understand not only AI’s potential, but also its limitations and ethical implications of using these technologies,” he said.

SingHealth and AI Singapore will partner in developing an AI curriculum for the training and qualifications of AI professionals, specifically for the healthcare sector.

Dr Puthucheary also noted that developing applications using AI might take some time but added that the government is looking at how the technology can help “in the shorter term to enhance clinical decision support, increase productivity of our healthcare teams, and support individuals” which would result in better outcomes for patients and better health for the country as a whole.

“This is an exciting time for AI in healthcare. There is a lot of promise in what we can achieve as a community and especially if we can take proven solutions and easily scale across a variety of settings and sites.

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This is an exciting time and we can get much done when we can make sure that healthcare professionals have the skills and capabilities to create, safely explore and to deploy the new developments in AI, to benefit their workflows, their patients and their residents,” he added.

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