Fighting as one against an invisible enemy
Life during the COVID-19 pandemic has not been easy. The circuit breaker period and other necessary curbs on our day-to-day lives have affected us all in one way or another. Many of us will have family, friends and colleagues who have unfortunately caught the virus.
Launching a blog during a time like this may seem like a foolhardy endeavour but we see it as an opportunity to stand with our colleagues in the fight against COVID-19 as we, despite the disruptions and countless meetings via video call, have kept researching, developing and innovating as best we can.
Being an agile and fast-moving office, our structure and resource allows us to react quickly to support the healthcare system in urgent times. There are many examples of MOHT programme teams repurposing existing projects to support the national effort and other teams rapidly building new solutions:
We developed a proprietary Digital Engagement Tool (DET), with the original intent being to conduct digital surveys to discover health-seeking behaviours in local precincts. Recently, the tool was repurposed to gauge ground sentiment, issues and concerns relating to COVID-19 within these same precincts.
We deployed a free online, public and easy-to-use COVID-19 symptom checker (www.sgcovidcheck.gov.sg) where one can input several parameters (travel history, age group, symptoms) and receive recommendations on their next course of action.
In a multi-agency effort, we created an interactive website (www.mindline.sg), a focal point for resources and tools to help improve the holistic wellbeing of people in Singapore, with an emphasis on stress and coping.
We created iConnect.COVID, a digital tool for polyclinics to manage the registration and test result management & notification process for COVID-19 swab tests, with the aim of improving the patient experience in what can be a stressful process.
We launched Design4Impact, a design initiative that empowers social-minded groups from private, public and community sectors to come together, identify pressing health and social needs of Singaporeans affected by COVID-19, and be given the skills, resources and networks to innovate and develop solutions to these problems.
These are but a few of the stories that we hope to share in the coming posts, some on COVID-related efforts and others on our broader work on healthcare transformation. The MOHT blog will be a forum where we hope to share not only our research and programmes, but at the same time stimulate discussion, explore new avenues for partnership and learn from others in the healthcare ecosystem. Welcome to this platform.
Thank you, and stay safe.