Saving Lives with Tech

When it comes to developing life-saving tech, we are ever ready to tap our expertise in technology and systems integration, and play our part.

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Collaborating closely with paramedics from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) as well as doctors and nurses from the Ministry of Health (MOH), the team developed the Operational Medical Networks Informatics Integrator (OMNII) system.

OMNII is a new digital platform that digitalises and transforms Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (PEC) by enhancing the SCDF’s responsiveness, as well as the quality of information shared between paramedics on the ground and Emergency Department (ED) personnel at the hospital. With OMNII, paramedics will be able to retrieve patients’ health records en route to the hospital once they have the patient’s NRIC for verification. The system will also allow the patient’s vital signs to be shared with the hospital’s ED in real time. With the information, ED doctors will know what to expect before the patient’s arrival and be prepared ahead of time.

As OMNII’s overall programme manager and systems integrator, our team designed it as an integrated and digitalised system to allow seamless information sharing between both parties with better data visualisation. This included coding and developing an OMNII mobile app for paramedics to assess and share critical information with the hospital through the OMNII tablet.

In addition, the team integrated the software with various existing systems to ensure that crucial information is piped to hospitals’ EDs through OMNII to enable more informed decision-making. Cloud technology was also tapped to ensure that a large volume of data could be stored in a reliable and safe way.

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In developing OMNII, Principal Systems Architect (Systems Engineering and C3 Centre) Fannie Lim shared that she and her team conducted extensive studies into the workflow and operational processes of the SCDF and ED personnel. This allowed them to better understand how technology could be harnessed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of PEC response.

“We worked closely with the SCDF to develop the user interface in the mobile app for paramedics, as well as the display in the hospital application for ED personnel to make sure the system is easy to use,” she said.

One major challenge the team faced was the need to pick up a large volume of medical terms and fully understand PEC workflows and processes quickly, as that knowledge would enable the team to design OMNII to be accurate, intuitive and reliable. In the meantime, they adopted an iterative development approach to gather continual feedback from paramedics, doctors and nurses during OMNII’s development. This included sharing the mobile app prototype with paramedics for training purposes as part of the design process, so that they could get the eventual users to test the app early on to allow enhancements for its user interface and reliability.

While OMNII has been rolled out, the team’s work is far from over. Fannie explained: “We intend to leverage the system’s data visualisation features and tap cutting-edge technology such as data analytics to gather performance trends. With such information, we can potentially enhance OMNII’s functionality and reliability to streamline PEC responses even more.”

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The team from DSTA, the SCDF, and MOH behind the OMNII system.
Photo: SCDF