Google Cloud’s Apigee platform to power the development of data-driven applications for improving healthcare staff productivity, the patient care experience, and population health outcomes
Google Cloud, Accenture, and the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) have announced a collaboration to enhance population health, delivery of care, and patient engagement. The three companies have established an agile and advanced architecture, supported by application programming interfaces (APIs), to make data, applications, and services securely and readily available, when and where they are needed.
As the technology agency for Singapore’s public healthcare sector, IHiS has adopted an API-first approach to facilitate data capture across healthcare systems and partners with healthcare providers to deliver analytics tools and mobile applications that are used by healthcare staff and patients.
Under a multi-year agreement, IHiS is tapping Accenture’s expertise to deploy Apigee, Google Cloud’s API management platform. Apigee helps to unlock data and services across the systems managed by IHiS, which can then be accessed by developers to create new applications and capabilities. The implementation enables IHiS to eliminate data silos and achieve fluid interoperability across Singapore’s healthcare ecosystem.
With Apigee, developers can, for instance, use IHiS’ APIs to build applications and tools – underpinned by integrated workflows and artificial intelligence (AI) models – to optimize staff allocation and workload. One example is the Facial Recognition Automated Visitor Management System (FRAVMS), which has been launched by IHiS and SingHealth to facilitate a smoother and more efficient visitor registration process. Apigee provided the framework that accelerated FRAVMS’s development, while increasing its scalability, minimizing the need for ongoing maintenance, and futureproofing its integration architecture.
Alan Goh, Assistant Chief Executive, IHiS, said: “Connectivity and the secured sharing of health data are key enablers of better healthcare for Singaporeans. Apigee provides IHiS with a flexible API-based architecture that serves as the connective tissue across data sources and applications. With Apigee, we can scale our API program with internal developers to deliver more high-quality and digital-first healthcare experiences. Together with Google Cloud and Accenture, we can extend secure API gateway access to trusted third party developers, giving patients easier access to their health information and offering deeper insights to inform population health management programs and public health policies. Moving forward, IHiS will be exploring the feasibility of adopting commercial cloud API gateways to widen our coverage and promote innovation across Singapore’s healthcare ecosystem.”
Ng Wee Wei, Southeast Asia Market Unit Lead and Country Managing Director, Singapore at Accenture, said: “The pace of innovation and technology is creating unlimited possibilities for businesses to build a digital core powered by cloud, data, and AI. Organizations like IHiS can now scale as quickly as they need to, while reinventing their businesses for competitive differentiation. Our interoperable enterprise blueprint for IHiS, which is based on Apigee, integrates IHiS’ systems, applications, and capabilities under a single strategy – enabling real-time data-driven insights and more agile operations to empower their people and their partners to deliver personalized, efficient, and informed care.”
APIs allow software systems to quickly exchange information within and across organizational boundaries, reducing the need for duplicated datasets that take up costly enterprise storage space. Since the data is pulled from its original source, organizations must also adopt a secure API architecture to minimize risks.
To give IHiS full visibility over the use of its APIs, which include validating data flows and ensuring that access is only granted to authorized users, Google Cloud has built security features like encryption key verification, identity brokering, traffic monitoring, and threat and vulnerability detection into the Apigee platform. IHiS’ Apigee deployment will therefore support its existing efforts to safeguard patient data in compliance with regulations like Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) and Healthcare Services Act 2020, as well as international standards for exchanging healthcare information electronically, such as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), Health Level 7 (HL7), and Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM).
Sherie Ng, Country Director, Singapore, Google Cloud, said: “A secure-by-design API management platform that standardizes data and facilitates information exchange across healthcare systems, services, and applications is becoming just as essential as a stethoscope or an X-ray. With Apigee empowering API-led connectivity at scale, IT staff and developers can now focus on upcycling data and helping their organizations overcome staffing shortages, improve transitions between in-patient and out-patient care, and advance preventative care and precision medicine. We look forward to continuing our work with IHiS and Accenture to promote data interoperability and open innovation to the wider healthcare ecosystem. This could then drive new forms of public-private sector collaboration to address other gaps across the care continuum, creating a more efficient and effective healthcare system for all.”