Singapore, 7 December, 2020 –In an initiative to advance healthcare services with artificial intelligence, SAS, a leader in analytics, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) jointly staged a one-day Workshop and Hackathon, as part of the Healthcare AI Expo 2020 organised by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and National University Health System (NUHS). The in-person and online event on 5 December was targeted at healthcare professionals, data scientists and students, and aims to help the healthcare industry unlock the full potential of digital transformation.

The hackathon, which consisted of cross-disciplinary teams with a mixture of healthcare professionals, data scientists and students from Singapore, provided a platform to enable collaboration and knowledge sharing within the healthcare and data analytics professional community. This echoes the larger industry trend of democratization of data analytics and empowering of the citizen data scientist that sees more cross-disciplinary professionals coming together to better address real-world challenges.

A recent forecast predicted a global healthcare analytics market growth of 16.3% CAGR over the period of 2019-2027[1], with the fastest-growing market globally Asia-Pacific. Factors driving the market include the rise in demand for population health analytics, increasing use of big data technologies and the rise in the opportunities in cloud-based analytics solutions. However, a lack of the broad skills, knowledge, expertise, and experience required to work in the data analytics field is a significant concern[2].

“With the growing demand for healthcare analytics and the potential it has to solve current healthcare challenges, we recognise the need to grow the necessary data analytics capabilities in Singapore. The hackathon demonstrated the ease of using SAS analytics to solve healthcare problems and through this platform as well as our on-going initiatives, we hope to equip and build data literacy capabilities that will empower healthcare professionals and nurture analytics innovation in healthcare,” said Randy Goh, Singapore’s Managing Director at SAS.

“We believe advanced analytics and AI can help solve society’s healthcare challenges and improve patient outcomes such as speed and accuracy of diagnosis for example, as well as control costs and improve operational performance of hospitals through optimisation of resources,” he added.

Other initiatives to develop data analytics talent in Singapore include SAS’ Business Intelligence and Analytics Programme, Singapore’s largest data science and analytics development programme providing in-depth technical and business training which has successfully placed many graduates into relevant analytics roles in organisations.

“Through this hackathon, we hope to showcase how cross-industry collaboration between professionals across healthcare, technology and data science, can collaborate to address real-world issues that healthcare professionals face every day. This is part of HPE’s larger commitment to helping industries unlock the full potential of digital transformation and leverage technology for good. This hackathon is representative of how technology providers can partner with industry players to create solutions that address real-world challenges.” Said Chan Kong Hoe, Managing Director, Singapore, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The hackathon saw the use of HPE and SAS utility-based analytics solutions for the first time, as participants were provided with real-world healthcare datasets and computational resources. SAS and HPE offer a series of subscription-based data science packages that enable the acceleration of AI initiatives. The modules in each package are designed to suit different levels of data readiness, making it an easy process for companies to adopt the package that suits their needs.

Commenting on the success of the event, Associate Professor Dr Ngiam Kee Yuan, NUHS’s Group Chief Technology Officer said: “The hackathon has supported efforts to bring the healthcare and data analytics communities together to drive innovation in healthcare practices.  The event reflected the need to equip and develop data analytics talent in order to create innovative solutions for the healthcare industry in Singapore.” Dr Ngiam is one of the Co-Chairpersons of the event along with Assistant Professor Feng Mengling from NUS Institute for Data Science.

The Healthcare AI Expo 2020 is a week-long event consisting of a series of workshops, conference sessions and hackathons bringing the healthcare and data analytics community together to provide insight and technology solutions to solve current healthcare challenges.

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