Three collaborations were signed between the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore, SingHealth and NVIDIA at the Opening Ceremony of the annual international SupercomputingAsia 2022 (SCA22) conference. The collaborations work hand-in-hand to build a complete innovation environment that combines supercomputing infrastructure capabilities, the operating software and AI tools to power advanced research, and healthcare use cases for applying these capabilities and tools. Beyond healthcare, these tools will also support a variety of research in other fields like climate science and data centre operations.
SingHealth and NSCC will develop and deploy a supercomputer that will be placed at SingHealth’s Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Campus to support medical research and innovation efforts for the cluster and healthcare researchers from across Singapore. NVIDIA will provide access to its software tools and pre-trained AI models. Partners can further leverage NSCC’s Supercomputing Digital Sandbox environment, which makes it easier for researchers not trained in HPC to use NSCC’s supercomputer. SingHealth will leverage the supercomputing infrastructure and digital tools provided to advance a number of its ongoing medical research and innovation projects, so as to benefit patient care and improve clinical outcomes (Refer to Annexes for information on the projects).
“These Public-private partnerships linking the entire value chain of infrastructure, software, digital tools and researchers will accelerate scientific outcomes, and in this case support Singapore’s healthcare and medical services,” said Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information & Health, and Minister-in-Charge of GovTech who is also the Guest-of-Honour at SCA22 conference. “The NSCC, SingHealth and NVIDIA agreements serve to deepen collaboration and will open up many more possibilities in other fields of medicine, beyond the initial use cases.”
“Supercomputing power is a very critical national resource that is crucial in enabling many research projects that impact the economy and society, now and for the future,” said Mr Peter Ho, Chairman of the NSCC Steering Committee. “NSCC is excited to work with partners like SingHealth and NVIDIA to benefit local researchers in an important field like healthcare. We also hope that this will spur the many local and international organisations attending SCA22 to do likewise and find mutually beneficial partnerships that will help advance Singapore’s HPC community, and its related research fields.”
Apart from the development of the new NSCC-SingHealth supercomputer, SingHealth will also be able to leverage NSCC’s wider national HPC infrastructure and the new Supercomputing Digital Sandbox, which is designed to make the experience of using HPC resources much easier and simpler for researchers who may not possess in-depth HPC knowledge.
“The adoption of emerging technologies is a game-changer in helping us enhance care delivery and optimise healthcare resources with the goal to improve clinical outcomes and the experience for patients,” said Professor Kenneth Kwek, Deputy Group CEO (Innovation & Informatics), SingHealth. “Through this exciting collaboration with NSCC and NVIDIA, supercomputers and software specialised for AI and deep learning will be made readily available and accessible to our colleagues, to aid them in doing breakthrough research and developing new innovations that will transform and shape the future of healthcare.”
One of the healthcare projects that the tripartite partnership will support is SingHealth’s Artificial Intelligence for Transformation of Medicine Programme (AIMx), which aims to develop AI algorithms for the smart triaging of patients with cardiovascular disease. Using big data comprising clinical data, chest x-rays and retinal images of patients with symptoms of cardiovascular disease, the AI algorithms are designed to predict a patient’s risk of adverse cardiac events and perform a suitable triage. The tool could help clinicians prioritise patients with serious cardiac issues for urgent medical attention in emergency settings or identify patients with a higher risk of coronary artery disease in outpatient settings. The benefits of the research include greater efficiency and improved accuracy in the identification of high-risk patients, facilitating timely and life-saving clinical intervention, as well as optimising the use of precious healthcare resources.
“From weather forecasting to life sciences, NVIDIA’s accelerated computing and software are powering many of the world’s fastest supercomputers and HPC systems, giving researchers the power they need for scientific breakthroughs,” said Dennis Ang, Senior Director, Enterprise Business, ASEAN and ANZ Region at NVIDIA. “Our collaboration with NSCC and SingHealth will help to grow research and innovation in healthcare, as well as other key fields related to climate research and digital twin simulation in Singapore.”
NVIDIA will provide access to its software development kits and open-source pre-trained AI models. NVIDIA will also be working with NSCC to provide access to its unique software tools and training to support large-scale and complex HPC-enabled AI research.
Co-organised with partners from Japan, Australia and Singapore, the SCA22 Conference is an annual international event that gathers HPC practitioners and companies. With the theme “Towards Supercomputing for All”, the conference covers a wide array of topics such as the latest trends in supercomputing, HPC-enabled research, data centre technologies, collaborations in areas of HPC and quantum computing. The event also brought new focus on talent development and inclusivity in the realm of HPC with new tracks on “Accelerating HPC Upskilling without Borders” and “Inclusivity and Diversity, the path to supercomputing for all”.
NSCC also launched the first HPC Innovation Challenge for the Environment at SCA22 to encourage local teams to submit potential solutions and proposals in areas like creating smart city ecosystems, greener buildings, enhancing the quality of urban living and solutions to tackle climate change. Teams from Singapore government agencies, local enterprises and students from Institutes of Higher Learning will be invited to vie for Challenge Prizes totaling S$18,000.
The international conference will also welcome the ThaiSC supercomputing centre of the National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand as a co-organiser in the next iteration of the event, SupercomputingAsia 2023 (SCA23).