Keeping SGH staff and visitors safe from infectious diseases
with AI and cloud-based smart mirror
Singapore, 15 July 2022 — Singapore General Hospital (SGH) staff and visitors will soon have a helping hand to ensure their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is worn properly before entering an isolation facility.
A project team, led by the Hospital’s Nursing Division, has partnered Blue Mirror, a New Zealand-based company, to customise its Blue Mirror PPE Instructor for use at SGH. The hands-free solution is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology and Google Cloud to enable automated guidance and checks according to SGH’s stringent PPE protocol.
“PPE is our first line of defence against infectious diseases, but it is only effective when worn correctly. When nurses were deployed to the Community Care Facility at Singapore Expo to care for COVID-19 positive migrant workers in 2020, we had to check each other’s PPE before entering the Halls. We also had to do a manual audit every single day to ensure compliance on the ground. It was definitely labour intensive, and unsustainable. That realisation pushed us to think about automating the process using artificial intelligence and image recognition,” said Ms Ang Shin Yuh, Deputy Director, Nursing Division, SGH, who first mooted the project.
Blue Mirror PPE Instructor was based on a non-Asian population and PPE used in Australia, which is different from Singapore’s. The Nursing project team had to first enhance the solution so that it could recognise Asian features and a range of skin tones before tailoring it to suit the Hospital’s needs, including the types of PPE used.
“SGH is one of the leading hospitals in the world because they recognise problems and then actively work to fix them. The hospital was an ideal partner to deploy the Blue Mirror PPE Instructor to train and monitor staff on infection and prevention control procedures. Together, we are saving lives, reducing costs, and improving nursing practices. Thanks to the project team’s hard work and input, this technology is now fine-tuned and ready to help even more medical teams across Singapore and the region,” said Mr Rommie Nunes, Chief Executive Officer, Blue Mirror.
The customised solution comprises three modes – the PPE Buddy, Train and Practice, and Visitor – which have been validated individually by the team with about 200 staff and visitors. When installed, the solution transforms an iPad or tablet into a digital mirror that can be mounted on a tripod and brought easily into any area of need, or on any flat surface, like a wall, with easy access to PPE supplies.
“When the solution is ready for deployment, it can be incorporated into some of the Hospital’s existing and new infrastructure. The solution can also be further customised for disease specific protocol, contact tracing purposes, and image recognition for staff access in the future. This will put us in the best possible position when the next pandemic hits,” said Ms Ang.
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