Singapore, 23 September 2016 – Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong opened the SingHealth Duke-NUS Scientific Congress 2016 today. Themed “Today’s Research and Education for Tomorrow’s Healthcare”, the Congress opening featured the launch of, a digital library of medical content by the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre (AMC). 

The digital medical library is a free healthcare education portal that acts as a resource for healthcare professionals to acquire or brush up on their medical education and skills. It also benefits patients, caregivers and members of the public who are keen to bolster their medical knowledge or learn more about a particular disease or condition. 

A boost for healthcare education – 

Content on is delivered in simple, bite-sized modules. Leveraging voice-annotated presentation (VAP) technology, each module is a 10-minute presentation video augmented with a voice-over explanation. Put together by medical specialists and faculty from the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC, the portal carries about 150 such modules across 15 common medical specialties such as cancer, infectious diseases, paediatrics and surgery. 

“Each module on is a rigorous, self-explanatory presentation on a medical topic. Duke-NUS medical students have used and benefitted from the VAP learning tool as a core part of their curriculum, and we want to extend its use to the rest of the healthcare community and the general public via the portal,” said Professor Thomas Coffman, Dean, Duke-NUS Medical School.

Professor Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth, said: “ facilitates efficient, self-directed learning for busy healthcare professionals and anyone who is keen to learn more about medicine. As healthcare needs evolve, our doctors, nurses and allied health professionals will continue to add relevant content of value to the portal to benefit the community.” 

Research that transforms patient care 

New research developments and initiatives to improve patient care were also announced at the Scientific Congress. 

“We focus our research on strategic disease and health areas that affect Singaporeans and the Asian population,” said Professor Soo Khee Chee, Deputy Group CEO (Research & Education), SingHealth and Senior Vice Dean, Clinical, Faculty and Academic Affairs, Duke-NUS Medical School. “Clinical, translational and health services research helps us find solutions to better prevent, diagnose, treat and care for patients, and ultimately, ensures that healthcare remains relevant and sustainable for the future.” 

In the face of Singapore’s rapidly ageing population that has increased medical needs, Singapore General Hospital (SGH) studied a new model of care to improve the safety, cost-effectiveness and right-siting of care for patients upon their discharge from hospital. The SGH team instituted a transitional care programme with discharge strategies and follow-up plans for high-risk patients to ensure their post-discharge well-being. The programme showed a 20 to 30 per cent reduction of hospital readmission risk and length of hospital stay for these high-risk patients. The study will be scaled to benefit a larger group of 5,000 high risk patients in the SGH Campus in the next three years.

A research project looking at heart disease is currently underway, bringing together teams from the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Precision Medicine and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). The multidisciplinary research team is building a genomic and clinical database of 20,000 healthy individuals and heart disease patients to study genetic and clinical characteristics to identify biomarkers for heart disease prediction. This research study will pave the way for early detection and prevention of heart disease, which is critical for saving lives. 

Today’s research and education for tomorrow’s healthcare

More than 650 scientific abstract submissions were presented and 110 international and local speakers shared their expertise in multidisciplinary plenaries and symposiums at the Scientific Congress. Held for the fourth time, this year’s Scientific Congress was the largest to date, attended by more than 3,000 delegates.