A healthy hub at your fingertips
HealthHub is Singapore’s first one-stop online health information and services portal, with a mobile application too.
Ms Lena Lee, Senior IT Consultant, Chief Information Officer’s Office at HPB said: “HealthHub provides Singaporeans 24/7 secured access to reliable localised and citizen-centric content, personalised health records, medical listings, rewards and deals.”
The portal’s development started in May 2014, as a means of encouraging the adoption of healthy habits and to nudge Singaporeans to take greater ownership of their own health and wellness.
Patients from Public Healthcare Institutions benefit from the convenience offered by HealthHub: They can access useful information such as hospital discharge summary, lab test results, screening records and view medical appointments across public healthcare institutions.
Parents, too, can benefit: They can view their children’s health records, such as immunisation records, dental health records and referral letters.
A host of health data
Putting HealthHub together was an immense and complex task.
One of the challenges that the team faced — and overcame with sheer hard work — was the task of integrating data across many IT systems from all of the public hospitals and clinics, before displaying on HealthHub.
The information presented within HealthHub is drawn from multiple sources such as the NEHR (National Electronic Health Record) System, School Health System, School Dental System and National Immunisation Registry, which integrates and shares medical records nationwide to support the seamless delivery of patient care, and the NIR (National Immunisation Registry), which monitors and ensures that every child in Singapore gets his or her immunisation at the appropriate time.
Furthermore, the information on these platforms is updated regularly by clinicians.
But the team (main photo, above) persevered, and the results were well worth it.
As of end January 2017, the HealthHub website has had 8.5 million page views — and over 84,000 Singaporeans have downloaded the app, to receive health-related information and use online services to better manage their health condition.
For the team, the popularity of HealthHub is an indication that Singaporeans view it as a useful tool to access health-related content, key medical records and e-services — and that it is important to continually provide HealthHub users the latest relevant information on health topics, as well as news and announcements, to keep them engaged.
Caring for Caregivers
The HealthHub team continued to listen to feedback in order to improve the portal.
Ms Lee said: “A common request that the HealthHub team received following the launch was to give caregivers the option to access health and medical records of the loved ones in their care.”
She noted that caregivers have a 24/7 responsibility that often leave them time-starved on a daily basis. Many caregivers had to juggle between the competing demands of caring for their young children and their ageing parents, and often relied on their extended family or domestic workers for help.
Hence, HealthHub introduced the Caregiver Access Module in 2016, allowing patients to grant consent to their designated caregivers to view their personal health and upcoming medical appointments.
The enhancement can potentially help caregivers to better manage and care for their patients by providing convenience and administrative support on tasks such as record keeping and monitoring, as well as appointment tracking.
“For the first time, individuals have the choice to share viewing access of their personal health records with their designated caregivers to facilitate them in their care management.”
This feature is available for all Singaporeans and PRs age 21 years old and above, using SingPass to access and grant consent through HealthHub.
And public feedback continues to be the powerful engine that drives the development roadmap.
Ms Lee confirmed: “As we continue to build up this citizen-centric portal, we will incorporate feedback received in subsequent releases, so that HealthHub becomes increasingly useful to Singaporeans. With the help of user inputs, HealthHub aims to develop into a ‘must-have’ digital companion for healthy living for Singaporeans.”
HealthHub is an initiative by the Ministry of Health and the Health Promotion Board, and is a milestone project under MOH’s Health IT Masterplan, which uses technology to better connect citizens with healthcare institutions, and helps empower citizens with information to better manage their health.
It is one of the elements in the drive towards the Smart Nation vision, tapping on data that empowers citizens to make informed decisions that improve their lives.
HealthHub is supported by Integrated Health Information Systems and public healthcare institutions including:
- Agency for Integrated Care
- Alexandra Health System
- Eastern Health Alliance
- Health Sciences Authority
- Jurong Health Services
- National Healthcare Group
- National University Health System
- Singapore Health Services
Popular features on HealthHub include:
‘myHealth’ – offers e-services such as viewing of appointments, checking of lab test results and access to personal health records. Caregivers can also access the record of family members and patients.
‘Live Healthy’ – offers articles on healthy living
‘What’s on’ and ‘Directory’ – offers information on the latest events, news and programmes by HPB and other public healthcare institutions. Users can also locate healthcare facilities and services.
HealthHub is available at www.healthhub.sg, and easily accessible with a downloadable mobile app on both iOS and Android devices.
- Photo of HealthHub team courtesy of Health Promotion Board (HPB). All screenshots from HealthHub portal.