Digital from the start: New medical campus to rise in Singapore’s east

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The Singaporean Ministry of Health has officially broken ground on a new medical campus in eastern Singapore.

To be located next to the downtown line of the Bedok North MRT station, the Eastern General Hospital (EGH) Campus comprises the Eastern General Hospital and Eastern Community Hospital. It will provide a range of emergency, inpatient, and outpatient care services, as well as continuing and rehabilitative care services. Upon its completion, it is expected to have about 1,400 beds collectively.

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WHAT IT’S ABOUT

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung revealed that the EGH campus will be “digitally enabled from the start,” particularly offering telemedicine. 

“For example, during a tele-consult, doctors can verbally ask if the patients are keeping up with their rehab[ilitation] exercises. Patients will always say yes but you cannot verify it. The EGH team is working on developing wearable sensors that could remotely track the frequency and accuracy of prescribed exercises. That will make tele-consult more effective,” the minister shared. 

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Given its embrace of telemedicine, the EGH will offer virtual services ahead of its target opening by 2030; it intends to run virtual wards around 2026 to support the already overwhelmed Changi General Hospital (CGH), Minister Ong revealed. The EGH team will be initially hosted at CGH where they can tele-consult, conduct remote monitoring, and move out to the community and into patients’ homes to deliver care.

The EGH campus will also use the Computer Automated Virtual Environment to provide visitors with a virtual walkthrough. 

Additionally, testing is underway for digital twin technology and ambient intelligence in the wards while the use of exoskeleton suits and AI-assisted tele-rehabilitation solutions is being explored. 

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THE LARGER TREND

The Ministry of Health first floated its plan to build an integrated hospital in Singapore’s east amid the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Minister Ong boasted that the EGH will be a “more pandemic-ready hospital,” designed to have wards that can be quickly converted for isolation use and have the flexibility to support alternative work arrangements without making major changes to the hospital infrastructure. 

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Operated by SingHealth, the EGH campus will also be able to tap into the specialty support of the healthcare network, collaborating with the National Cancer Centre Singapore, the National Dental Centre Singapore, the National Heart Centre Singapore, the National Neuroscience Institute and the Singapore National Eye Centre.



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