Ramblings: New Cartoon

It is not common knowledge but I would create simple cartoons to illustrate certain concepts, especially if I find myself repeating them often.

Most of these cartoons are not made known to public but I have decided to share with you folks, a new cartoon I’ve created today, on the topic of “How NOT to leverage your Subject Matter Expert”.

(Inspiration source: Consulting clients in health(care) projects as well as from companies I’m helping to venture into China.)


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Will technology replace physicians?

The question of “whether Technology will replace physicians in the near future” was posed to me last week during a commercial discussion and I thought I’ll share my perspective with you folks.

Truth be told, it was not the first time I was asked this question (or its multiple variants – Clinical Decision Support, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data & Analytics, Machine Learning and of course, IBM Watson. For the uninitiated, the various concepts / technology mentioned are actually inter-related).

To illustrate my perspective, I will quote a scene from the movie “Hidden Figures” (a 2016 American biographical drama film on African American female mathematicians who worked at NASA during the Space Race.) 

No worries if you have not watched the movie. Basically, John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the earth did not trust the trajectory and entry points calculations provided by the newly-installed IBM 7090s and insisted that Katherine Johnson (the movie’s protagonist) check and confirm the numbers. If Katherine had determined the calculations provided by the IBM 7090s to be inaccurate, then the mission (to orbit the earth) would be aborted.

That was 1962. I would imagine that the scenario to be somewhat reversed in today’s context where we would insist that any calculations performed by humans be verified by computers.

So where is the part where I proclaim that “Technology replaced Humans”? I didn’t.

The main reason why people post the question of “whether technology will replace physicians in the near future” (and its various variant) is because they;

So why won’t technology replace physicians? To shred some insights, did you know that as late as 1942, a famous medical textbook considered bloodletting appropriate treatment for pneumonia?

What is my point exactly?

Well, the role of physician have been changing over the centuries, the constant introduction of better tools and knowledge only serves to help them do their job better (read: evolution of the medical discipline ) but advancement in the medical discipline will not be uniformed, that’s why bloodletting is still considered by some to be an appropriate treatment for pneumonia as late as 1942.

If you found the above illustration beneficial or enabled you to obtained further insights on the nature of health(care), I suggest you read my whitepaper on Sustainable Adoption in Health Informatics.

Note: Found this article useful? Then do a Good Deed today!

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Updates: Optimising sharing of Updates

Hi everyone,

In order to optimise information flow (in this case – updates from BinaryHealthCare), we decided to tweak the workflow on how we will be disseminating updates through the use of Social Media.

  • Updates via Twitter and LinkedIn will be synchronised
    • The content distributed will be mostly status update and sharing of external content (including events)
    • I understand that some social media experts will cringe at the idea of having the exact same content distributed at Twitter  and LinkedIn (platforms designed for very different purposes), however, we are aiming to keep content shared at a professional level

So what does the above changes means? The idea is to make it easy for anyone interested in what BinaryHealthCare is up to.

  • If one wishes to be kept abreast of what we are doing and/or get new content as and when it is available, follow us via Twitter
  • If one wishes to communicate directly with us (for professional purposes), connect via LinkedIn or drop us an email

The changes are effective as of today so we really hope this help.



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Where did time go? Mini-HI

It is close to the middle of March, that means more than a quarter of 2017 has gone by. Now where did all that time go???

Where Did the Time Go

I had a friend in Qatar asking me 2 weeks ago if things are all right with me as I have not been blogging since 20 Dec 2016. Truth is, I have been travelling quite a fair bit for an unusual project -it is not the sort of work I normally undertake but to be honest, I really enjoyed it. The good news is, there is a possibility that this could turn into a long-term engagement so fingers cross.

Now I know that being busy isn’t an excuse for not posting blog entries but if one were to take note, I have been tweeting (the tweets appears on the right side of the “Blog & Tweets” page) and I guess going forward, I’ll be posting more tweets  than blog entries (there is also a commercial reason for this).

I also wish to take the opportunity to share that I will be doing another run of the Mini-HI (Mini Health Informatician) at NUS Singapore next week (teaching is something I really enjoy) and I promise to tweet about it 🙂

Till the next post entry., cheers!

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Happy Holidays!


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Ageing Intervention – Start at 40

The topic of ageing is a popular one and this come as no surprises since so many countries have their eyes on this subject, each trying their best to come up with a viable solution (or as they like to call it – Ageing Intervention).

The topic came up repeatedly last week during the Hospital Management Program I attended as well as during a dinner meeting with a delegation from the Netherlands (more details on both events will be provided in a separate post).

I shared with both audience (the first being senior health executives from Asia Pacific and the latter being senior health executives from the Netherlands) that I have always advocated (and taught formally in the Mini-HI program) that almost everyone who is attempting to ‘fix’ ageing is doing it wrong.

The reaction I received is almost always the same – puzzlement and suspicion, that is until I explain the reasons why I made such a bold statement. Given that I always get the same reaction, I reckon that it will be more meaningful / impactful if I share  this via Social Media.

To give some background, I get involved very frequently in designing intervention solutions (as a Health Informatician) for the ageing population and I noticed that the use-case almost always starts with the population being already “old” (be it 60 or 65, depending on the region of focus).

Wearing my “Public Health Hat” (yes, I am a Public Health Professional too!), I always ask why not start the ageing intervention when the population is  40? At least 20 years before retirement so prevention measures can be adopted?

With proper exercises, diet and mental  care etc. factored into preventive measures targeting population around the age of 40, we will mitigate a lot of the problems we are trying to fix at level 1 and 2 (maybe even level 3) interventions for the ageing population! And it would be a lot cheaper (not to mention effective) too!

Heck, we may even get to design solutions for graceful ageing if we plan our solutions for population when they are in their 40s.

So whoever is reading this, keep in mind to find a qualified Health Informatician who also happens to have a MPH and is a Mensan (hint: Look for me) when you are trying to fix health and healthcare… lol

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HL7 Singapore Summit 2016

Note: Edited on 14th October to reflect the latest agenda

Dear all, HL7 Singapore will be holding the HL7 Singapore Summit 2016 on the 21st October (Friday) from 1:30 to 5:15 pm at IHIS (Crown Room) @ 6 Serangoon North Ave 5, Singapore 554910.

The 2016 Summit 2016 features expert industry practitioners offering strategic direction and practical information on Health IT and interoperability for the Singapore context. Co-organised with the Health Informatics Technical Committee (HITC) of ITSC Singapore and the Association of Medical & BioInformatics Singapore (AMBIS), topics this year includes TR 45 : 2016 (Singapore) Technical Reference for Remote Vital Signs Monitoring.

Note: The latest agenda is available at http://www.hl7.org.sg/updates.html

1:30 pm Registration
1:50 pm Welcome & Opening
2:00 pm TR 45 : 2016 (Singapore) Technical Reference for Remote Vital Signs Monitoring by Mr. CHEONG Yu Chye, HITC
2:30 pm Gain Real-Time Clinical & Security Insights with ExtraHop
by Mr. Daniel CHU , ExtraHop
3:00 pm Telehealth in Singapore: Opportunities and Pitfalls
by Ms. PANG Sze Yunn, Philips Healthcare
3:30 pm Coffee Break
4:00 pm TR45 Adoption – Cadi Scientific’s experience
by Dr. LIM Soh Min, Cadi Scientific
4:15 pm HITC Session: 2API design using HL7 FHIR for TR-45
by Mr Victor CHAI, HL7 Singapore
4:45 pm SMART on FHIR – A vendor’s perspective on new standard innovation
By Mr. Steve LUTZ, Cerner
5:15 pm End of Program

Registration is available here.
(Limited seats available, reservations are on a first-come-first-served basis.

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