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Singapore has long set its sights on becoming a Smart Nation, with every sector undergoing rapid digitization — the healthcare industry included. As part of this plan, Synapxe has been appointed as the national HealthTech agency to support the Ministry of Health (MOH) in developing intelligent technological solutions to power a healthier Singapore. Over the years, the agency has embarked on multiple projects and initiatives to connect Singapore’s health ecosystem through technology, serving the public healthcare sector and citizens.

As a systems analyst at Synapxe, 2021 BEng in Systems Engineering (ElectroMechanical Systems) — now renamed as BEng in Mechatronics Systems (METS) — graduate Abdul Aziz works with his team to design and implement software solutions to improve healthcare processes. “This includes everything from brainstorming, designing, and testing solutions to help users on the ground,” he says.

At present, Aziz is working on a national project called Next Generation Electronic Medical Records (NGEMR). This is an initiative by MOH which aims to put in place a single unified electronic medical record system for the Singapore population. The system has the capability to record a patient’s medical journey from the point of their admission to discharge at any National Healthcare Group (NHG) and National University Health System (NUHS) healthcare institutions. NGEMR also has the added function to reflect outpatient appointments, including both medical and administrative data. By doing so, each patient will have a single health record to bring about more efficient care management and delivery. For someone who has been interested in creating solutions and innovations from a young age, this scope of work is right up Aziz’s alley.

Aziz has always been naturally curious and fascinated with learning how things work, even as a child. This led him down the path of engineering where he obtained a Diploma in Info-Communications Engineering and Design from Singapore Polytechnic (SP). His experience at SP laid the foundation for his technical skills and exposed him to the process of hardware and software engineering integration, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

After polytechnic, Aziz chose to further his studies at DigiPen (Singapore), as he was drawn to the institute’s hands-on pedagogy and industry-relevant curriculum. He also wanted to continue developing his skills in both software and mechanical engineering, so METS was the perfect fit for his interests. Upon graduation, Aziz successfully applied to Synapxe. He promptly accepted their offer when he learned that the role required leveraging technology to design and implement public health solutions.

Though Aziz has worked at Synapxe for over two years, there has never been a dull moment, as the healthcare industry is constantly evolving. He also loves how meaningful his job is because of the impact his work has on people’s lives. “It’s fulfilling to know that our solutions directly improve patient care. This is something that you can see in real-time whenever a solution is deployed,” Aziz says. That said, the role is not without challenges.

In the midst of rapid innovation, Aziz and his team have to ensure that patient data privacy is maintained and secure. To this end, they regularly conduct user acceptance testing (UAT) to check that their solutions do not cause any bugs or errors to the system, which has to run 24/7. Additionally, Aziz and his colleagues must continually build up their healthcare domain knowledge and familiarize themselves with clinical workflows. They do so by having regular sessions with doctors and nurses to gather feedback and improve the systems.

Reflecting on his journey as a systems analyst so far, Aziz is grateful that his DigiPen (Singapore) education has equipped him with the problem-solving skills and technical know-how needed to excel in his career. “The institute’s rigorous curriculum and hands-on projects have prepared me for any real-world challenges that I may face,” Aziz says. “This has been especially invaluable when it comes to tackling complex projects that involve many different teams and departments.”