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Nursing homes should embrace technology but not forget human touch: Tharman

AS Singapore's population ages, nursing homes face the challenge of delivering higher-quality care with less manpower. There is hence a need to embrace technology, but without losing sight of the human touch, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Wednesday.

Mr Tharman, who is also chairman of the National Productivity Council, was speaking during his visit to Ling Kwang Home for Senior Citizens. The nursing home uses A*Star technologies to raise productivity and improve the quality of healthcare services for its residents.

Under A*Star's Technology Adoption Programme, Ling Kwang Home was linked up with providers to develop solutions such as the SoundEye monitoring device, which is being piloted at the nursing home. The use of the technologies enables care staff to spend more quality time with residents or perform other duties as they make less frequent rounds in the home, leading to better healthcare and higher productivity.

Technology can help nursing home staff work more effectively while delivering quality care, but relying solely on technology will make things too impersonal. Therefore, moving forward, the challenge will lie in combining technology with the human touch, Mr Tharman said.

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