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Betting on new technology and winning

The three winners of the Best Adoption award have successfully leveraged innovation to improve their operations.

NParks adopted a digital platform with modelling tools to manage its growing urban tree population.

Parkway Pantai uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate accurate hospital bill estimations for patients at its four hospitals in Singapore.

York Launch Service adopted an enterprise resource system known as 'Book-a-Launch' that is specifically tailored for the launch industry.



AS the lead agency for greenery, biodiversity conservation, wildlife and animal management, the National Parks Board (NParks) of Singapore manages around six million trees.

These trees are cared for through applying the science of arboriculture, or the study and management of trees and plants, and a rigorous regime of inspection and maintenance.

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To help them carry out their role, NParks adopted a digital platform with modelling tools to manage its growing urban tree population; a task that has been made more difficult due to climate change, where varying environmental conditions can affect the health of these trees and in turn impact public safety.

"The use of 3D models and analytics to model our trees allow for better understanding of tree growth and health. This, coupled with sensors, mobile field equipment and integrated systems, enhances our tree health assessment capabilities, thereby strengthening our tree management regime," said Tan Chong Lee, assistant CEO at NParks.

For instance, Nparks uses a device known as a "tree inclinometer" to detect signs of leaning in mature trees that could later lead to structural instability. Data models and environmental sensor data also help the organisation to analyse different tree management scenarios for timely interventions.

"The massive amount of data required for such models would normally require a lot of time and effort from the operations staff to physically collect tree measurements on site, in particular for large areas. By using a light detection and ranging sensor, this process is made more efficient and enhances staff's productivity," said Mr Tan.

He noted that as the challenges in managing trees are multi-faceted, strong collaboration among government agencies, research institutes as well as the tech industry plays a vital role in Npark's digitalisation journey.

The agency has also invested in raising the capabilities of its staff so that they are able to fully harness the technology introduced.

The organisation's digitalisation journey is ongoing.

NParks is now exploring the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to further enhance its models and improve the accuracy of its results.



Parkway Pantai was a winner in the Enterprise category of the Best Adoption award for its use of artificial intelligence (AI) in generating accurate hospital bill estimations for patients at its four hospitals in Singapore.

The company is a leading healthcare player in its home markets of Malaysia, Singapore and India and key growth markets of China and Hong Kong.

Gleneagles, Mount Elizabeth, Mount Elizabeth Novena and Parkway East hospitals have generated more than 40,000 bill estimations since the system was launched in November 2018.

The system, known as "AI-Powered Pre-Admission Cost of Hospitalisation Estimation (APACHE)", is able to predict bills with 80 per cent accuracy, and continues to improve over time as it collects and references more data through a process of self-learning.

Giving patients more accurate bill estimations enables them to make better informed decisions on the medical treatment options available. More importantly, it gives them greater peace of mind over their healthcare expenditure so that they can focus on getting well.

"Winning this award is testament to Parkway Pantai's digital transformation strategy. We are probably the first healthcare group in the world to use AI for hospital bill estimations," said Phua Tien Beng, chief executive officer, Singapore operations division, Parkway Pantai. "'The system will eventually be rolled out to more of our hospitals around the world."

"I am extremely proud of my team for their vision and tenacity to seek innovative solutions in improving operational efficiencies and greater patient satisfaction. We are committed to investing in inventive technologies to meaningfully transform industry- wide practices for better healthcare outcomes," added Mr Phua.



Started in 1993 with a fleet of six old wooden launches, York Launch Service provides launch services to the different anchorages around Singapore, and has since grown to become the leading player with the largest fleet here.

A launch service ferries passengers or small cargoes to and from the hundreds of ships that arrive and anchor in Singapore's port daily.

York adopted an enterprise resource system known as "Book-a-Launch" that is specifically tailored for the launch industry. The system digitally connects the company with its customers, as well as different departments within the organisation to each other. York worked together with technology service provider ShipsFocus to develop the digital solution, which was rolled out in August this year.

"Going digital with the Book-a-Launch system has helped us to transform and simplify our work processes. The tracking module allows our operation coordinators at our booking counter to make more informed decisions in managing our boats to fulfil our customer orders and increase customer satisfaction," said Kieu Kim Sen, managing director at York.

Adopting the system has resulted in efficiency gains from the automation of documentation like invoices and receipts. These documents can reach customers in less than three days now, compared to 10 days before the system came online.

Mr Kieu added: "Another benefit is the Booking App which delights our customers. It allows for better communication with our customers and improves order fulfilment."