People visiting patients at Outram
Community Hospital (OCH) and SingHealth Tower can now skip the
queues to register themselves and instead
scan their faces to gain entry to
They can register online ahead of
their visits using a system developed by SingHealth and Integrated Health
Information Systems (IHiS).
They will be required to upload a
selfie photograph as part of the registration
The online tool employs the face
verification system developed by the
Government Technology Agency
(GovTech) for national identification
The visitors’ faces will be scanned at
a gantry by a camera, which will also take their body temperatures.
They will be granted access should
their faces and identities match, and if
their temperatures are within the
healthy range. The cameras are able to
identify visitors even if they wear face
masks, while depth-sensory capabilities
prevent the devices from being
fooled by photos or video recordings.
The use of facial recognition for visitors
has been in place since Sept 5 at
SingHealth Tower – where OCH occupies
six storeys – on the Singapore
General Hospital (SGH) campus, as
part of a six-month trial of the technology.
The system, which can also restrict
entry to visitors based on prevailing
public health requirements, is
expected to eventually be rolled out to
other SingHealth institutions.
The process is expected to save visitors
anywhere between five and 15
minutes of queueing time, said SGH
patient support services director Lee
Another benefit is that the entire
process is contactless, which helps
mitigate viral transmission, he added.
Mr Lee said those who do not wish
to register their faces will still be able
to register online and enter the gantries
using their physical or digital
NRICs. Traditional counters and digital
kiosks will also be available onsite
for the elderly and others unfamiliar
with the online registration process.
The system is expected to be included
as part of an upgrade of SGH’s automated
visitor management system in
2024, said Mr Lee.
As for safeguards to protect the data
of visitors, IHiS deputy chief executive
Ong Leong Seng said the information
is encrypted to industry standards,
and will be deleted upon the patient’s
discharge. He added that IHiS is keen
to work with the other healthcare
clusters on the implementation of facial
recognition technology in visitor
management or other areas.
Though the cost of developing the
system was not provided, Mr Lee said
hardware and development costs
were “kept manageable” as it is an enhancement
of the existing automated
visitor management system.
Facial recognition is increasingly
being used here.
In October, the Home Team Science
and Technology Agency and the Singapore
Civil Defence Force said they
started using facial recognition technology
as part of a self-checkout system
at an automated medical store at
the Punggol Fire Station.
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