"Many patients feel very lost and burdened by their health problems. Even healthy patients have many uncertainties with regard to what is needed to stay healthy. I am motived to guide patients with trustworthy and honest advice that I hope will save them a lot of unnecessary anxiety and avoidable costs. In some instances, these efforts may be lifesaving or at least change the disease trajectory so they may gain more quality of life. It is a privilege to be able to help patients this way."
The desire to help patients and make a meaningful impact on their health and wellbeing has led A/Prof Ngiam to embrace innovation and technology as a way to improve wider outcomes, overall safety and greater precision in the surgical field. "Building and deploying new technologies will allow us to benefit patients provide the most durable and scalable way to help the most number of people," he says.
Apart from being a Senior Consultant, Thyroid and Endocrine Surgeon, he is concurrently Group Chief Technology Officer at the National University Health System, Singapore and Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Biomedical Informatics, NUS School of Medicine.
Dr Ngiam received his medical degree from the Royal Free and University College Medical School, University College London in 2003 where he graduated with multiple distinctions and awards. He received his specialist certifications from the Royal College of Surgeons of Glasgow, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Edinburgh and is accredited as a surgical specialist by the Specialist Accreditation Board, MOH Singapore in 2012.
Prior to joining NUHS, Dr Ngiam worked at various hospitals in Singapore, rising to his current position as Head of Division, Thyroid and Endocrine Surgery at NUH.
Using technology to take healthcare to greater heights
His professional interests lie in leveraging technology and artificial intelligence (AI) for surgery healthcare delivery. To this end, he has founded numerous platforms and programmes and holds multiple patents in surgical innovations and AI technology, including the DISCOVERY AI, ENDEAVOUR AI and the NUHS Holomedicine programme.
The DISCOVERY AI, launched in 2018 has accelerated discoveries and publications in the field of biomedical informatics and AI. It is one of the first secure data platforms that enable researchers to share large amounts of healthcare data equitably. The availability of this data and compute on DISCOVERY AI has led to the development of multiple ground-breaking AI tools.
The ENDEAVOUR AI is a stream-capable AI platform that enable multiple AI tools to operate in real time. This enables next-generation predictive and prescriptive AI services such as C4 dashboards, real-time pharmacogenomics alerts and clinical predictive services that effectively transforms the care of the patient.
A/Prof Ngiam is a recipient of multiple grants including the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) clinician Innovator development (CIDA) grant, and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) 5G grants.
Raising the standard of endocrine surgery at NUH
Dr Ngiam is a pioneer in his field of endocrine surgery, which includes the fields of thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, head and neck surgery.
He has launched several new services at NUH, such as one-stop thyroid clinics, endoscopic and robotic thyroid surgery, and non-invasive high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) thyroid nodule ablation, which is the first and only such service of its kind in Singapore.
These new therapies, such as endoscopic and robotic thyroid surgery, have enhanced surgical outcomes for patients.
Nurturing the next generation of digital leaders
Having had the privilege of working with the pioneers in the field of endocrine surgery, A/Prof Ngiam is inspired to lead the way in minimally invasive endocrine surgery in Asia and promote innovation in the next generation of clinician leaders.
As the founding Head of Division of Biomedical Informatics at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, he is a prominent advocate of educating future digital leaders.