Singapore has one of the highest smartphone adoption rate in the world, but we might not be making the most of their potential yet. Nope, playing Pokémon Go or bantering with Siri just doesn’t cut it. . Think, instead, about creating a new bus route that serves your needs or even crowdsourcing help for a health emergency. Thanks to the hardworking folks at GovTech, these ideas are not just figments of our imagination. The new statutory board was formed in October last year to lead and drive digital transformation in the public sector as well as to support Singapore’s vision of becoming a Smart Nation. Since then, it has rolled out several apps and digital services to strengthen the nation’s economy, bring communities closer, and improve life in Singapore all around: in short, providing real value to real users. Here are five projects every Smart citizen should know about:
Crowdsourcing Life Savers
Last January, Michelle Lim was having breakfast when her phone buzzed. She immediately left the coffeeshop and ran to Ken Gong who was having a cardiac arrest nearby. Thanks to the MyResponder app, Michelle managed to administer CPR on Ken until the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) arrived to bring him to a hospital. This is how the app GovTech co-developed with the SCDF can help increase the survival rate of cardiac arrest victims. When SCDF receives a call on a possible case, the details are uploaded to the app, which then notifies qualified volunteers who are within 400 meters of the victim. This app effectively combines both the government goals to enhance healthcare services, and to spur people to be more responsive to one another’s need. Thanks to a complete stranger, Ken survived. One of the first things he did after recovering: download the app so he could “help others like how they have helped me.”
Making a Beeline for Work
For some people, getting to work and back home may be too indirect via public transport, yet too expensive via cab. There’s now a third option: Beeline. This app by GovTech and the Land Transport Authority lists private buses that ply from the neighbourhoods to various business districts during the morning and evening peak hours. For between $4 to $7 per ride, app users can book one or multiple rides on these express buses that make no more than five stops on each route. If there isn’t already a route that serves your needs, you can even suggest a new one via the app—helping bus services figure out whether there is enough demand to start it!
Putting a Finger on the Pulse of Economy
Gross Domestic Product and employment figures are the traditional indicators of our national economy, but these usually take a long time to gather. Pulse of Economy is a new initiative to offer more timely economic indicators so that the government can figure out how it can remedy a slowdown early. Drawing upon real-time data, such as electricity usage and the number of people alighting at bus stops in a business area, the government can quickly investigate how much economic activity is happening there. This project can also offer data on how people get to amenities like parks and clinics, to help urban planners figure out how to design better accessibility to them.
"Remember Me” on Government Websites
Thanks to MyInfo, you don’t have to repeat your name, NRIC, or date of birth when filling in government forms anymore. This digital service created by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and GovTech automatically pulls your data—which also includes home address, monthly household income, and highest education level—from various government agencies when filling in government forms. Now you can apply for a new flat, Baby Bonus or admission to a polytechnic using this autofill function. Just give your consent on MyInfo’s website.
Snap Away a Municipal Problem
You see a party of rodents in a drain but you don’t know where exactly you are—who you going to call? The OneService app!
With this app that GovTech co-developed with the Ministry of National Development’s Municipal Services Office (MSO), you don’t even need to be familiar with the different government agencies and their respective duties. Just report any problem by the nature of it—pests, footpaths, or trees—and the app automatically sends your feedback to the relevant agency. All you have to do is to take a photo and geo-tag it. Reporting a municipal issue is as easy as sharing that selfie!