Breakthrough in forensics operations

Using RFID technology to track the movement of bodies and specimens in forensics operations

FIONA achieves a breakthrough in forensics operations

Tracking bodies is a grim undertaking, but it is something that FIONA has been able to carry out efficiently while achieving a paperless breakthrough in forensics operations.

FIONA or Forensic Integrated Operations Network Applications is an IT initiative by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) to streamline the administrative processes and workflow associated with forensic medical
services. HSA’s goal was to reduce the manpower required for data entry, improve data flow within the Forensic Medicine Division and better coordinate with external agencies such as the police for case registration. It was also looking for a way to improve the tracking and management of bodies and
related document flows.

To address these requirements, NCS integrated a suite of technologies to create a wireless, paperless environment for the Forensic Medicine Division. An Integrated Track and Trace framework was implemented using RFID technology to track the movement of bodies and specimens. Clinical mobile notebooks were also introduced for body charting and note-taking in the autopsy suite while the pathologist was performing the autopsy. This allows the data to be synchronised with HSA’s servers, removing the need for manual
data entry. Documents such as post-mortem reports can also be generated directly through FIONA.
FIONA proved to be a breakthrough for HSA. The adoption of RFID technology greatly increased efficiency in the management of body parts within the forensic setting.

The cost and effort associated with manual data entry was significantly reduced with the use of technologies for data capture and updates. Furthermore, with more streamlined workflows, inter-agency interaction such as the exchange of data between the police and HSA can now take place electronically, allowing cases to be processed much more rapidly.

This article was first published in NCS SG50 Book “Technology Evolution”, 2015 (NLB BRN:201353230)