SINGAPORE: The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) will trial a new system in July which makes use of computers and robots to improve the collection and handling of urine specimens.
The system, called the Next Generation Reporting Centre (NGRC), is the result of a collaboration between CNB and the Office of the Chief Science and Technology Officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs that began in August 2016.
“It is the first-of-its-kind solution for urine reporting in the world … which aims to bring significant improvements to accuracy, capacity, durability, work productivity and hygiene,” CNB said on Tuesday (May 22).
NGRC comprises five modules: the appointment booking system, admin and register kiosk, authenticate and label kiosk, specimen handling platform and specimen sealing platform.
The appointment booking system allows drug supervisees to book urine test appointments at the NRGC remotely via a URL. It also regulates the number of supervisees at the NGRC and accommodates walk-in and late cases.
The admin and register kiosk is a self-service machine that allows supervisees to perform routine tasks, like scheduling appointments, submitting medical certificates and updating personal particulars, on their own.
The identities of drug supervisees will be verified using smart card and fingerprint or facial biometric data at the authenticate and label kiosk. It also automates the printing and pasting of labels on urine specimen bottles and test tubes.
The specimen handling platform automates the transfer of urine specimens and capping and de-capping of specimen bottles, eliminating manual handling.
The specimen sealing platform automates the entire packing process of urine specimens to be sent to the Health Sciences Authority for testing. This includes the e-signature of identification labels, tightening of bottle caps, printing and labelling of bottles and heat shrink wrapping.
CNB aims to operationalise the NGRC in all its enforcement divisions from 2020.
“CNB has to adapt to the evolving operating landscape to remain relevant and effective,” its director Ng Ser Song said. “We must also ensure that we continue to engage the community and reinforce the zero-tolerance stance on drugs.”