Facilitating the Forensic Investigations of Unnatural Deaths

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Ecquaria steps into a new realm to enhance the forensic investigation of unnatural, unknown and unidentified deaths in Singapore. The Forensic Medicine Division (FMD) of the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has appointed Ecquaria as its technology partner for the new Forensic Integrated Operations Network Application (FIONA 2.0).

FIONA 2.0 will oversee the entire case lifecycle including autopsy and specimen management. The nature of the work is such that the processes can be complex and require extensive logistics support. The application will interface widely with various hardwares to facilitate the accurate investigation of unknown, unnatural and unidentified deaths.

With FIONA 2.0, operational and logistical efficiency will be enhanced. Using mobile devices, Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology and integrating with other IT systems, such as the Integrated Criminal Case Filing and Management System (ICMS), processes are streamlined. The end-to-end system will provide a Smart Mortuary where benefits extend beyond HSA to upstream and downstream agencies.

Smart Mortuary

The Smart Mortuary will be able to identify the location of specimens, body parts and available resources to improve resource allocation and turnaround time. The design of FIONA 2.0 extends beyond the system’s architecture into physical building of the mortuary. This will reduce manual intervention and data entry, which is especially important given that the operational environment can be chaotic and requires body parts and specimens to be moved around.

Proposed Command Centre View - HSA FIONA 2.0

Fig. 1 Proposed Command Centre View

The Smart Mortuary will have a command centre view that provides an overview of the location of the bodies. The information will be colour coded based on HSA’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) to enable HSA officers to determine the more urgent tasks at a glance.

The Smart Mortuary will also consist of the Smart Cold Room Assignment. The occupancy status of all the racks will be visually displayed on the iPad application. FIONA 2.0 will automatically assign an available rack to store the body.

FIONA 2.0 will also simplify the preparation of the autopsy report with the Smart Autopsy Findings module in the iPad App. Two components, the data and the report template, are typically required to generate the report. Draft autopsy report will be generated in Microsoft Word format with data captured in the smart autopsy findings module and if changes are required, they can be made manually.

Precise and Accurate Investigation

Dead men tell no tales and it is critical to be detailed and careful for the investigation to be complete and accurate.

With FIONA 2.0, the complicated process of specimen management will be simplified. Based on the case type, the system will propose the standard tests using the set of tests pre-configured by HSA. This ensures that all the required tests are done, reducing human error and providing a complete investigation.

Tapping on the potential of RFID, FIONA 2.0 will track the movement of the specimens. The Smart Splash Screen will display every tag that has passed under the RFID antenna. This improves the investigation accuracy as the HSA officers will be able to verify that all tags have been identified, bringing closure to the case and for the living.

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