62,000 users of HPB app 'suspended' after anomalies detected
They can't redeem Healthpoint rewards in Healthy 365 app during suspension period after anomalies detected in scanning of QR codes
About 62,000 users of Health Promotion Board's (HPB) Healthy 365 app had their Healthpoint reward and redemption service suspended after anomalies were detected in the scanning of programme registration QR codes.
Replying to queries from The Straits Times, HPB said an unusual surge in scanning activity was detected during its regular programme audits, and immediate action was taken to suspend the reward and redemption service for about 62,000 accounts involved.
As of March 31, the Healthy 365 app had been downloaded 1.8 million times, it said.
Users get Healthpoints when they scan QR codes for programmes such as health screening and coaching. These can be redeemed through the app for vouchers.
HPB said its probe found most of the affected account holders scanned QR codes without attending the relevant programme. Users who had attended them had shared the QR codes with non-attendees without HPB's consent .
The affected accounts were suspended on April 30 and will continue till May 31, during which time the participation of users in the programmes will be verified, HPB said. Healthpoints and rewards obtained from unauthorised QR code scans will be clawed back.
Users can continue to accumulate Healthpoints in their accounts during the suspension period, it added.
Several users posted about the suspension of their redemption service on HPB's Facebook page. On Thursday last week, Facebook user Ezekiel Lim wrote that the redemption service appeared to be suspended for "no apparent reason".
Others asked how long the review would take as they had expiring Healthpoints.
Mr Cubie Leng, 42, an architect, said he felt HPB had not been clear that the QR code should not have been shared in that way.
Mr Leng, whose account was affected, told ST the QR code had been circulated online, and when he received and scanned it, he "did not see a disclaimer that said you are not supposed to scan if you did not take part in the programme".
HPB said it tracks its programme registration QR codes to monitor unauthorised use. It added it would be tightening its processes to safeguard against such cases of abuse.
It is also looking into restricting the validity period of QR codes, doing regular checks to ensure the scans tally with programme attendance, and suspending rewards redemption for abusers for at least a month as a deterrent against future abuse. No personal data from Healthy 365 app users was compromised in the incident.
Meanwhile, plans are under way to use technology to nudge more Singaporeans to stay healthy.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health Amrin Amin, who chairs the HealthySG Taskforce, said on Saturday last week that two tech-related initiatives are in the works.
One is e-health coaching, involving smart wearable devices such as steps trackers to track things like sleeping habits, heart rate and diet.
"With this, we can plan, make adjustments and monitor health targets. Health Promotion Board, Singapore, will partner industry to roll this out," Mr Amrin said in a Facebook post yesterday.
The second is a one-stop digital platform for people to store their health information and track indicators such as weight-loss targets and immunisation schedules.
"Like a health booklet which parents use to track (their) child's development progress, we're thinking of an e-booklet for all ages. The plan is for this digital health platform to be hosted on HealthHub," he added.
"In line with self-empowerment, individuals can input health indicators that they are interested to measure like weight-loss target, immunisation schedules, etc."
Mr Amrin noted that 300 Singaporeans have shared ideas on staying healthy at various #HealthySG task force conversations. The series was started to get feedback on measures to encourage healthier lifestyles.
He was at the final session at the Enabling Village on Saturday morning, where he shared these tech-related initiatives with participants.
"Technology can help us make informed decisions and remind us to stay on target," he said in his post.