A new consortium led by the Institute for Health Innovation and Technology (iHealthtech) at National University of Singapore (NUS) has decided to encourage the latest science and technology initiatives originating from Singapore's research laboratories to create new and personalised healthcare solutions.
This initiative took off after the launch of Health Technologies Consortium (HealthTEC) on Monday, July 1 at NUS. National Research Foundation (NRF) supported its activities with a fund of $1.5 million over three years.
The collaboration between researchers and companies is believed to boost the deep tech in areas such as bioelectronics, biomimetic materials, robotics and smart sensors, as well as big data to develop and provide health and wellness solutions.
In terms of the researchers, they will have the opportunity to learn the pain points of product development and work closely with the involved companies to solve them, while the companies edge through applying the latest innovations and technologies to improve existing products and services as well as develop new products and services, said NUS in a statement.
Professor Lim Chwee Teck, Director of iHealthtech and HealthTEC said that in this case, the ultimate aim is to capture value through the faster translation of research output into benefits to patients and society, as well as the economy.
The NUS Deputy President (Research and Technology) and Chairman of HealthTEC Steering Committee, Professor Chen Tsuhan said the university is "poised to host the Health Technologies Consortium. Our strong research capabilities in health innovation are well aligned with Singapore's integrated healthcare clusters, offering exciting opportunities for prototyping and test-bedding of new health technologies."
In addition, he said, "The consortium will be both citizens- and value-centric in its outputs, and will ultimately benefit both local business and individual Singaporeans."
The consortium will also organise regular networking sessions, workshops, roundtable discussions and scientific symposiums to strengthen the connection between industry and academia.
Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, Executive Director, Ministry of Health Office for Healthcare Transformation and Chief Health Scientist at the Ministry of Health who was present during the launch said the "rapid change of demography of countries around the world, and the ever-increasing impact of technology" are two major issues of this era.
He said that addressing the needs of the current elderly is important, but it is also important to pay as much attention to the current young who will be turning old in time.
"Here, our major emphasis is on promoting wellness, preventing disease and where chronic diseases are present, to control them well so that they do not progress and do not lead to major medical complications," Prof Tan added.