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SingHealth, A*STAR Partnership for Healthcare Breakthroughs

A*STAR and SingHealth have announced the formation of a Healthcare Translation Partnership (HTP) to speed the translation, deployment, and commercialisation of healthcare research and innovation initiatives for better patient care.

The partnership, which will provide funding support for projects totalling S$8 million, concentrates on three areas of healthcare innovation:

  • Medical Technology
  • Data Science, Digital Health and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Health Services Innovation

“Research and innovation not only enable us to push the boundaries of medicine, but they also drive improvements through the development of novel medical devices, digital solutions for diagnosis and treatment, and health services innovations that optimise clinical operations and enhance value-driven care,” says Professor Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth.

Prof Ivy added that the SingHealth-A*STAR HTP leverages SingHealth’s strengths in clinical care and healthcare innovation and A*STAR’s expertise in science and technology to catalyse the development of new solutions through research and innovation and empower healthcare researchers and innovators to more effectively leverage emerging technologies to improve care outcomes for our patients and the population.

Research and the use of new and improved technologies are important to keep up with the growing need for health care and make sure it will be around in the future. But it can be hard to turn scientific findings and new ideas made in the lab into practical solutions that can be used in clinical settings. Often, the problems lie in the ways that research and innovation projects are validated, turned into products, and used, such as with new medical equipment or tools for diagnosis and treatment.

The HTP intends to address this by setting up a framework and bringing together tools and support systems to make it easier for the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre (AMC) and A*STAR to work together on projects.

For example, there will be a partnership office that will oversee coordinating and solving the language problems. The HTP will also build important links between experts in the three focus areas for healthcare innovation.

This will allow clinicians, healthcare innovators, academics, and industry partners to work together and speed up the process of turning research into practice. In the long run, the HTP will lay the groundwork for a more active ecosystem for healthcare innovation and help grow a pipeline of thinkers who can solve new problems in care delivery.

A group of clinician innovators and healthcare researchers from SingHealth’s Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), and A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) are looking into the use of a Terahertz imaging system on the surface of the eye to evaluate the ocular surface disease (OSD) objectively and quickly.

Under the SingHealth-A*STAR HTP, the THEA (Terahertz High-Definition Eye Analysis) project will get help to improve the prototype and speed up the process of getting the product and technology to market.

SERI and A*STAR’s Institute of High-Performance Computing (IHPC) have joined forces to create the SERI-IHPC Joint Lab. The goal of this lab is to promote AI research and the use of digital technologies in eye care. This is a continuation of a long-term relationship between the two organisations in the digital health space.

It will also help build a digital infrastructure that supports and promotes business AI in healthcare. This includes a clinical and technical AI sandbox that will allow SingHealth, A*STAR, and other industry partners to train and test AI models together. This will facilitate research and the creation of AI solutions aimed at enhancing patient care in ophthalmology.


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