February 21, 2024

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Advancing Rehabilitation with Technology in Singapore

Image credits: sgh.com.sg

For patients who need physical therapy after a stroke, painful injury or debilitating illness, getting them to stay motivated and committed to their rehabilitation programme can be a tough sell. By leveraging novel smart technologies like virtual reality (VR) and gamification, physiotherapists at SingHealth institutions, such as Sengkang General Hospital (SKH), have found new and efficient ways to help patients meet their rehabilitation goals while allowing therapists to monitor their progress and recovery more efficiently.

The latest high-technology addition to SKH’s outpatient rehabilitation gym is a brand of senior-friendly smart computerised exercise equipment designed for safe and effective strength and power training. The majority of patients seen at the outpatient rehabilitation clinic have conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, vestibular issues, as well as cardiac and pulmonary conditions.

Unlike most strengthening equipment that is bilaterally designed (involving two sides), the HUR system allows for unilateral (one-sided) limb strengthening to meet the needs of patient rehabilitation. The system also allows physiotherapists to pre-set customised resistance and repetitions for each patient. Patients can access the information on the machine independently to track their progress, reducing the need for assistance or guidance.

Therapists can focus on the patient and treatment in a more precise and targeted way. The rehabilitation intensity of the patient is also not limited to the physical constraints of the assisting therapists, which is a concern in traditional rehabilitation. The use of technology would also result in more consistent training.

– Ms Tay Ee Ling Senior Principal Physiotherapist, Sengkang General Hospital

There are also VR-enhanced treadmills. Using VR simulations and intelligent feedback, patients navigate obstacles and different terrains while improving their mobility, balance, and fitness levels. Technological equipment that incorporates VR and gaming make otherwise mundane rehabilitation activities like walking fun and interactive, thereby increasing patient interest and participation.

Importantly, smart technology is a good add-on to existing rehabilitation techniques, and is beneficial for both patients and therapists — patients are more actively involved and take ownership of their training, while the physical workload of therapists is reduced, enabling them to spend more time engaging with patients and better cater to each individual’s needs.

The SKH team is looking into the use of technology and remote monitoring to support patients at home. It is currently working on a collaborative research project with SingHealth institutions, including Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and SingHealth Community Hospitals (SCH), to prevent falls among the elderly.

Technology is becoming more prevalent. However, key components in a patient’s journey, such as human connection and touch, are still integral parts of physiotherapy, and physiotherapists will be there to journey with the patients through their recovery.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, SingHealth and SGInnovate announced a three-year partnership to build and scale up health science innovations today, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare as the first area of focus. The partnership seeks to advance the development and adoption of AI as well as other emerging technologies to improve diagnostics and treatment, and enhance healthcare delivery and clinical outcomes for Singapore and beyond. Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Health, witnessed the inking of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by both parties today.

The partnership looks to tap into each organisation’s strengths – SingHealth’s extensive clinical and research capabilities and pool of clinicians and healthcare innovators, together with SGInnovate’s Deep Tech expertise and diverse community of corporates, startups and innovators – to maximise the potential of health science innovation. It will focus on three main areas: Advancing AI thought leadership in healthcare and innovation communities, supporting the growth of startups and their innovations in the fields of health and biomedical sciences, as well as building the health innovation talent pool in Singapore and beyond.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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