Hong Kong’s Smart Government Innovation Lab recently announced the launch of a new solution. The innovation is now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
The solution is called the BLOK Pass app. It is a platform that was designed to enable business and societal continuity in the current and future health crises. At its core is a self-sovereign identity and health status attestation solution – people can store all information needed to access offices, transport, public spaces using a BLOK Pass app that is owned and controlled only by the user.
With appropriate testing protocols in place and with information on an individual’s COVID-19 status stored on the BLOK App, the establishment of travel bubbles is made possible. The platform is easily configurable and can be adapted to monitor a wide variety of evidence types – including anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody status or T cell immunity – to reflect the latest scientific evidence and diagnostic technologies.
Symptoms can be tracked, and test results of all kinds (laboratory or rapid point-of-care PCR, antigen, antibody, etc.) can be validated, attested and stored for use in access protocols. These can be defined and configured according to rules established by the government, border controls, transport providers, entertainment and event venue providers, companies, etc.
The solution can be applied across the areas of Commerce and Industry, Health, Population, Recreation and Culture as well as Transport.
The solution employs Blockchain and Mobile Technologies.
As mentioned above, the BLOK Pass app can form the core of a travel bubble solution: It provides a means by which travellers can log COVID-19 test results and declare any symptoms they may be displaying while having all this information stored securely on their devices; it communicates to relevant personnel or authorities what appropriate actions should be taken according to the travellers’ health statuses and their company’s or country’s protocols, without revealing any further information about the travellers.
The BLOK Pass app has also been designed to be easily integrated with existing APIs and contact-tracing solutions, meaning that cross-border compatibility is unlikely to be an issue.
The cost of the BLOK Pass app (HK$50) is far exceeded by its potential benefits. The average overnight visitor per capita spending in 2018 was HK$6,614, and recent figures indicate that tourist arrivals in the January-August period declined by 91.9 percent YoY; the successful implementation of travel bubbles is imperative to the revival of the battered tourism sector.
Developing CEM technologies
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the urgent need for better crisis management technologies. Everbridge notes that an effective Critical Event Management program and strategy is an integrated, end-to-end process that enables organisations to significantly speed up responses to critical events and improve outcomes by mitigating or eliminating the impact of a threat.
This CEM system would mean that business continuity, disaster recovery, active assailant, emergency response, natural disaster, IT incident risk management, and mass notification would all be rolled up into an easy-to-execute, strategic plan with long-term benefits.
Critical event management has come to the fore with the pandemic. Forecasting, planning and management of such events help organisations prevent disruption of life and damage to property.
Much like the BLOK Pass app, Everbridge’s Critical Event Management solutions can make a significant difference in mitigating harm caused by such critical events. They provide richer intelligence and correlating threats with locations of assets and people ensuring more rapid and comprehensive incident assessment and remediation.
A cross-disciplinary team led by Professor Tong Zhang of the Department of Civil Engineering and supported by the “COVID-19 Action Seed Funding” of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Hong Kong, has received funding from the government’s Health and Medical Research Fund to develop a methodology for the detection and monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage to supplement the overall community surveillance system. The study will start in mid-October 2020.
In the past few months, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in sewage was reported in various countries and regions. These occurrences may even be dated back to before any awareness of virus circulation in those communities. The recent development in sewage testing for SARS-CoV-2 may lead to new measures for public health surveillance, for early detection of COVID-19 emergence.
However, there is currently no standardised method for surveying COVID-19 in municipal sewage. The key experimental steps in the pre-treatment of sewage samples, as well as the detection and quantification processes in the context of Hong Kong, have yet to be systematically evaluated and optimised.
Since 1 April 2020, the cross-disciplinary team has been working to optimise the protocol, validating the methodology and conducting preliminary tests with spiked samples. They have developed methods suitable for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in sewage in Hong Kong by using a centrifugal filter for pre-concentration.
With the strong support from the Drainage Services Department and Environmental Protection Department, the research team has been conducting a couple of projects (including one funded by Health and Medical Research Fund to be kicked off in October) on the surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in the sewerage network.
The data from sewage can be used to inform the presence and spread of the virus in district-specific communities, even when individuals’ data are not yet available. The results could complement current clinical and laboratory surveillance effort.
The Professor stated that now is a good time to establish the general principles and explore suitable practices for the feasibility of a long-term sewage monitoring methodology to proactively identify and respond to future outbreaks of COVID-19 in Hong Kong.
According to another article, after spending months combating three waves of Covid-19 infections, Hong Kong is now trying to gain an upper hand against the virus. With a potential fourth wave looming, the city’s government is currently exploring previously unused pandemic surveillance methods – including rapid tests, technologically-assisted contact tracing and even monitoring the virus in sewage –to better detect community outbreaks before they spiral out of control.
However, even as the city is preparing for a lift in pandemic-related restrictions, health experts caution against the belief that new technologies are a silver bullet – public vigilance in practising social distancing will remain key to fighting the coronavirus.
For some time now, the city has been tracing local transmissions by tracking close contacts of patients and testing high-risk groups, but now the government is considering gathering environmental evidence as well.
The HKU system for monitoring the level of Sars-CoV-2 in sewage is being set up in collaboration with the government, including the Drainage Services Department and Environmental Protection Department.
The Dean of HKU’s medical school and a government adviser on pandemic strategies stated that experts have been identifying the particular drains and manholes, and streets and sewage collection points that are needed for the surveillance system to work. The system will help spot an imminent outbreak or limit the spread of an existing one by quickly testing residents in the nearby blocks and areas, and isolating them.
The Head of HKU’s school of public health stated, “In reality, some technologies may lessen the need for some measures, but we are still going to need a combination of public support and participation in measures such as social distancing, and good decisions from the government about when and how to relax or stand up such prevention and control measures.”
The Jabodetabek Transportation Management Agency (BPTJ), under The Ministry of Transportation, launched an e-ticketing system and tracking application for transportation users at Jatijajar Terminal.
Minister of Transportation, Budi Karya Sumadi, was confident that the system would reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in transportation facilities and infrastructure, especially in the Jabodetabek area.
As transportation was the lifeblood of the country’s economy, Minister Budi urged all levels of the Ministry of Transportation as well as the public to continue to apply health protocols diligently and remain optimistic about living in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Public transportation is the primary means of commuting for Indonesians so it is necessary to implement more stringent health protocols; one way of doing this is by creating technology-based systems.
“With the use of this technology, we hope to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19, one of which is by using an E-ticketing system and a transport tracking application. We must immediately apply this system in the use of public transportation, “said the Minister of Transportation Budi.
In the circumstances created by the pandemic, the government and society at large must be able to adapt to the new normal and better cope with new habits and systems. This could be done primarily by optimising technology.
The E-ticketing platform is an electronic system that offers digital services with three main features: Check-in AKAP (Inter City Between Provinces) and Check-in AKDP (Inter City Within Province); both these function to print tickets or boarding passes and GO SHOW, which is a ticket purchase feature on vending machines.
The Track Trans platform is an application developed for the community using transportation, especially in the Jabodetabek area to monitor the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the area they are in, in the area they are going to, in the vehicle they will be riding in and along the road route they would be taking.
“If we do not comply with health protocols properly in public transportation facilities and infrastructure, it is possible for the transmission to occur by touching of inanimate objects such as tickets, cash and other forms of direct transactions. Meanwhile, the tracing application is able to monitor the risk of COVID transmission around our area, “explained the Minister of Transportation.
The minister was highly appreciative of the field officers who served non-stop even in the midst of a pandemic – officers in the land, sea, air and rail transportation sectors.
“I sincerely appreciate the field officers who are always at the forefront of serving the community in the midst of a pandemic, guarding the transportation route with a very high risk to ensure safe, comfortable and hygienic transportation. They also monitor the implementation of health protocols. So it is appropriate for us to give our appreciation to these front guard officers,” said the Minister of Transportation Budi.
We must continue to be enthusiastic and optimistic that we can get through this pandemic period. Of course, by not being tired of implementing health protocols, we are also aligned in improving the community’s economy through transportation, Budi was quoted as saying.
A new method for identifying gastric cancer cells within minutes and more accurately than by using traditional methods is underway at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).
Led by Professor Li Wen Jung of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Provost (Institutional Initiatives), with collaborators from the Shenyang Institute of Automation (SIA) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and First Hospital of China Medical University (FHCMU), the research has recently been published in Science Advances.
Around 800,000 deaths a year are recorded worldwide from gastric cancer, the third-highest rate among cancer deaths. The novel procedure developed by the joint team uses a new kind of optically induced electrokinetic (OEK) microfluidic method to isolate cancer cells from the stomach area. Gastric cancer is often hard to diagnose because current approaches are not sensitive enough to spot malignant cells.
However, the OEK method is a new technique that could be integrated with “lab-on-a-chip” systems that offer researchers opportunities to manipulate objects within micro- and nanoscale bioengineering environments.
The rationale for applying OEK to gastric cancer is that these cells are not the same size and, crucially, possess different electrical characteristics to other cells in the peritoneal region.
When compared to traditional methods for spotting gastric cancer cells, the team’s OEK microfluidic method is more sensitive when looking at electrical characteristics. Using this technique, they have been able to separate gastric cancer cells from other cells in six patients with ascites [abnormal build-up of abdominal fluid] with a purity of over 70%.
The new method is appealing because it is quick and non-invasive. In fact, within five minutes, it can separate out the gastric cancer cells on the OEK microfluidic chip.
The study has benefited from working with doctors and patients at the FHCMU in Shenyang where medical staff have been impressed with the results. The principal collaborator from the FHCMU is Professor Wang Zhenning, who is also a co-contact author on the publication. The hope is that this new research will speed up the diagnosis of gastric cancer and save lives.
The aim is to reduce the number of deaths due to gastric cancer, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide, the Professor stated, a co-contact author on the publication titled “Detection and isolation of free cancer cells from ascites and peritoneal lavages using optically induced electrokinetics (OEK)”.
A lab-on-a-chip (LOC) is a device that integrates one or several laboratory functions on a single integrated circuit (also called a “chip”) of only millimetres to a few square centimetres to achieve automation and high-throughput screening.
Research on lab-on-a-chip focuses on several applications including human diagnostics, DNA analysis and, to a lesser extent, the synthesis of chemicals, an international microfluidics innovation centre notes. The miniaturization of biochemical operations normally handled in a laboratory has numerous advantages, such as cost efficiency, parallelization, ergonomics, diagnostic speed and sensitivity. The emergence of the lab-on-a-chip field mainly relies on two core technologies: microfluidics and molecular biology.
Microfluidic technologies used in lab-on-a-chip devices allow for the manufacturing of millions of microchannels, each measuring mere micrometres, on a single chip that fits in your hand. The microchannels enable the handling of fluids in quantities as low as a few picolitres as well as the manipulation of biochemical reactions at very small volumes. Of course, to enable all of these operations, lab-on-a-chip devices are not just a collection of microchannels. They also require integrated pumps, electrodes, valves, electrical fields and electronics to become complete lab-on-a-chip diagnostic systems.
According to a leading global market research firm, the Lab-On-A-Chip Market is expected to account to be worth US$9.40 billion by 2027 and growing at a CAGR of 7.90% in the forecast period are majorly driven by the increasing application of lab on chip devices in the medical field. Another report also notes that the Global Lab-on-a-chip Market will rise from Covid-19 crisis at a moderate growth rate from 2020 to 2027.
Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) has launched a proprietary Hong Kong Rehabilitation Programme for COVID-19 which aims to deliver comprehensive recovery care to discharged COVID-19 patients by integrating cardiorespiratory and resistance exercise training with the use of Chinese herbal medicine. The Programme will recruit around 170 participants.
Rehabilitation integrating exercise training and Chinese medicine
Discharged COVID-19 patients can experience several debilitating physical and mental changes, such as shortness of breath, impaired lung functions, depression, etc.
To address this, the interdisciplinary team has developed a treatment programme that combines cardiorespiratory exercise, resistance training and inspiratory muscle training along with Chinese herbal medicines to improve systemic metabolic and immune function, as well as pulmonary problem-related clinical symptoms which are evident in discharged COVID-19 patients.
To assess the results of the rehabilitation programme, the team will deploy biochemical tests to assess functional improvements in whole-body metabolism and the gut microbiota of the participants after patients have undergone cardiorespiratory exercise, resistance training and inspiratory muscle training, and/or taken Chinese herbal medicines. The quality of improvements and recovery will also be assessed.
Inviting participation of discharged COVID-19 patients
The team plans to recruit around 170 discharged COVID-19 patients for a free-of-charge, 12-week intervention programme, which will run until December 2022. The primary focus is on discharged COVID-19 patients with pulmonary problems, associated co-morbidities and mental health issues that are secondary to COVID-19.
Participants will be arranged to undergo rehabilitation programmes with different treatment combinations. HKBU’s health professionals will instruct the participants to do the exercises through an online real-time platform, whereas the Chinese medicine practitioners will prescribe a Chinese herbal formula to the participants that will nourish yin and moisten the lungs. All participants will be followed up at 12 weeks and three functional assessments, including blood, urine and faecal tests, will be carried out.
Rehabilitation programme with global impact
One professor noted that while medical resources have been directed predominantly to the screening, detection, and treatment of patients infected with COVID-19, as well as the development of vaccines, one important aspect – patient rehabilitation – has been overlooked. This novel rehabilitation approach is the first-of-its-kind programme to benefit coronavirus sufferers around the world holistically and effectively.
Pulmonary rehabilitation has a positive effect on the health outcomes of patients with COVID-19. The team aims to establish an online tele-exercise rehabilitation approach in combination with Chinese herbal medicine based on our exercise testing metric criteria, for patients recovering from COVID-19.
Their pulmonary rehabilitation is designed to reduce symptoms, optimize functional status, increase participation, and reduce healthcare costs and utilization through stabilizing or reversing systemic manifestations of the disease. And is an important therapeutic option producing significant gain across multiple outcome areas of importance to the patient.
The Programme team is led by HKBU’s eminent scientists and health professionals, including the Vice-President (Research and Development) and Professor of the Department of Computer Science; the Head and Professor of the Department of Sport, Physical Education and Health; the Director and Chair Professor of the Clinical Division of the School of Chinese Medicine (SCM); and the Chair Professor in Chinese Medicine and Systems Biology at SCM.
In a recent interview, a leading professor at Bangkok’s Mahidol University based at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) – a collaboration between Oxford and Mahidol Universities and the London-based Wellcome Trust – noted that its activities have spread far beyond Thailand to countries across Asia and Africa.
Now, having pioneered treatments to combat deadly tropical diseases, MORU is enrolling 40,000 frontline healthcare workers as far away as Europe and South America in the only large-scale global clinical trial to test whether the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can prevent COVID-19.
Thailand has long been internationally acclaimed as a destination for so-called medical tourists lured by Bangkok’s world-class hospitals. Less well known is an underlying healthcare ecosystem that is helping transform Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy into a much broader medical hub, attracting investors and researchers in biotechnology – including vaccines, genomics, and biopharmaceuticals — as well as high-tech medical devices.
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled industries in other parts of the world, the nation has recorded investor confidence in Thailand’s healthcare sector. In the first half of 2020, 52 medical-related businesses with projects worth THB13 billion sought approval from Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) – a rise of 170 percent in project numbers and 123 percent in value over the same period last year.
In one recent example, South Korea’s largest biotech company partnered with a Thai public-private consortium to establish a manufacturer of oncology drugs and DNA vaccines for cervical cancer. The manufacturer aims to use Thailand as a research and development hub, as well as a production base for Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Russia.
The region’s medical sector has big potential and many companies want to transfer technology to help it develop further.
Thailand’s success at attracting medical sector investment stems in large part from two key factors.
One is the raft of incentives offered by the BOI to qualifying Thai and foreign-owned companies, including tax breaks of up to 13 years and smart visas that enable expatriate researchers and other key employees and their families to stay in the country for up to four years. Another is Thailand’s track record both in containing the spread of COVID-19 and actively working on vaccines.
Since the pandemic began, Thailand has won international praise for the very low infection rate among its 70 million population. Over the same period, Thailand has also become one of the first middle-income nations to begin clinical trials on a home-developed COVID-19 vaccine.
Separate from the Oxford-Mahidol global trial on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, Thai universities and biotechnology companies are working on at least three vaccine candidates.
In the most advanced of the vaccine studies, Chulalongkorn University’s Chula Vaccine Research Center is about to begin human trials on a vaccine that has already been tested successfully on mice and monkeys.
Now its COVID-19 vaccine, based on a technology known as mRNA, has attracted international media attention. And if the upcoming human trials prove successful, the team hopes to work with manufacturers in Thailand, North America, and Germany to produce 30 million vaccine doses to supply Thailand and six other Asian countries.
The team at MORU is also collaborating with a second Chulalongkorn study in which a leading expert and doctor at the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Center, working with a spinoff from the university’s faculty of pharmaceutical sciences, has developed a potential vaccine that uses a different technology derived from plant protein.
The MORU professor stated that in terms of a hub for international collaboration, Thailand is very good. COVID-19 has shown that the world is a very small place. Countries cannot just look inwards and Thailand has the vision to understand the importance of global health as well as national health, he concluded.
At the high-level meeting held at the sidelines of the 75th UN General Assembly, the Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi said, “Everyone has the right to get a fair and equal opportunity to win the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The Indonesian Foreign Minister was representing the President of the Republic of Indonesia and echoed the sentiments of his speech at the 75th UN High School General Debate Session, that “no one is truly safe until everyone is safe”.
Entitled “The Challenge of a Lifetime: Ensuring Universal Access to Covid-19 Health Technologies”, the gathering was convened by the Government of Costa Rica. Indonesia appreciated Costa Rica’s Solidarity Call to Action initiative, which seeks to unify the science, intellectual property and data needed to fight COVID-19, as well as the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool under the framework of the WHO World Health Organization.
The COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) will compile, in one place, pledges of commitment made under the Solidarity Call to Action to voluntarily share COVID-19 health technology-related knowledge, intellectual property and data.
The Pool will draw on relevant data from existing mechanisms, such as the Medicines Patent Pool and the UN Technology Bank-hosted Technology Access Partnership. Shared knowledge, intellectual property and data will leverage our collective efforts to advance science, technology development and broad sharing of the benefits of scientific advancement and its applications based on the right to health.
In her speech, the Indonesian Foreign Minister emphasised the need to bridge the gap between countries ad level the access field. With significant limitations that developing countries face in accessing medicines, vaccines and health technology, it is the need of the hour for all countries to work collaboratively. Three things would ensure that global access becomes a reality:
- Maintain solidarity and political commitment from all countries for handling the pandemic.
- Establish partnerships with all stakeholders, including the government, researchers, and the medical industry.
- Provide global governance to ensure that health technology is available and accessible to everyone”.
She was confident with the three basic pillars in place everyone would be able to enjoy the same benefits from advances in science and health technology for handling COVID-19. These three conditions would be key to the production of affordable vaccines and medicines.
A genuine partnership between the public sector, research and corporates will enable sound policy-making as well as accelerate the production and distribution of medicines, vaccines, equipment and technology. While these partnerships must exist at a national level, an international network of pharmaceutical companies and the health industry is critical. All such efforts and partnerships will be effective if flexibility is available in international regulations and intellectual property rights.
The Indonesian Foreign Minister also expressed Indonesia’s support for the COVAX global initiative which strives to provide vaccines for all countries in the world, as well as conveying Indonesia’s readiness, through the Biofarma company, to participate in producing vaccines for national and global needs, if the due diligence has been carried out successfully.
Indonesia is planning to aggressively tackle the pandemic in the country and is also looking to recover in the post-COVID era. The Ministry of Health will receive Rp 84.3 trillion (US$ 5.7 billion) of state budget allocation in 2021 according to Joint Letter of Ministry of Finance and Minister of National Development Planning (Bappenas).
The Ministry of Health will also receive an allocation of the economic recovery of Rp 25.4 trillion (US$ 1.7 billion) that will be used for COVID-19 vaccine procurement, immunisation, facility and infrastructure of health research and development and budget allocation for Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan).
The Minister of Health confirmed that the budget allocation would be spent on six health priority issues in 2021 (called the National Program). The national program comprises of the national health insurance (JKN), maternal and child mortality reduction, stunting prevention, communicable and non-communicable disease control and health security strengthening for the pandemic response, improvement in the public movement for a healthy life (GERMAS), and national health system strengthening.
The Ministry of Health is determined to conduct programs and priorities to support the President’s vision and mission, particularly in TBC and COVID-19 control and health security strengthening.
As medical technology advances, breakthroughs in diagnosing and treating various critical illnesses are achieved, and as the design of patient treatment plans becomes more precise and personalised, healthcare practitioners are expected to keep abreast of the latest developments to master the most sophisticated technologies.
In a cancer treatment team, members are specialised in their respective fields, yet they work together seamlessly to devise the most effective treatment for patients. One of the lesser-known of the specialists in such a team, the Medical Physicist, is responsible for formulating treatment plans, as well as monitoring and maintaining radiation equipment used to ensure the precise, effective and safe delivery of treatment.
Medical Physicists specialise in radiation treatment technology, with their expertise spanning from diagnostic imaging to radiotherapy, and they are “strong backers” of the cancer treatment team. However, a higher degree programme in Medical Physics was previously not available in Hong Kong or nearby regions.
To meet the future demand for Medical Physicists, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has, this academic year, launched the first Master of Science in Medical Physics (MScMP) programme in Hong Kong. The curriculum is designed to cover various aspects including health technology, physics and engineering, offering interdisciplinary training for professionals who are keen to pursue a career in the field of medical physics.
High demand for cancer treatment Creating local training opportunities
The ageing population in Hong Kong poses immense challenges to the local healthcare system and the rising demand for cancer treatment is one of them. To maintain the quality of healthcare services, it is essential to have more qualified professionals in the workforce.
There are about 150 Medical Physicists currently practising in Hong Kong, serving at the Hospital Authority as well as in public and private hospitals. They possess both physics and medical expertise, playing a vital role in diagnosis and the formulation of treatment plans, as well as ensuring proper operation of equipment to achieve the treatment goal.
The Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences of PolyU stated with the advancement of technology and patients’ growing expectation of higher service standards, there is a need for the additional workforce. Besides those working on the frontline, experts in innovative health technology at the back-end to achieve effective treatment are needed. Thus the new masters programme in medical physics will both prepare students for a career in medical physics and help to promote the development of the field itself.
Leveraging interdisciplinary expertise Striving for the well-being of patients
Medical Physics is an interdisciplinary field that crosses the boundaries of medicine, physics and engineering. The Head of the Department of Health Technology and Informatics of PolyU pointed out that the demand for radiotherapy is ever-increasing.
In Hong Kong, cancer has long been the leading cause of death and radiotherapy plays a crucial role in cancer treatment. In the past, no dedicated master programme was offered by local institutions, and people have little understanding of the role of the Medical Physicist.
It is hoped that through this new programme, more people will understand the importance of medical physics and hence help to open new research areas in this field.
The programme leader and Professor of the Department of Health Technology and Informatics, added that the programme is taught by an interdisciplinary team, striking a good balance between theory and practice by incorporating modules in health technology and informatics, applied physics, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering and computing. The aim is to broaden students’ perspectives in medical science and technology development and equip them with professional knowledge, relevant skillsets as well as research capabilities.
The Vice President (Education) of PolyU noted that the university is considering switching some of its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes from single-disciplinary to interdisciplinary, to better address societal needs. This new MScMP programme is a good example of PolyU’s interdisciplinary efforts. Thus, while students enrolled on this programme already have a bachelor’s degree in a specific discipline, they can acquire new professional knowledge in the areas of health technology, physics and engineering, and create a synergy of different subjects. This will provide a solid basis upon which they can develop a career in the field of healthcare.
Contribute to the community with medical physics knowledge
According to the President of the Hong Kong Association of Medical Physics half of the practising Medical Physicists in Hong Kong obtained a relevant higher degree overseas, while the other half pursued their master degree in physics or engineering in Hong Kong, and received “on-the-job” training while working as a Resident Physicist.
He is encouraged to see the launch of the first MScMP programme at PolyU, noting that Medical Physicists play a pivotal role in a medical team, although they spend most of their time behind the scenes, they are irreplaceable in the planning and implementation of cancer treatment. They are responsible for formulating treatment plans, calculating radiation doses, as well as testing and monitoring equipment to ensure that all arrangements are perfectly executed.
Currently, the minimum entry requirement for Resident Physicists in Hong Kong is a master degree in medical physics, physics or engineering-related subjects. While working as a Resident Physicist in a hospital, one can start taking a three-part professional examination. Generally speaking, it takes about four to five years to attain certified recognition as a Medical Physicist.