February 28, 2024

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Singapore NTU Medical School Launches Centre to Predict Disease Progression With AI

Image credit: NTU

The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has launched the Centre for Biomedical Informatics that will leverage data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to build biologically-informed models and develop “super algorithms” that predict and personalise treatment. These models could enable the early and accurate detection and prevention of chronic diseases and acute medical emergencies.

The research centre will use its expertise and state-of-the-art equipment to identify trends, patterns, and anomalies in data to derive insights that will help researchers and clinicians make better-informed decisions. It could also possibly give rise to new discoveries and the development of powerful diagnostic and treatment methods for diseases. The work at the centre is in line with the National AI Strategy under Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives to deepen the use of AI to transform Singapore’s economy. One of the key areas outlined in the strategy is healthcare, where chronic disease prediction and management could help with the faster detection and treatment of diseases.

According to an official from NTU, the centre will support LKC Medicine’s five flagship research programmes: population health, respiratory medicine and infectious disease, skin diseases and wound repair, neuroscience and mental health, and nutrition, metabolism, and health. Among the centre’s projects is an ongoing collaboration with the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) and the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) to better understand and predict disease progression of mental health conditions in youths using data analytics and AI techniques. The centre is also working with IMH to develop algorithms that predict whether patients are at risk of developing psychosis and other mental disorders based on their speech patterns.

Apart from mental health, the centre has also undertaken projects in the area of cancer treatment. For instance, using statistical, meta-analysis, and machine learning (ML) techniques, researchers have devised a way to develop cancer biomarkers – biological molecules that are a sign of disease. They have used this method to produce a breast cancer biomarker associated with prognosis. Based on this biomarker, the researchers are now developing novel therapeutic strategies to help them discover drugs capable of ‘reversing’ the biomarker expression patterns in hopes of improving patient outcomes.

In addition to developing super algorithms and ML models, the centre will carry out biomedical data analytics for the scientific community at NTU to advance biomedical research. It will organise workshops and courses to build biomedical informatics capabilities among medical science researchers in Singapore and the region. The centre will draw upon the expertise of 15 researchers specialising in bio-data science, computer engineering, and AI/ML.

Earlier this month, OpenGov Asia reported that NTU researchers developed motion capture technology to aid doctors and physiotherapists in their consultations and diagnoses of patients in need of rehabilitation after an injury or recovering from an illness. Compared to conventional motion capture (mocap) labs that involve a lengthy setup process with technicians and a physiotherapist, the NTU-developed tech would allow patients to start consultations within minutes.

As it streamlines the analysis of subjects’ movements by removing the need for marker placement and data post-processing, consultations would also take an hour less on average. Through capturing and analysing the movements of over 150 subjects with machine learning, the technology has also been shown to be more accurate than marker-less motion capture systems available in the market.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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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