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Singapore’s Digital Innovation Consortium for Eye Care

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR) and a world authority on eye health to create the Eye Health Digital Innovation Consortium, which will advance eye health research in Asia-Pacific. Over the course of three years, a combined SGD 15 million investment from the two organisations will be made in the consortium.

There is a high prevalence of eye disorders among Singapore’s population, and this is a cause for concern. Open innovation and public-private partnerships will pave the way for us to leverage strengths from different parties and develop solutions to address this complex healthcare challenge. We look forward to a deeper partnership with Johnson & Johnson Vision, to co-create innovative eye care solutions for patients in Singapore and beyond.

– Professor Tan Sze Wee, Assistant Chief Executive, Enterprise, A*STAR.

The consortium, which is the first of its type in APAC, will create strategic public-private alliances in the field of eye health amongst eye care professionals (ECPs), academia, and business to bring about innovations that will address urgent eye health needs. Stakeholders will be able to collectively identify and prioritise these needs through this cooperation, accelerating the results of research and innovation in the region.

For the upcoming three to five years, the consortium wants to concentrate on the following areas, including but not limited to:

  • Improved delivery of eye health care to patients in Singapore and elsewhere through ECPs;
  • Maximising partnership between the public and private sectors to improve the provision of eye care; and
  • Establishing new technical procedures to assist businesses engaged in the provision of primary eye care.

Three new initiatives will be started because of the consortium:

  • MyoA*Bank: A framework for managing digital data consent that compiles anonymous data for studies on eye health.
  • Behaviourally informed messages to encourage better eye health behaviours, such as scheduling thorough eye exams, a necessary standard of care that is not currently the norm.
  • E-referral and e-triaging for community step-up and step-down care.

Meanwhile, to establish reliable data access and sharing relationships between patients, ECPs, researchers, clinical practitioners, and public health policymakers, these initiatives make use of data-centric research and cutting-edge technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), data privacy preservation techniques, and personal data compliance.

These initiatives seek to establish Singapore as an APAC Centre of Excellence for eye health treatment, research, and innovation while providing complete solutions to alter the course of eye health in Singapore and elsewhere.

On the other hand, to influence the standard of care, especially for APAC’s ongoing struggle with the rise of myopia, good science must be combined with wider access to eye health data. The abundance of information shared through this consortium will significantly improve how creative solutions are developed to improve healthy sight throughout APAC and even further afield.

Myopia and other eye ailments present an excellent opportunity for this consortium to lead the development of digital solution platforms. The environment supporting eye health will be improved by these.

To expand eye health research in the area and enhance general eye care, the Eye Health Digital Innovation Consortium was created. Hence, the A*STAR’s Institute of High-Performance Computing (IHPC) will contribute its expertise in blockchain and trust technologies to the development of data sharing solutions that protect user privacy, as well as computational behavioural modelling and AI to address issues with public eye health.

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