By Raman Singh, CEO, Mundipharma
I recently had the honour of presenting the award for Smart Healthcare Innovation at the SMU-LKY Global Business Plan Competition. Set up and run by SMU, the competition is named after Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew. It attracts entrants from around the world, reflecting Singapore’s status as a global innovation hub and a country with its gaze firmly focused on the future.
Mundipharma was proud to support the Smart Healthcare category and the Competition overall. It is a good fit with our commitment to digital innovation as a way to bring more to life for more people and to demonstrate our continued support of Singapore’s leading institutions.
This year’s competition was themed around the idea of the Smart City. In reviewing the nominees as well as the eventual winner of the Smart Healthcare category, it was impossible to ignore the role digital healthcare will play in our increasingly networked and smart future in Singapore and around the world.
The winner – the University of Cambridge originated Cambridge Cancer Genomic – was a deserving one. These innovative students have developed a method to combine deep profiling of a tumour prior to treatment, with rapidly personalised point-of-care testing for enhanced treatment tracking.
Like many digital health innovations, the ability to provide specialised treatment at the point of care promises to greatly influence the traditional structures and costs of treatment. This will enhance access and frequency, providing patients with greater control over their treatment. In other words, mobility technology innovation like the Cambridge Cancer Genomic could enable more people to be treated more often, in more places and more accurately.
This example of healthcare innovation connects with the thinking that is emerging around hospitals of the future, where the delivery of healthcare becomes distributed and networked to provide scale and reach to more people, more often. This will be vital as our population increase and age.
From the outset, healthcare has occupied a position of prominence in Singapore’s Smart Nation strategy. It’s widely recognised that technology innovation will be important in helping to deliver holistic health and elder care to an ageing Singapore population through technologies like robotics and artificial intelligence, cloud-based single-patient record systems to improve continuity of care, as well as smartphone applications to encourage active lifestyles and good living. As Cambridge Cancer Genomic demonstrated, the scope and potential are there for deeper innovation.
From Mundipharma’s perspective, Smart Cities and digital healthcare are connected in two important ways.
We will all benefit from a cleaner, safer and more efficient cities with sustainably developed living and working spaces and transport systems. Technology will play its part in the evolution of low carbon, low energy economies that are environmentally sustainable and create better and safe lives for all. This will contribute to productivity and a healthy vibrant talent pool, as well as boosting Singapore’s reputation as a centre for innovation and strategic thinking.
In parallel, the same technology innovation is helping to make healthcare information more personal and relevant, increasing our ability to manage our conditions, control our treatment and enhance our access to medical information in ways that are seamless and secure.
Mundipharma sits at the intersection of these developments. This event was a reminder that our business is evolving rapidly, and that to remain relevant we will need to continue to replicate the creative, innovative spirit of the Cambridge Cancer Genomic project. Central to their success was a focus on the ways technology can improve patient outcomes in a changing world. The rest will follow.
As Singapore becomes a hub for the development of digital health and Smart City innovation, we are stepping up to meet the digital challenge to stay relevant to consumers and medical professionals in an increasingly technology-networked working and living environment.
The idea of Smart Healthcare connects strongly with our vision to bring more to life for more people, more often. It puts the patient at the centre of innovation and situates our business as part of a changing world while retaining control over our own destiny.