SingHealth, Singapore’s largest group of healthcare institutions, and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) on Wednesday announced a S$8 million Healthcare Translation Partnership (HTP) to accelerate the translation, deployment and commercialisation of healthcare research and innovation projects for better patient care.
The partnership, which will provide S$8 million in funding support for projects, focuses on three healthcare innovation areas - medical technology; data science, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital health; and health services innovation.
SingHealth Group CEO, Professor Ivy Ng, said the SingHealth-A*STAR HTP “synergises SingHealth’s strengths in clinical care and healthcare innovation and A*STAR’s expertise in science and technology to catalyse the development of new solutions through research and innovation.”
Prof Ng and this would empower healthcare researchers and innovators to better leverage emerging technologies that will bring about better care outcomes for our patients and the population.
She noted it can be challenging to translate upstream scientific discoveries and innovative ideas in the lab into downstream, practical solutions that can be applied in clinical settings.
Often, the challenges lie in the processes for validation, productisation, and adoption of research and innovation initiatives, such as for new medical devices or diagnostic and treatment tools, she noted.
The HTP aims to address this by establishing a framework and consolidating resources and support systems to facilitate joint projects between the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre (AMC) and A*STAR.
There will be a dedicated partnership office which will coordinate and address the translation challenges holistically.
The HTP will also build important bridges between experts in the three healthcare innovation focus areas, enabling clinicians, healthcare innovators, researchers, and industry partners to collaborate and accelerate the research translation process, Prof Ng noted.
More vibrant innovation
In the longer term, the HTP will set the stage for a more vibrant healthcare innovation ecosystem and nurture a pipeline of innovators to address evolving challenges in care delivery.
SingHealth’s Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and A*STAR’s Institute of High-Performance Computing (IHPC) have partnered to establish the SERI-IHPC Joint Lab to drive AI research and adoption of digital technologies in eye care.
It will also support the development of digital infrastructure that supports and promotes enterprise AI in healthcare, including a clinical and technical AI sandbox to enable AI model training and testing between SingHealth, A*STAR and other industry partners.
This will advance the research and development of AI solutions that aim to improve ophthalmological care for patients.
A*STAR’s CEO, Frederick Chew, said technological developments are rapidly advancing, especially in areas such as AI, bioinfanneormatics, high performance computing and medical technologies.
“SingHealth and A*STAR have complementary strengths. Through the SingHealth-A*STAR HTP, we aim to spur the translation of research and innovation initiatives into impactful medical solutions that improve healthcare delivery, benefit patients, better support healthcare workers and benefit the economy,” Chew said.