New Partnership Shows Singapore’s Demand for Health IT

Several days ago, it was reported that A*Star, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, and GE Healthcare were going to form a partnership.  The purpose of partnering up was the development of new digital technologies for the U.S. and Asia-Pacific healthcare markets; this is a sign that illustrates Singapore’s demand in acquiring Health IT (Information Technology).

What is Health IT?

Before going into more details regarding this partnership, it is important to first understand what Health IT is.  Health Information Technology refers to information about technology that is applied to health care and health.  This supports health information management across computerized systems while securing the exchange of information regarding health between quality monitors, consumers, payers and providers. 

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The Reasoning Behind the Partnership

Writer Bernie Monegain in Healthcare IT News reported in an article several days ago about GE Healthcare and A*Star forming a partnership and the reasoning behind it.  The Asia-Pacific healthcare market is anticipated to transform into the second biggest world-wide by 2020 considering that it will have to handle an increasing middle class, the rise of chronic disease and an aging population.  The Asian healthcare industry is estimated by Frost & Sullivan to increase to $517 billion US dollars this year.

According to A*Star and GE, innovations in technology are vital to addressing the increasing demand for healthcare in Southeast Asia and Singapore.  The collaboration between A*Star and GE Healthcare are helping with the development of digital solutions, which includes advanced capabilities for surgery motion tracking and a diagnostic imaging system for Parkinson’s Disease.  Both bring something to the table that the other does not have, such as A*Star is proficient in high-performance computing and in data analytics; GE Healthcare brings in expertise with medical and information technology.

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The two, in working together, utilized high-performance computing to improve upon the PET scan procedure.  This translates into shorter waiting times and faster scans for patients; this reduces roughly fifteen minutes off a workflow that would normally take roughly forty minutes to finish.  The country managing director of Fullerton Health Singapore, Royston Lek, said in a statement that after the new digital PET/CT scanner was installed at our flagship diagnostic center last year, we were able to increase our rate of scanning patients by 20 per cent.

Other forms of innovations help in improving image reconstruction algorithms within CT scans that provide a better quality of scanned images while reducing distortion in the image.  Included is a technology platform that supports more robust technologies in wireless communication that improves remote monitoring of a patient and decision-making for treatment of stroke.

Singapore Supports the Partnership

Anyone who was concerned that it would take time for Singapore to fully support the partnership no longer needs to worry as they are fully convinced on the value of healthcare technology and is home to over sixty multinational Med Tech companies.  Both A*Star and GE Healthcare have developed advancements in patient monitoring and in imaging diagnostics, which is the result of a five-year joint development and research partnership that was created back in 2014.

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President and CEO of Molecular Imaging and Computed Tomography at GE Healthcare’s Michael Barber said that leveraging both our strengths is helping to address the fast-growing healthcare needs of Southeast Asia and the world. Rhenu Bhuller, a partner at Frost & Sullivan, noted that the role of consumers in healthcare in Asia-Pacific is changing dramatically; Bhuller addressed the Asia-Pacific Healthcare Outlook event of 2018 that took place in Singapore of January of this year.

Bhuller also said that digital technology enables access to information and care; hence consumers are able to choose where, how, and by whom they would like to be treated.  This is changing every business model in the region.  Unless something unexpected occurs, the partnership should continue to make advancement in healthcare technology that will benefit their target audience.

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