To help provide a comprehensive approach for silver generations, the government has rolled out initiatives such as the Pioneer Generation Package and Enhancement for Active Seniors to increase the scale and accessibility of healthy living options, and introduce boosts along the way to encourage healthy living, in partnership with public and private agencies and communities.
The Smart Nation Initiative has also positioned Singapore to be able to harness the benefits of Internet in healthcare – according to Gartner, healthcare providers in Singapore spent US$548 million on IT products and services in 2014. This includes spending includes on internal services, software, IT services, data centre, devices and telecom services.
Research by IDC has also shown that the Internet of Things (IoT) market size in Asia Pacific will grow from US$408 billion in 2013 to US$862 billion in 2020, a CAGR of 11.3 percent. The incredible potential in IoT related solutions such as consumer wearable devices, smart home products and industrial solutions will also drive the number of connected devices from 2.59 billion in 2013 to 8.98 billion in 2020.
In a world where virtually everything can be connected to the internet, and is equipped to monitor, analyze, receive instructions and take action. There is a need for companies who provide solutions to unify the diverse market of products, as their form factors differ from device to device, each with highly personalized functions and limitless applications.
An example of how self-monitoring will benefit patients by giving them freedom and independence to monitor their health remotely while also freeing up hospital equipment for emergencies is set by Singapore’s Health Ministry recently announcing Telecare as an example of how the healthcare system has attempted to help an ageing population – elderly can submit their blood pressure online and have a tele-consultation with a care manager.
This is a great opportunity to enable Singapore’s Smart Nation healthcare initiatives. With a projected SG$250 million investment by 2020 to expand its R&D operations, MediaTek will establish an innovation centre in Singapore that aims to develop consumer, medical and industrial IoT opportunities, such as smart city, health and wellness products and applications.
The application of these opportunities can be categorized into three stages for easy understanding.
- Fitness trackers and smart appliances with limited computing power that focus on one task at a time are defined as one use application devices.
- Rich application items like smart watches and smart glasses that have sophisticated functions and powerful graphics.
- Then there are IoT solutions such as fall detection to help the elderly with indoor and outdoor positioning capabilities.
According to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific, the number of the elderly in the region is expected to triple from 438 million in 2010 to more than 1.26 billion by 2050. We believe that technology will transform the world of healthcare by shifting focus to preventative healthcare from reactive. What we’re likely to see is far greater integration of technology into our daily lives, as it is essentially about enabling people to extend their experience of the world, to gain access to information and services that allows them to navigate through life more easily. This is highly pertinent to a worldwide aging population and our innovations will help caring for the elderly dramatically easier.