Ramblings: InnoFest Unbound 2015

Thanks to StartupSpaze (I serve as a mentor there) I had the privilege of attending InnovFest Unbound 2015 held at Suntec Convention and Expo Centre, Singapore from 28 – 29 April 2015.

Presented by NUS Enterprise and AcreWhite, InnovFest unBound Singapore 2015 is a 2 day festival showcasing Asian innovation to a global audience.  InnovFest unBound will bring delegations of researchers, entrepreneurs, investors & senior decision makers from the world’s leading innovation ecosystems to Singapore to encounter the latest Asian technology companies.

InnovFest unBound is a platform for entrepreneurs, investors, government agencies, senior decision makers and leading researchers to meet in a unique environment to forge new relationships, share knowledge and create business opportunities.

In addition to the main conference (which I heard was pretty good), there were several “break away” events like themed sessions, workshops and even a hackaton, covering different industries and interest. Due to a busy schedule (it was an interesting day), I could only make time for the specific program that made me interested in attending InnovFest to begin with – Modern Aging. The official pitch for this session (web the website) is;

Businesses that care for and cater to an aging demographic are experiencing a boom in growth. This includes healthcare devices and services, technology, and traditional consumer sectors. Those that help elders to stay active and maintain their quality of life as they age will see the most growth.

In Asia, there are tremendous opportunities in the area of assisted living, long term care, and independent living. Globally, by 2020, the spending power of those 60 years and older will be $15 trillion USD. In order to fully harness the power of this sector, companies will need new approaches: new education models, new business models, and a fresh perspective.

So did the session fulfill the promises mentioned in the pitch? ABSOLUTELY!

While the session is relativity short (there were five experts, each sharing 10-15 minutes worth of “words of wisdom”), it is easily one of the most high impact and valuable session I have attended (and I attend a lot of conferences). There were a few key takeaways (for me) from the session, changing the way I perceive aging (even though I have formal training in Public Health and at the basic level for Geriatric Care).

Till the next blog post. Cheers~

Ramblings:Crowdsourcing Week Global 2015, Singapore

Crowdsourcing Week Global 2015 took place last week, from 20 – 24 April in Singapore and I attended the event this time as a delegate (as opposed to being a speaker).

The event (as usual) is a fantastic one. IMHO, what really sets this conference from the rest is the approach the organizers adopt in ‘handling the show’ – it not just the format or the venue or the speakers or the topics, its how everything is orchestrated, resulting in an informative, interactive conference with lots of opportunities to learn from   everyone (be it the organizers to the speakers to the audience).

One can say that its like TED but with a specific focus.

Sincere thanks again to Epi (Ludvik Nekaj) for inviting me back, for the interested, do not miss out the opportunity to catch Crowdsourcing Week Global 2016 scheduled for 11-15 April 2016!

Scientist Develops ‘Google Maps’ For The Body

I got this article from Asian Scientist. Enjoy 🙂

Using a previously top-secret technology to zoom through the human body down to the level of a single cell could create a ‘Google Maps’ for the body. Papers discussing the use of such technology for human hip studies were presented at the Orthopedic Research Society meeting at the end of March. The imaging technology, developed by high-tech German optical and industrial measurement manufacturer Zeiss, was originally developed to scan silicon wafers for defects. Using Google algorithms, University of New South Wales’ Professor Melissa Knothe Tate is able to zoom in and out from the scale of the whole joint down to the cellular level, reducing to a matter of weeks analyses that once took 25 years to complete. Her team is also using cutting-edge microtome and MRI technology to examine how movement and weight bearing affects the movement of molecules within joints, exploring the relationship between blood, bone, lymphatics and muscle. “For the first time we have the ability to go from the whole body down to how the cells are getting their nutrition and how this is all connected,” said Knothe Tate. “This could open the door to as yet unknown new therapies and preventions.” Numerous studies have explored molecular transport within specific tissues but there has been little research on exchange between different kinds of tissue such as cartilage and bone. The imaging technique showing early and advanced osteoporosis.

Knothe Tate has already demonstrated a link between molecular transport through blood, muscle and bone, and disease status in osteoarthritic guinea pigs. Like humans, guinea pigs develop osteoarthritis as they age. The condition is increasingly believed to be the result of a breakdown in cellular communication. Understanding the molecular signaling and traffic between tissues could unlock a range of treatments, including physical therapies and preventative exercise routines, Knothe Tate said. Critical to this work has been the development of microscopy that allows seamless imaging of organs and tissues across length scales–centimeters at the whole-joint level down to nanometer-sized molecules–as well as the capacity to sift and analyse huge sets of data. Knothe Tate likened using the Zeiss technology in the hipbone to Google Maps’ ability to zoom down from an Earth View to Street View. “These are terabyte-sized data sets so the Google maps algorithms are helping us take this tremendous amount of information and use it effectively. They’re the traffic controllers, if you like,” she explained.

Medinfo2015 华语论坛

The China Medical Informatics Association (CMIA) is organising the “World Chinese Health Informatics Symposium (WCHIS)” as part of the Medinfo 2015 conference (by the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA)) on 22 August in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

As a co-organiser, the Association of Medication & BioInformatics  Singapore (AMBIS) would like all interested parties in Singapore to submit their  abstracts (either in Mandarin or English) on the area of Nursing Informatics, Electronic Health Record, ehealth, ICT in Traditional Chinese Medicine etc. for WCHIS via  http://www.wenjuan.com/s/N3qqiq/.

Unaccepted submissions for the Medinfo2015 maybe considered for this session.

Call for paper:

EHR plug-and-play capabilities emerging from SMART on FHIR apps

This is an interesting piece from Healthcare IT News;

Have a great idea for a new way to interact with EHR data? An emerging platform enables you to build your own app or use another from an open community.

The name says it all when it comes to an open, standards-based app platform called SMART — Substitutable Medical Applications & Reusable Technologies.

The SMART project was started in 2010 with a four-year, $15 million grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, in broad terms to build an app platform for healthcare.

“The idea is that we wanted to support apps that could be chosen by clinicians. The app could plug into their existing EHR system, and then if a better app came along, you could get rid of the old one and swap the new one in,” explained Josh Mandel of Boston Children’s Hospital, the architect for the collaborative SMART platform team.

“Over the last year and a half, we’ve been building out a set of open standards to do it,” he continued. Those standards include OAuth specifications for security and FHIR for clinical data exchange.

Mandel led a demonstration of SMART on FHIR capabilities at the HIMSS15 Interoperability Showcase on Monday. Representatives from Duke Medicine, Cerner and athenahealth also participated in showing a set of EHR apps that could plug-and-play interoperably, integrated with clinical workflow.

All the apps use the same underlying set of platform specifications.

The SMART on FHIR specs provide access to a secure patient context in which health care organizations or developers can access discrete clinical data — things like medications, problems, lab results, immunizations and patient demographics — and access those through a well-defined web API, with vocabularies that are specified ahead of time.

“The big message about a platform like this is that if you’ve got someone who has a bright idea for a better way to interact with the data in an EHR system, you don’t need to wait for an EHR vendor to adopt that idea,” said Mandel. “You can go and build it yourself.”

Current apps up and running on the platform include Crimson Care Manager from The Advisory Board, which centralizes where care management decisions get made and allows sharing of care plans; Meducation from Polyglot, which translates patient-facing medication instructions into 16 languages; and a point-of-care medication adherence app from Surescripts, which helps ensure better communication between pharmacy benefit management companies and clinicians (e.g., a contraindication alert for a specified drug).

Mandel also highlighted an innovative rheumatology app from the Geisinger health system. It pulls structure data from the EHR for patient rheumatology workflow and guides physicians through detailed data collection. At the end of that process, it produces a ready-to-go clinical note with exam findings that can be posted back to the EHR.

“This is one of the first examples of an application that can not only read data from the EHR using the SMART on FHIR interface, but it can begin to write data back into the EHR as well. We’re very excited about digging in more deeply there,” concluded Mandel.

Introducing – Health Tech UX

Defined by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as “The quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of a system“, User experience (UX) is a topic close to the hearts of Health Informaticians as it plays a crucial role in enabling data collection.

The topic however, isn’t exclusive to Health Informaticians, whether you’re a patient, a carer, a consumer, a healthcare professional, or anyone else using software or software enabled devices (SEDS) in healthcare, you can engage in the conversation around your user experiences of these technologies. (Why should you be concerned? Because it will impact you – sooner or later.)

Interested? Then I strongly suggest you check out Health Tech UX (http://www.healthtech-ux.org/) a specialised non profit organization dedicated to studying, describing, understanding and improving the user experience of ALL users of software driven technology in healthcare.

Other ways to get involve includes;

  • Facebook – join the Health Tech UX Group
  • LinkedIn – join the Health Tech UX Group
  • Twitter – follow them at @HealthTechUX / use the tag #HTUX for relevant posts
  • Instagram – they are at healthtechux


If you are based in Singapore or have visited Singapore recently, you would have seen the SG50 logo (The logo is everywhere. Seriously!).


So what is SG50 all about? To quote the official website: “it represents the little red dot that we’ve come to know as home. The logo celebrates the Singaporean spirit – signifying that our dreams are not limited by the physical size of our island nation.” In other words, its a celebration of how far we, as a country, has come. (In case you didn’t knew, I am a native Singaporean).

When it was first launched, I firmly refuse to put up the SG50 logo. While I do love my country, I found the SG50 campaign to be “overdone” with every initiative in Singapore, be it the government, any government related, any-and-every events, brands etc., partaking in the initiative. To quote another source, its as if “everyone is doing SG50 for the sake of SG50”.

However, with the recent passing of our founding father – Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, I have decided to display the SG50 logo and the reason is very simple – without Mr Lee Kuan Yew, chances are, there would not be a Singapore today for us to celebrate SG50. This is my way of saying “Thank You Mr. Lee Kuan Yew”.