GE Healthcare partnership signals surging demand for health IT in Singapore

The U.S.-based vendor aligned with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research to develop new digital imaging and other tools for the AsiaPac and American markets.
By Bernie Monegain
04:11 PM
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Singapore health IT

GE Healthcare and A*Star – Agency for Science, Technology and Research – announced they are partnering to develop new digital technologies for the Asia-Pacific and U.S. healthcare markets.  

With chronic disease on the rise, an aging population and a growing middle class, the Asia-Pacific healthcare market is expected to become the second largest in the world by 2020. Frost & Sullivan estimates the Asian healthcare industry will grow to $517 billion in US dollars this year.

GE and A*Star said technology innovations are key to addressing the rising demand for healthcare in Singapore and Southeast Asia. As part of the collaboration, GE Healthcare and A*Star are developing digital solutions, including a diagnostic imaging system for Parkinson’s Disease and advanced capabilities for surgery motion tracking. GE Healthcare brings to the table expertise in medical and information technology. A*Star provides proficiency in data analytics and high-performance computing.

Also, working together, GE Healthcare and A*Star used high-performance computing to improve the PET scan procedure. It translates into quicker scans and shorter waiting times for patients, shaving about 15 minutes off the workflow, which would typically take almost 40 minutes to complete.

“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.” Royston Lek, country managing director of Fullerton Health Singapore, said in a statement. 

Other innovations improve image reconstruction algorithms in CT scans to reduce image distortion and provide higher quality scanned images. It includes a technology platform that supports decision-making for stroke treatment and more robust wireless communication technologies to improve remote patient monitoring.

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Singapore is already sold on the value of healthcare technology. The island city-state is home to more than 60 multinational MedTech companies.

GE Healthcare and A*Star together have developed advancements in imaging diagnostics and patient monitoring, the result of a five-year joint research and development partnership that started in 2014.

“Leveraging both our strengths is helping to address the fast-growing healthcare needs of Southeast Asia and the world,” Michael Barber, president and CEO of Molecular Imaging and Computed Tomography at GE Healthcare said in a statement.

The role of healthcare consumers is changing dramatically in Asia-Pacific, noted Rhenu Bhuller, a partner at Frost & Sullivan, who addressed the Asia-Pacific Healthcare Outlook, 2018, event in Singapore during January of 2018. 

“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,” Bhuller added. “This is changing every business model in the region.”