Industry-led, innovative technologies for elderly care awarded up to S$300,000 in cash prizes
Singapore, 28 September 2017 – Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited (ST Electronics) and SPRING Singapore today announced the four grand prize winners of the Tech Factor Challenge 2016/2017, themed “Ageing-in-Place”, for novel solutions that enhance the safety, health, and mobility of the elderly. The winning solutions include a portable sepsis risk assessment system, a smart home-based medication device, a remote rehabilitation kit, as well as wheel and brake attachments for walking frames. Each of the team won S$25,000, in total constituting a third of the total cash prize of S$300,000. The remaining cash prize will be awarded to the teams upon the successful commercialisation of their solutions.
The winners were selected from 10 finalist teams comprising students, start-ups, engineering enthusiasts and a senior inventor, with prototypes that incorporated technologies such as companion robots with AI-driven interactions and autonomous navigation capabilities, smart medication dispensers, Virtual Reality rehabilitative solution, and smart homes applications.
“At ST Electronics, we believe that technology is a key enabler to improve the lives of our elderly. As they enter their golden ageing years, we want them to enjoy and benefit from improved standards of healthcare. As a key player in Singapore’s ICT industry, we are committed to investing in innovation and building up local engineering talents to solve real-world problems, in this instance, for the ageing population. By creating an environment that encourages experimentation and quick prototyping, we hope to discover breakthroughs that can be commercialised in an affordable and timely way to enhance our healthcare for the elderly while seeding the build-up of a silver industry,” said Mr Tang Kum Chuen, Deputy President of Corporate Development, ST Electronics.
Organised by ST Electronics, held in partnership with SPRING Singapore and supported by SPRING Singapore’s Startup SG Accelerator initiative, Tech Factor Challenge is an annual competition that spurs innovation through the creative application of technology to solve real-world problems. Currently in its third edition, Tech Factor Challenge offers participants the opportunity to translate their ideas into commercially viable prototypes and kick-start their entrepreneurship journey.
Mr Ted Tan, Deputy Chief Executive of SPRING Singapore and the Guest-of-Honour for the event, said, “The Tech Factor Challenge encourages engineers and entrepreneurs to develop commercially-ready applications that can address real world problems. The theme this year, Ageing in Place, is apt in addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the greying population in many countries. SPRING is happy to partner ST Electronics in this Challenge to drive technology innovation among start-ups and SMEs to create scalable solutions for the global healthcare industry globally.”
In response to Singapore’s transition to a super-aged nation and the increasing demand for healthcare services and resources for “ageing well in place”, participants were tasked to develop technologies that enable home-based and long-term community care for the elderly in two categories: (1) Smart H2 (Home and Health) Challenge - applications for safety, health and wellness management and (2) Mobility Challenge - improving mobility for the elderly. The following winning teams and their solutions were subsequently selected:
TIIM Healthcare Pte Ltd
Intelligent Portable System- Risk Stratification in Patients with Sepsis
Early goal-directed therapy initiated within the first six hours of sepsis diagnosis has been shown to substantially decrease mortality rates. The ground-breaking, intelligent Portable Risk Stratification system assists clinicians in rapid risk stratification for timely clinical intervention.
Maxerence Pte Ltd
Pillpresso – Your Medication Assistant
A home-based medication device that aims to improve medication adherence by simplifying medicine sorting, automating medication reminders and monitoring adherence in real-time, empowering the elderly to manage their medication independently.
Kinexcs Pte Ltd
The Remote Rehabilitation Kit
Targeted at post knee surgery patients, the wearable device helps users remotely monitor, track, analyse and report their rehabilitation progress. It provides localised, actionable data and compliance information to clinicians, while motivating users in maintaining workouts, to aid their recovery.
STRIDER Pte Ltd
Wheels + Brakes for Existing Walking Frames
Able to be installed in just 10 minutes, they convert existing walkers into wheeled walkers and brake when leaned on for safety, through special braking technology. Elderly are spared from the repetitive efforts of lifting their walkers and are able to get around faster and safely.
Through the competition, a total of nine start-ups were incorporated, since the start of this edition of Tech Factor Challenge. To help these start-ups kick-start their innovation process, each team received S$4,000 in seed funding from ST Electronics, attended an experiential workshop to better understand the challenges faced by the elderly, and participated in workshops and mentorship sessions conducted by industry experts.
Eligible start-ups were awarded up to $20,000 of funding support from SPRING Singapore to develop their prototypes with professional prototyping houses. Clinical and technical mentors from healthcare institutions, including ST Electronics, Changi General Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Alexandra Health System, and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, guided and supported the teams through their innovation process. Teams were also provided access to the IMDA PIXEL Labs, using tools needed for their prototype development. They also had the opportunity to testbed their solutions in the Smart Ageing Design Lab at the Centre for Healthcare Assistive and Robotics Technology (CHART), Changi General Hospital, as well as at SG Enable.
ST Electronics (Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited), is the electronics arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd, one of the largest public-listed companies on the Singapore Exchange. ST Electronics is a global engineering company specialising in the design, development and integration of advanced electronics and communications systems. Our capabilities are in Rail & Intelligent Transportation; Satellite & Broadband Communications; Info Comm Technologies; Command & Control operations, Training & Simulation; Intelligent Building & Security Systems and Cybersecurity. We have a presence in over 20 countries spanning North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, China, India and Southeast Asia. For more information, please visit www.stengg.com.
SPRING Singapore is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry responsible for helping Singapore enterprises grow and building trust in Singapore products and services. As the enterprise development agency, SPRING works with partners to help enterprises in financing, capability and management development, technology and innovation, and access to markets. As the national standards and accreditation body, SPRING develops and promotes an internationally-recognised standards and quality assurance infrastructure. SPRING also oversees the safety of general consumer goods in Singapore.
SPRING will merge with IE Singapore to form Enterprise Singapore in Q2 2018. Enterprise Singapore will enable the growth of Singapore companies through an integrated support network to build business capabilities and access overseas markets.
Please visit www.spring.gov.sg for more information and news about SPRING Singapore.
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