After his father suffered a second stroke, François Cadiou set out to find a system that would allow his father to call for help whenever the need arises. His efforts left him high and dry, and so like any bona fide entrepreneur would, he took it upon himself to address a prevalent pain point. He was one of the co-founders who brought to life Healint, a remote monitoring system with which physicians can manage patients’ healthcare even after their onsite consultations. By tapping on a smartphone’s sensors, Healint gathers behavioural data to predict the occurrences of migraines, stroke, epilepsy as well as respiratory and sleep problems.
Technology has suffused every aspect of living and play, with healthcare management taking an innovative turn as well. Healint’s data-collecting method, for example, is non-invasive, and does not require a patient to alter his lifestyle. GlycoLeap, a mobile app that utilises behavioural science concepts, connects patients living with type 2 diabetes directly to qualified dieticians. The latter offer feedback on the patients’ food intakes to help them achieve weight loss and improve their glucose control.
In the past, everyday consumers played a more reactionary role when it came to healthcare management. Novel innovations have proliferated over the years, putting them in the driver’s seat and allowing them to keep track of their health records. Such innovations are revving up Asia’s medical technology (medtech) sector, whose worth is poised to reach US$133 billion come 2020.
Pushing innovations within each Asian country, François says, requires different approaches. “Japan, for example, has a huge appetite for hardware innovations, services and preventive care. Data, as well as technologies that can reduce a system’s bottlenecks, is especially important to China. With a smartphone penetration rate that’s about to hit 70 per cent, The Philippines is an interesting playground for medtech businesses.”
Asia is a great place to demonstrate the future and might of healthcare when we give patients control.
Singapore as a bastion for businesses
Singapore is tipped by industry watchers to be the springboard where medtech businesses can harness the region’s potential. According to the latest data by the Economic Development Board, Singapore’s medtech sector contributed about S$10 billion in output and opened up to 16,000 jobs in 2015. The country is also home to over 30 medtech companies, which have set up commercial plants to manufacture medical devices for both the regional and global markets.
A Frenchman who has spent a good part of his career working in France, Germany and Japan, François says that Singapore’s strengths lie in its heartware, not just its infrastructure. Businesses have much to gain when they embrace the country’s diversity, especially if foraying into Asia and the world are the eventual goals.
“Take for example Paris. Her population is twice of Singapore’s, which means we would have twice as many candidates to choose from. If we were to set up our headquarters in Paris, however, we would be limiting our talent pool to only European hires. Such a workforce composition is not ideal when building a world-class organisation. You need local talents; people who can be the bridge between you and your target market. Singapore is where you will find a breed of talents who can deliver results and also garner respect from the locals in different Asian countries.”
Strength in unity
Another thing that businesses must learn to embrace are their competitors. That entrepreneurs have to work in silos and compete with other industry names is a fallacy, François opines. Instead, he believes that meaningful collaborations can help a business scale greater heights. “At Healint, we work with major clinics and hospitals in the United States and Europe. We provide these institutions with our platform so that they can perform real-world research studies. This way, we are doing our part to support research, and through the user feedback we can continuously improve our platform.” This is a win-win situation for all.
For more information on Healint, visit http://healint.com/