"Robotic medical technologies can change the future of healthcare" Jane Wang, CEO and Co-Founder, Roceso Technologies, Singapore -
UOB economist Francis Tan had said in a research note: “Singapore’s population will reach a critical juncture next year, as the number of people above 65 will equal those under 15 for the first time in history.” By 2030, the gap between the young and old in Singapore is expected to widen considerably; the percentage of seniors will rise to 27 per cent, and that of youths will fall to 10.8 per cent. This will put Singapore on a similar footing with current-day Japan, the oldest society in the world with 26.6 per cent of its population above 65 years old.
While younger generations till now are serving as caregivers, the rapid rate at which the world’s aging population is alarming and in this fast pacing world availability of human caregivers have become scarce. Many researchers are trying to address this issue with unique robotic inventions. Robotics is providing increasingly viable ways to complement healthcare technology trends such as smart monitoring systems and mobile applications, thus easing the reliance on human caregivers. Disability to perform daily tasks does not come from old-age alone. Loss of muscle control, impairment, activity restrictions, as well as disabilities due to stroke, cancer, accidents, and injuries impairs independence which creates a huge impact on one’s life.
One such unique invention is a smart robotic glove to assist and rehabilitate patients who have lost hand functions due to injuries or nerve-related conditions. Created by Singapore-based Roceso Technologies EsoGlove is a soft robotic hand rehabilitation system that helps patients gain self-reliance in the most natural and efficient way. Speaking to Aishwarya Venkatesh of BioSpectrum Asia, Jane Wang, CEO and Co-Founder, Roceso Technologies shares her insights on EsoGlove, role of soft robotics in healthcare and challenges in setting up a medtech startup in Asia. After working in multinational corporations for almost 8 years, I decided to go back to school to pursue Masters in Intellectual Property and Technology Management. I met my co-founders Dr Yap Hong Kai and Dr Raye Yeow at a tech commercialization module called TechLaunch in the year 2015. Dr Yap Hong Kai and Dr Raye
Yeow have been developing a unique soft robotics actuator technology at NUS, Faculty of Biomedical Engineering. I would like to say that I fell in love with the technology immediately and saw the potential in various sectors especially in healthcare. After spending months to validate the soft robotic technology with experts from various industries, we decided to focus on medical industry, especially rehabilitation and assistive functions. Eventually, the company was registered in 2016.
Starting a healthcare related startup was always a dream and now it is a dream-come-true. With all the interviews we have conducted with doctors and therapists, we can see that soft robotic technology can help both hospitals and patients. Improving