"Robotic med­i­cal tech­nolo­gies can change the fu­ture of health­care" Jane Wang, CEO and Co-Founder, Ro­ceso Tech­nolo­gies, Sin­ga­pore -

BioSpectrum (Asia) - - Front Page -

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

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