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Innovating Care: Healthcare to Wellcare
Steven Yeo, Founder & CEO, TalentGrid Ventures Pte. Ltd. has more than 25 years of international business and management experience working with government, multi-national corporations and non-profit organisations. He specialises in healthcare, advanced technology and life sciences practice group for both multinationals and local companies. Prior to starting up TalentGrid Ventures Pte Ltd, Steven was the EVP for DHR International a global-retained search firm covering Asia Pacific. He was also the Vice President and Executive Director for HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society – the largest Healthcare IT society in the world). Steven was also the Director of Intel Corporation managing its e-Business Group and Digital Health Group from 1999-2008 in the Asia Pacific region.


Healthcare today is in a truly interesting state of transition from traditional to wellcare models, powered by technology and disruptive innovation. To address the prevailing healthcare challenges and also leverage on the opportunities, there needs to be a coordinated effort across multiple stakeholders in order to deliver innovation that can improve outcomes, expand access and increase affordability of healthcare in Asia Pacific and beyond.


We are at the turning point of a new generation of healthcare: The transition from healthcare to wellcare, facilitated by technology and innovation that can help improve individual patient outcomes and elevate the standard of care. The transition is, however, not always a smooth one. In Asia, which is considered to be the fastest-growing and most dynamic region in the world today, there still exists a huge disparity in access to high quality and cost-effective healthcare for millions of people. In fact, the need in some Asian countries is particularly acute, especially with the rapid growth of the ageing population.

Lack of patient awareness, infrastructure, proper training for healthcare professionals, and in some cases, lack of healthcare manpower itself, are just some of the barriers to effective healthcare and recovery. On the other hand, there are also empowered and engaged healthcare consumers who may have a different set of needs to satisfy. In order to address these barriers while at the same time pushing down costs, healthcare experts collectively agree on one thing – innovation. Disruptive innovation, according to some, because current healthcare systems in place are ailing and they need help.

By definition, disruptive innovation is one that creates a new market and value network by disrupting an existing market either through a brand new solution or a perhaps a creative spin on something that already exists in order to deliver better results. Healthcare today is in a truly disruptive state, opening up doors for opportunities for different healthcare stakeholders.

Innovating Care Asia Pacific (ICAP) 2016 conference is an event platform that aims to build a community of highly influential, knowledgeable, and very well connected healthcare professionals, decision makers, thought leaders and influencers who are passionate about transforming healthcare, for the greater good of the patients and other healthcare consumers. There is a great need to address prevailing challenges and leverage on the opportunities – and these require a coordinated effort across multiple stakeholders in order to deliver innovation that can improve outcomes, expand access and increase affordability of healthcare in Asia Pacific.

The Silver Tsunami

Considering that most of the countries in Asia Pacific are rapidly ageing, with a vast majority of those above 60 yrs requiring treatments and assisted care, governments and concerned institutions are therefore hard-pressed to establish and implement measures that would help the seniors age-in-place and continue living fulfilled lives.

Singapore is one of the fastest ageing countries in the world. According to the Long-Term Care in Singapore Challenges and Learning Points presentation by the Ministry of Health (Singapore), the estimated number of Singaporeans aged 65 and above who may require assistance with mobility and other activities of daily living is expected to nearly triple between 2010 and 2030. Which means that by 2030, one in five Singaporeans will be aged 65 and older and there will be nearly a million elderly, most of whom will be afflicted with at least one chronic disease, resulting in reduced autonomy and lower quality of life.

To ensure good quality of life for the seniors even as they grow frail, the Singapore government is now looking into a more patient-centric view of long-term care focusing on accessibility, quality and affordability. Meanwhile, innovators from the private sector continuously churn out innovative solutions and re-engineering care models to help the elderly cope with ageing, whether in the confines of their own home or in nursing homes. These innovations may come in the form of health kiosks, ILTC subsidies, augmentation of manpower with the use of technology and more. In other developed countries like Japan, said to be the world’s most ageing society, more radical solutions have been devised to meet this challenge. In less developed countries in the region, you might be surprised to see unexpected forms of innovation that deliver tremendous results as what the Indian hospitals that became the subjects of Vijay Govindarajan and Ravi Ramamurti’s Harvard Business Review-published study called Delivering World-Class Healthcare, Affodably, have shown.

Taking off from the discussion and knowledge exchange that had transpired during the ICAP 2016 Conference, Innovating Care Asia Pacific is launching a vertical spin-off forum focusing mainly on Elderly and Home Care where decision makers, practitioners, researchers, service providers, and community members can share their experiences to support and empower rapidly ageing populations worldwide through the integration of healthcare, social participation and community.

As the healthcare sector slowly but steadily moves away from physician-centred to patient-centric health, patients are now encouraged and empowered to take charge of their health and treatment. And with the help of technology and innovation, patients are now also redefining the very borders of healthcare. As someone who has spent many years entrenched in the healthcare and healthcare IT sectors, I am happy to take part in this new revolution that will see more and more patients owning their health, as we slowly transit from traditional healthcare models to wellcare.


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