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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SINGAPORE PHARMBIO GUIDE 2021/2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  research programmes. These programmes aim to deepen the understanding of cell attributes relating to safety and efficacy, and develop technology to assess product quality during manufacturing.
A supportive regulatory environment is vital for the introduction of new C> products. Hence, Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (“HSA”) set up an innovation office in 2018 that provides scientific and regulatory advice for early stage clinical product development of innovative therapies.
DEVELOPING THE DIGITAL
HEALTH ECOSYSTEM
Against the backdrop of rising healthcare costs and an ageing population, the advent of digital technology offers the potential to solve the challenges aforementioned, while increasing healthcare access to a wider group of patients. From a health impact standpoint, digital health has the potential to enable a future that is (i) more scalable, yet consumer centric and personalised, (ii) powered by deeper insights about health and disease through better data, and (iii) more holistic and effective across the entire healthcare continuum. From an economic standpoint, the rise of digital health is also a tremendous growth opportunity. Global venture capital investments into digital health hit an
all-time high of US$14.6 billion in 2018, marking eight years of consecutive growth. The sector is drawing the participation of not just start-ups but also some of the biggest players in healthcare, technology, consumer and insurance, such as Novartis, Google, Amazon, Apple, Tencent, Grab, Procter & Gamble, Nestle, and Prudential. This has spawned a sprawling industry that is estimated to be worth half a trillion dollars by 2025.
In Singapore, we have seen the growth of a sizeable digital health sector that comprises close to 250 companies today and employs more than 2,200 people. Singapore has leveraged the inherent strengths of its public innovation and healthcare systems, as well as the wide breadth and depth of existing industry sectors to drive the growth of its digital health ecosystem.
Singapore’s public healthcare system is also pioneering patient- centred digital innovation by working with the private sector. Through these collaborations, companies will be able to innovate and commercialise their solutions for clinical needs across the Asian markets, starting with Singapore. For example, the Singapore Health Promotion Board recently announced a partnership with FitBit for its new Live Healthy Singapore initiative. The
program is aimed at capturing data to obtain behavioural insights, while also utilising digital coaching approaches to nudge Singaporeans towards a healthier lifestyle.
CONCLUSION
The biopharmaceutical industry remains an important economic pillar that Singapore will continue to invest in. As new modalities, manufacturing technologies and healthcare delivery methods emerge, Singapore will work with its academic and industry partners to build up the ecosystem and ensure that Singapore remains a competitive and trusted location for the industry.
 Goh Wan Yee
Executive Director, Healthcare Singapore Economic Development Board
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