Embracing innovation for heart health and ageing

09 April 2019 | General News
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Panellists at the forum discussion (from left:) Forum Moderator Ms Sharon Tong; Assoc Prof Mark Chan; Assoc Prof Angelique Chan; Mr. Zieler, and Prof Magliano

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a common chronic medical condition and a leading cause of death among the elderly. In about 30 years, one in four people in the Asia-Pacific region will be over 60 years old, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) study. Hence it is imperative to explore ways to fight and prevent the disease. Which was what healthcare experts, policy makers, academics, industry leaders and other stakeholders did at a forum organised on 26 March by NUS Enterprise and pharmaceutical giant Bayer, as part of their “Healthy Hearts, Healthy Aging” initiative.

The initiative aims to bring together various stakeholders to examine the role of health innovations in preventing serious cardiovascular events such as strokes and heart attacks as well as to gather recommendations on how different stakeholders can collaborate to enhance the adoption of health innovation in the long-term preventive care of heart patients, said Mr Kelvin Tan, Director (Corporate Partnerships) at NUS Enterprise.

Both NUS Enterprise and Bayer hope to create more awareness in the development and adoption of novel medical and technological solutions that will meet the needs of cardiovascular disease patients and their caregivers. Additionally, we hope it will stimulate region-wide dialogues and collaborations that will support health systems in preventive long-term care of cardiovascular diseases.

A panel session discussed topics such as the value of health innovation for CVD prevention, the role of innovative medtech solutions addressing these issues, and how multi-stakeholder collaborations can encourage unorthodox and new methods to benefit patients and society. It featured Associate Professor Mark Chan, Deputy Director, Singapore Cardiovascular Research Institute; Associate Professor Angelique Chan, Executive Director, Centre for Ageing Research and Education at Duke-NUS Medical School; Mr Claus Zieler, Senior Vice- President and Head of Commercial Operations at Bayer Pharmaceuticals Division Asia Pacific; and Professor Dianna Magliano, Head of Diabetes and Population Health at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Australia. Dr Jacqueline Lo Ying-Ru, Head of Mission and WHO Representative to Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, also shared some report findings on CVD across the region, as well as plans for the future at the forum.

“We hope that such research will inspire a wide range of public and private stakeholders to support health system sustainability by embracing health innovations to prevent the serious effects of CVD  and enhance outcomes for seniors living with CVD,” said Mr Zieler. “Whilst Bayer remains fully committed to developing innovative solutions for CVD patients and their caregivers to improve their quality of life, we can only bridge the gap from medicines to patients by collaborating with various stakeholders across different disciplines and communities.”

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Mr Tan addressing the attendees at the event

The initiative also included a report collated by the organisers. It will examine the CVD health imperatives associated with ageing populations across Asia-Pacific, and recommend key actions for embracing health innovation to support the prevention of major CVD events and long-term preventive care in seniors living with CVD.

“With the launch of the report planned for June 2019 in conjunction with the upcoming Innovfest Unbound 2019, both NUS Enterprise and Bayer hope to create more awareness in the development and adoption of novel medical and technological solutions that will meet the needs of CVD patients and their caregivers. Additionally, we hope it will stimulate region-wide dialogues and collaborations that will support health systems in preventive long-term care of CVDs,” said Mr Tan.

By NUS Enterprise