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A*STAR co-develops medical technologies for imaging diagnostics and patient monitoring

A*STAR co-develops medical technologies for imaging diagnostics and patient monitoring

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) announced
that technological advancements in imaging diagnostics and patient monitoring.

Leveraging GE Healthcare’s expertise in medical and
information technologies, and A*STAR’s capabilities in data analytics and
high-performance computing, the new technologies aid healthcare providers
worldwide to deliver faster and more accurate diagnoses, improve treatment
strategies, and achieve greater productivity in workflow. The announced
developments are the result of a five-year joint research and development
collaboration with GE Healthcare since 2014.

“Digital technology will disrupt and transform healthcare.
Our partnership with GE Healthcare is a clear demonstration of how open
innovation can work to develop cutting-edge solutions that have already
benefited patients. This not only brings value to our partners, but provides
tangible benefits for Singapore’s research, innovation and enterprise (RIE) and
healthcare systems,” said Dr Benjamin Seet, Executive Director, Biomedical
Research Council (BMRC), A*STAR.

According to the press release, the demand for quality
healthcare in Asia is on the rise against the backdrop of an ageing population,
a growing middle class, and the prevalence of chronic diseases. 

The MedTech
market in Asia is expected
to grow
at a compound annual growth rate of 8%, to become the second
largest in the world by 2020.

“Imaging technologies, such as Positron Emission Tomography
(PET), Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans, are
integral to healthcare systems. They help doctors detect, diagnose and monitor
medical conditions, from neurological disorders, heart disease to cancer, at
their early stages,” the announcement reads.

One of the new solutions jointly developed by A*STAR and GE
Healthcare teams improves the PET scan procedure using high performance
computing, enabling quicker scans and shorter waiting time for patients at
hospitals and clinics. The feature involves a more streamlined digital PET
image reconstruction which results in a reduction of approximately 15 minutes
off the existing workflow which would typically take almost 40 minutes to
complete.

According to a healthcare provider that has adopted the technology,
the new digital PET/CT scanner helped to increase the rate of scanning patients
by 20%.

Another implemented technology is an innovation to improve
image reconstruction algorithms in CT scans that eliminates image distortion caused
by metal artefacts during CT scans.

Other co-developed innovation with ongoing implementation
include:

(1)   
A new technological platform for stroke
treatment decision-making which features the use of data analytics to analyse
CT scans of stroke patients, alongside other data such as vital signs and
cognitive tests. The insights derived will enable a holistic approach towards
decision-making for treatments that improves stroke care and patient outcomes.

(2)   
Remote patient monitoring allows doctors to
collect digital data, in the form of patients’ medical and health information,
outside of conventional healthcare settings like hospitals. The improvement was
made through boosting the adaptability of wireless docking systems to connect
to a wide spectrum of portable electronic devices and strengthen the robustness
of its devices to allow seamless and secure roaming of the wireless local area
network. 

(3)   
Inclusion of a feasibility study on automated
graphical prescriptions for MRI scans. The innovative solution uses high
performance computing to reduce the need for technologists with high levels of
experience or in-depth anatomical knowledge, and as a result reduces the need
for rescans while ensuring high quality data and a clear differentiation of
diseased and healthy tissue, enabling doctors to diagnose with greater
confidence.​

As part of the collaboration, A*STAR and its partner are
developing a pipeline of digital solutions, including a diagnostic imaging
system for Parkinson’s Disease and advanced capabilities for surgery motion tracking.

According to the Economic
Development Board
(EDB) of Singapore, the country is home to over 60
multinational MedTech companies which engage in activities such as
manufacturing, and research and development.

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