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Singapore's Center for Healthcare Innovation Evaluation Framework (CHIEF) strives to accelerate innovation adoption

29 September 2023 | Company results | By Hithaishi C Bhaksar

Three startups to test­bed and scale transformative solutions in public healthcare institutions

Photo Credit: CHIEF

Photo Credit: CHIEF

Healthcare InnoMatch 2023 has awarded three technology startups with innovative near-market solutions that will help Singapore achieve a healthier population. Among the eight finalists, 163 participants from 28 countries competed.   

Healthcare InnoMatch is an annual global challenge driven by Singapore’s Centre for Healthcare Innovation (CHI) under its CHI Start­up Enterprise Link (CHISEL) initiative set up to strengthen healthcare transformation. It is supported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Temasek Foundation (TF), together with the three public healthcare clusters National Healthcare Group (NHG), National University Health Systems (NUHS) and SingHealth.

Themed "Reshaping preventive care for a healthier population", this year's competition focused on solutions that best address challenges and needs in keeping patients healthy and preventing chronic health conditions. In the finale event attended by an audience of over 300, the finalists faced the challenging task of pitching their solutions to the panel of judges from the Health Promotion Board, MOH, NHG, NUHS, SingHealth, Synapxe, and TF.

The winners were awarded a total of up to $S2.4 million to begin test­bedding their innovations at a public healthcare cluster they have been paired with, eventually adopting and scaling for use in public healthcare institutions across Singapore and beyond.  The winners and their partner healthcare clusters are; CardioKol (partnered with NUHS), Neurowyzr (partnered with NHG), and Wonder Technology (partnered with SingHealth). 

The innovative program is designed to accelerate the development of new, near to ­markret­ ready technologies, which can be time consuming and complex. Winning projects would also be able to take advantage of the experience of test bedding their innovations at the public healthcare cluster level to prepare them for future larger­scale implementation and commercialisation beyond Singapore.  

Facilitating Faster, Better and Safer Adoption of Innovation:

To further enhance the readiness and speed of adoption, all winning innovations will undergo a thorough and robust evaluation framework. Designed to give innovators, care providers and investors the confidence to adopt and scale, the CHI Evaluation Framework (CHIEF) is a one stop platform to provide systematic and evidence based approaches to assess the value and impact of these healthcare innovations.

With CHIEF, budding innovators will be equipped with the necessary guidance system from conceptualisation to adoption. Using the framework, they are able to benchmark their progress to specific milestones and checklists identified. The CHIEF advisors, made up of clinicians, researchers and officers from local and international healthcare innovation organisations led by the Ministry of Health (MOH), will provide further guidance and connect innovators to industry partners to help close the gap for projects that may not have satisfied any aspects of the framework. 

"Healthcare InnoMatch brings together healthcare startups from around the world annually to make the best­in­class solutions accessible to our patients and practitioners across Singapore's three healthcare clusters. This year's theme aligns with HealthierSG, our nation's focus on preventive health. We have seen high­quality submissions and look forward to the impact created by the winning teams, measured by our standardised evaluation framework," shared Associate Professor Tan Cher Heng, Executive Director, Centre for Healthcare Innovation.

Ngiam Siew Ying, CEO of Synapxe, shared the importance of IT viability in the finalists' solutions. He said, "Technology is a major enabler when you think about healthcare transformation. The only way to scale care models is through technology. It is important that the solution is compatible with the environment you operate in, whether in terms of technical integration or business processes."


Collaboration with Public Healthcare Clusters:

Launched in 2021, Healthcare InnoMatch is a global call for proposals from start­ups and small and medium­sized enterprises (SMEs). It serves as a platform for public healthcare providers and innovators from Singapore and beyond to solve pressing healthcare challenges through forward­thinking approaches and breakthrough technologies. It seeks innovative ideas that can transform the future of healthcare, such as improving healthcare delivery, lowering barriers to affordable care, and bringing care closer to residents in the community.   All three public healthcare clusters in Singapore collaborate to assess the clinical and operational feasibility of healthcare innovations using a common evaluation framework.

The winning projects have been paired and test­bedded with at least one public healthcare cluster, where they can further customise their products and gain constructive feedback from healthcare providers and patients before it is scaled across the entire system if successful.  

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