Already for the second time a workshop on the theme of advancing medical and health technologies in collaboration between Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences was organized in online-hybrid mode in Singapore on the 16th of August 2023. The workshop was opened by SIT Vice President Associate Professor Susanna Leong Su Jan who emphasized the importance of international collaboration in research and development in higher education institutions. The Ambassador of Finland in Singapore Antti Vänskä and Counselor for Education and Science Anna Korpi brought up similarities, strengths and challenges in Singaporean and Finnish societies, higher education and industry as well as the meaning and role of health technology in modern societies.
Overall, the focus of the workshop was on the role of technology in healthcare education and applied research in education and industry. Speakers of the seminar comprised Singaporean and Finnish public and private sector companies, health care organizations and higher education institutions.
Interesting speeches about health care innovations were delivered by Dr Mabel Yen Ngoc Nguyen, Co-Founder of Elocare Pte Ltd , Singapore, who spoke about Elocare’s mobile solution to manage menopause affecting women particularly in mid-life and Dr Darshan Kumar, Customer Success Manager, Aiforia (Finland) who shared about Aifora’s AI-based solutions for pathology image analysis. We also learned about modifying health through gut microbiome by Kaiyee Toh, Head, Laboratory and Research, AMILI, Singapore. The workshop also featured talks by Associate Professor Alfred Kow, Department of Surgery, and Dr Yujia Gao, Assistant Group Chief Technology Officer, both from the National University Hospital Singapore, who spoke about the need for liberalizing data flow by transforming data silos into a highly networked ecosystem and gave several use case scenarios on the use of AR/VR/AI for medical student education and staff training, which ultimately benefits patient care.
Finnish health technology company representants CEO Jouni Ihme from Innomentarium and Corporate Key Account Executive Ossi Koskinen from Siemens Heatlhineers highlighted the importance of health technology companies working together with higher education institutions’ (HEI) students, professors and researchers.
Citing CEO Jouni Ihme, “benefits of this kind of collaboration for health technology companies comprise having more resources such as HEI’s student’s and professors’ work participation for their research and development, access to HEI’s laboratory and other facilities needed for research and development as well as the scientific competence of HEIs for their use”.
The benefits of collaboration for the universities and their students comprise access to future health technology and research, possibilities to widen networks via health technology companies and advanced funding possibilities with health technology companies. For the students, collaboration with health technology companies give the possibility to study solving real life problems which motivates studying, getting familiar with health technology industries, possibility for internships and even workplaces after graduation.
Singapore and Finland are located far apart on the globe. However, with our previous collaboration since 2019, we have vastly similar outlook in vision and the important role of technology applied to the society. Principal Lecturer Eija Metsälä from Metropolia has previously stated, the text in the Finnish Act of the Universities of Applied Sciences about the pivotal role of Universities of Applied Sciences (932/2014) ‘’ to provide higher education for professional expert tasks and duties based on the requirements of the world of work and its development carry out applied research, development and innovation activities and artistic activities that serve education in universities of applied sciences, promote industry, business and regional development and regenerate the industrial structure of the region.’’ This is equally relevant to the Singaporean and global context.
- Principal Lecturer, Docent Eija Metsälä, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
- Associate Professor Frank Guan, Singapore Institute of Technology
- Assistant Professor Cheryl Pei Ling Lian, Singapore Institute of Technology
- Associate Professor Cheow Wean Sin, Singapore Institute of Technology