December 2018 | Issue 39
Agreement signings, an ALIVE track and Medical Humanities feature at SHBC 2018


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Guest-of-Honour Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong celebrates the growing ties between LKCMedicine and NHG at SHBC 2018

At the opening ceremony of Singapore Health & Biomedical Congress (SHBC) 2018 on 25 – 26 October, LKCMedicine signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NHG for a Joint Programme for Clinician-Scientist Development in order to reaffirm the commitment to set up a strong pipeline of clinician-scientists, and to strengthen Singapore's standing as a global hub for biomedical research.

This being the 16th edition edition of SHBC, Prof Lim Tock Han, Deputy Group CEO (Education & Research) of NHG in his welcome address said, "The evolving healthcare landscape with our rapidly ageing population makes it more crucial for doctors to step up as scientists, to participate in creating knowledge, and to help translate scientific discoveries into meaningful healthcare outcomes. As the primary clinical training partner of NTU's LKCMedicine, today's MOU formalises our partnership and commitment to grow our pool of clinician-scientists, and spur them on to vie for more National Medical Research Council awards in advancing healthcare."

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Mr Gan Kim Yong giving his welcome speech on the need to grow clinician-scientists in Singapore

Guest-of-honour Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health in his welcome address said, "With evolving healthcare needs and demands, I believe the work of clinician-scientists in therapeutic areas such as metabolic, infectious and skin diseases, as well as neuroscience and mental health will become more critical. Clinician-scientists are important bridge-builders between new medical discoveries and their adoption."

An example of a clinician-scientist's research study which has benefited patients is one led by LKCMedicine Assistant Prof and TTSH senior consultant in the Department of Opthalmology Colin Tan on employing non-invasive imaging technology to screen for abnormal blood vessels in the eye. Asst Prof Tan's study on the use of Coherence Tomography Angiography for screening and diagnosing Polypodial Chorodial Vasculopathy, an eye condition common to Asian populations, has shown that this method is faster and safer when screening and monitoring the condition, with improved treatment delivery and patient care.


MOA signed to develop Serious Games prototypes
Ahead of the inaugural Games for Health Innovation Symposium on the second day, an MOA to discover potential students with a passion for games design and storytelling, graphics design and IT infrastructure; and offer them internships at Games for Health Innovation Centre (ALIVE) which is a joint collaboration between LKCMedicine and NHG, was signed between LKCMedicine, NHG, five polytechnics and ITE. ALIVE experts will co-develop Serious Games prototypes with these students.

Dean of LKCMedicine Prof James Best said, "The potential of Serious Games and simulation to positively impact health is tremendous, and is likely to be effective at any stage of life, and of relevence given Singapore's rapidly ageing population. I look forward to discovering students with a passion for developing Serious Games, and working with them and our partners on prototypes that will help Singaporeans make healthy choices and live healthier lifestyles."


Serious Games come ALIVE
The very first Games for Health Innovation Symposium began with ALIVE co-directors, LKCMedicine Acting Director of Medical Education Research & Scholarship Unit and Visiting A/Prof Nabil Zary and Deputy Head of Department of Rehabilitation at TTSH Dr Loh Yong Joo, delivering their welcome address to a full house.

Speakers from various healthcare institutions presented their Serious Games prototypes, with support from ALIVE, detailing the processes and developmental stages of their projects. Ms Desiree Ng, a Senior Occupational Therapist from IMH talked about her experiences in creating a cognitive rehab game that teaches patients to perform simple, everyday tasks, such as preparing breakfast, under the supervision of clinicians. Another speaker, Psychologist Dr Yang Su-Yin from TTSH spoke about the challenges with creating Serious Games for chronic pain.

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The panelists of experts give their opinions on Serious Games and how it could impact healthcare

To give the participants a taste of game development, ALIVE co-directors held a Serious Games Design and Development Workshop 101, giving them insights into the business, academic and technological aspects of creating Serious Games. Through this workshop, A/Prof Nabil hopes that the participants can apply newfound knowledge to their business ventures.

The symposium ended with a panel discussion on "Serious Games in Healthcare: Just for fun or is there clinical, research & business value?", where LKCMedicine A/Prof of Human & Microbial Genetics Eric Yap sat in as a panellist together with ALIVE co-directors to discuss the issues that arise from Serious Games.


Primary Care Forum 2018 looks to the future
The annual two-day Primary Care Forum held alongside the SHBC revolves around the theme "Primary Care: Integration & Innovation for the Future". With the shift of healthcare from hospitals to the community, there is a need for public and private healthcare professionals to collaborate ever more closely; to cope with increased use of technology that disrupts traditional healthcare delivery, rise of patient empowerment and value-based solutions grounded in scientific evidence.

After the opening address by LKCMedicine A/Prof and CEO of NHGP Chong Phui-Nah, the Primary Care Forum's plenary sessions see GP leaders from LKCMedicine and NHG address the changing care landscape for family physicians, looking at adult vaccines for the tropics, paediatric ophthalmology, advanced treatments for complex diabetes and the GP's role in active ageing.

Other tracks running on the second day of SHBC 2018 included chronic pain management, diabetes, psychologically safe learning environments, geriatric and rehabilitation medicine, health services research, mental health, musculoskeletal, containment of contagion, organisation development, palliative care, patient-centred care models as well as the Population Health symposium.


Medical Humanities on show
On the sidelines of SHBC 2018, a Medical Humanties exhibition – now on its sixth run – demonstrated the link between art and medicine. This year saw five out of the 32 artworks on display submitted by LKCMedicine students, alumni and staff.

Created around the theme of "Trust", submissions were "I Can't Trust Them" by Year 1 student Calvin Chen You Jia, "The Bionic Pump" by Year 2 student Cheong Nian Kai, "Hand in Trust" by Educational Development & TBL Facilitator Assistant Director Emmanuel Tan, "Brain Cactus" by Education Associate Lucinda Richards and a poem "Trust" by alumnus Dr Lavisha S Punjabi from the class of 2018.