Here in Singapore, the country is a fertile ground for EdTech growth because people are academically driven and the society already has a high technology adoption rate. In schools and institutions, e-learning and smart solutions are aplenty, with apps and resources to help students learn. On the professional front, organisations are also turning to EdTech to train their staff, making workplace training more convenient and effective.
For instance, Emergenetics, a global organisational development consulting company, developed a psychometric assessment to measure how people think. The results of this would then allow individuals to understand their patterns of thinking and behaviour, akin to their tendencies and habits. According to Emergenetics, organisations will get positive results just by having a deeper understanding of each individual in the company and putting in place a common language that cuts through the differences, resulting in more motivated teams and better performance. For instance, companies like Wyndham Vacation Ownership and Western Union have seen significant improvements in building a more cohesive team.
But education is not the only area that EdTech could impact. What about cognitive learning and its impact on health issues? The concept of cognitive training is not new. But now, with the help of cognitive technology products, it is so much more accessible for people to train their brains and see actual results. Such training can help improve behaviours or symptoms in patients, potentially combining or limiting the use of standard treatments and therapies as the only alternatives. And that’s what local companies, like Neeuro and SynPhNe, strive to do.
Neeuro, a home-grown mind wellness technology company, uses scientific concepts in cognitive training and gamifies them, making the training interesting and accessible for adults and children alike. Neeuro’s training courses are said to be able to slow down cognitive decline. In fact, participants see a 33% increase in memory from previous sessions. So for elderly patients with dementia, these training courses would benefit them by slowing down the cognitive decline, even if the disease itself cannot be cured. Such an approach would potentially maximise or reduce the need for standard medications or physical therapies, with them becoming more effective as our need to manage longer human lifespan and its inflictions increases.
Particularly with countries in the region struggling with an ageing population, the market for tools to manage dementia is set to increase in the near future. According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, the number of people living with dementia in the Asia Pacific region will triple between now and 2050, with more than 32 million patients predicted to be from China itself.
In fact, because of the ageing population, the demand for all sorts of medical EdTech devices in the Asia Pacific region will be high. One other local company, SynPhNe, developed a stroke rehabilitation device that reads electrical activity in the brain, heart and muscles. With all the data collected from stroke patients, therapists would be able to make a more accurate analysis without actually being at their patients’ house. This would enable therapists to do less guessing and come up with the best rehabilitation programme for their patients.
One of the three markets SynPhNe chose to focus on in the first phase was the United States of America because it remains as the thought leader in these areas. According to the founders, if the device gets adopted by a large institute there, the acceptance in Asia would be faster and the company could scale up more quickly. The other two markets SynPhNe is focusing on are Singapore and India. The founders are also planning to expand the possibilities of the system, aiming to address other problems like ageing, stress-related disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, in the future.
Forbes’ estimates, the digital health technology catering to out of hospital settings is set to grow by 30%, crossing $25 billion in markets globally, by the end of this year. With new technologies emerging, a foreseeable use of predictive analytics in healthcare and medical device data is set to grow rapidly, evolving the way companies measure lifestyle and decision-making indicators in longevity, productivity and perhaps most important of all, well-being.
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