Temasek Cares, Singapore Polytechnic and the Agency for Integrated Care unveil novel technology-assisted solutions for the rehabilitation of
the elderly and the disabled
New technology at Day Rehabilitation Centres to modernise rehabilitative care
in the future
Singapore, 25 October 2013 – Temasek Cares, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) today launched a suite of new technology-assisted equipment to improve rehabilitation for the elderly and the disabled under a programme funded by Temasek Cares called the ‘Temasek Cares - Technology-assisted Rehabilitation in the Community’ (Temasek Cares - TRiC).
2. For a start, the new technology-assisted equipment will be test bedded at AWWA READYCARE Centre and St Andrew’s Community Hospital (SACH)’s Day Rehabilitation Centre (DRC). These Centres’ experienced therapists will use the equipment for their clients’ rehabilitation and also gather feedback on the equipment’s functionality and efficiency. The results gathered will contribute to refining the equipment further before they are introduced to more DRCs in the future and transform how rehabilitative care is administered at community-based eldercare centres.
3. The new equipment launched involves the use of virtual reality and robotic technologies to assist clients in DRCs in their rehabilitation process. It is hoped that the greater use of these technology-assisted solutions will firstly improve the functional outcomes, reduce dependence and enable the clients to re-integrate with the community post-rehab, and raise their overall quality of life. Secondly, through the testing of the equipment at AWWA READYCARE Centre and SACH DRC, it will pave the road for more standardised rehabilitation processes and programmes developed for common conditions such as falls, by leveraging on innovative technologies to improve clinical effectiveness and overall operational efficiency. Students from SP’s Information Technology, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering courses will also be participating in the test-bedding stages.
4. The launch of Temasek Cares - TRiC was announced today by Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower, Dr Amy Khor at the Asian Women Welfare Association (AWWA) READYCARE Centre.
5. Temasek Cares - TRiC was first mooted in 2010 when SP presented its innovative ideas to Temasek Cares. Recognising the potential of these ideas in modernising and improving rehabilitation services in community-based facilities such as DRCs, Temasek Cares invited AIC to partner SP to further develop them as innovations for the eldercare sector. As part of the collaboration, both Temasek Cares and AIC worked closely with a cross-disciplinary team of lecturers from SP’s School of Digital Media and Infocomm Technology, School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, School of Maths and Science, and School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering to develop four prototypes of technology-assisted rehabilitation equipment over the past year. Led by the strong engineering capability of SP, coupled with ideas and observations from Temasek Cares, AIC, and inputs from therapists in the two partnering DRCs, the team has been able to ensure that the prototypes created are user-friendly and tailored to meet the rehabilitation needs of the clients in the community.
6. The four prototypes are the Bilateral Limb Manipulator, Floor Projection System, Augmented Reality Games for Therapy, and Computer-based Cognitive Training software. The technology-assisted rehabilitation equipment utilise user-friendly and interactive games, visuals and sounds to make therapy sessions more engaging for the elderly. The technologies used in Temasek Cares - TRiC can also tailor rehabilitation sessions according to the physical condition of each client and their rehabilitation needs. A monitoring progress system has been built into the equipment to automatically track the recovery progress of each client, allowing more independent and active clients to use the equipment with minimal supervision. This will enable the therapists to attend to more dependent clients with the same amount of time, thereby increasing productivity and the quality of care provided.
7. Chairman of Temasek Cares, Mr Richard Magnus said, “Temasek Cares is piloting the use of specifically designed smart technology to enhance our elderly's agility and functional recovery. We intend to embed this in the long term care sector as an essential capability. We are pleased to partner with SP and AIC in this area to build up sustainability.”
8. Mr Tan Choon Shian, Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Polytechnic, said, “Singapore Polytechnic is one of the pioneers in rehabilitation engineering since 1993 and has contributed many solutions to various Voluntary Welfare Organisations and individuals in Singapore. The collaboration with Temasek Cares and Agency for Integrated Care allows SP to not only exploit technologies to provide better care for the aged and the disabled, but to also nurture our students to be more conscious of the social and community issues facing Singapore so that they will be urged to play a part for the elderly and less fortunate too.”
9. Chief Executive Officer of AIC, Dr Jason Cheah said, “We are very excited by the possibilities that this partnership with Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Cares offers. I am confident that such technology-assisted rehabilitative equipment will overtime gain greater traction with our community-based eldercare centres. The use of such innovations in rehabilitation will not only boost productivity and efficiency, more importantly, they can excite and motivate DRCs’ clients to continue their rehabilitation to the best of their ability and to achieve better care outcomes. AIC will continue to partner the sector to encourage more such trials and pilots of new technology and equipment so that a wider range of software and applications can be developed for clients’ rehabilitation and recreational needs at the eldercare centres.”
Media Contact and Enquiries:
Media Phone: 9657-1543
Agency for Integrated Care
Chong Yi Han
Executive, Corporate & Marketing Communications
Tel: 6603 6992/ 9836 7101
About Temasek Cares
Temasek Cares CLG Ltd is an Institution of a Public Character set up in 2009 and aims to improve the lives of underprivileged individuals, families and communities in Singapore. It is actively working with various established charities, Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs), Non-profit Organisations, government agencies, Ministries and other institutions to support programmes that contribute to the well-being, dignity, and livelihood of its beneficiaries. For more information please visit www.temasekcares.org.sg
About Singapore Polytechnic (www.sp.edu.sg)
Established in 1954, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is Singapore’s first polytechnic. It has 10 schools that offer 49 full-time diploma courses for close to 16,000 students.
SP adopts a proven creative teaching and learning framework and offers students a holistic, authentic and industry-relevant curriculum, innovative and vibrant learning spaces, and enriching overseas programmes.
The Polytechnic is committed to producing competent and versatile graduates (who are also imbued with sound values, so that they can be work ready, life ready and world-ready. SP has more than 170,000 graduates and among them are successful entrepreneurs, top executives in multi-national and public-listed corporations, and well-known professionals across various industries and leaders in government.
SP is the first polytechnic to be awarded the President’s Award for the Environment in 2010 and the President's Social Service Award in 2011.
Follow SP on Facebook at www.facebook.com/singaporepolytechnic or Twitter at www.twitter.com/SingaporePoly
About the Agency for Integrated Care
The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) is set up by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to oversee, coordinate and facilitate all efforts in care integration. Our mission is to achieve best care outcomes for our patients by empowering them with health and social care information and arranging for their care when they are discharged from hospitals. We enable stakeholders to raise the quality of care, and also enhance collaboration by working with health and social care providers to increase services to support the ageing population. Our work in the community brings care services and information closer to those in need. For more information, please visit www.aic.sg.