Current Projects and Engagements

Research Engagement

In Singapore, there will be a predicted incidence of 80,000 Alzheimer disease by 2030. We are currently exploring a Research Council of Norway (RCN) funding together with the Witter group from Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience in the area of Alzheimer disease.This collaboration aims to create a rapid and affordable point-of-care testing kit for early detection. This proposed detection system will lead to prompt healthcare for Alzheimer disease patients in our ageing population.

Mr Lance Lim (left), CTO of SP met up with Professor Menno Witter (middle) from Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Norway to explore potential collaboration in the area of Alzheimer disease. On the right is Dr Erwin Woutersen, senior lecturer of MAE.

Industry Partnership with SGH

SP Care actively partners external organisations for co-innovating new research areas, test-bedding and adopting technologies.

We collaborate closely with partners including Singapore General Hospital in many different projects. Some of the projects we are working on are:

  • Continuous Real Time Pressure Monitoring Mattress - This project aims to study the pressure points on a mat exerted by a bedridden patient, with the objective to design and develop a mattress which will have continuous monitoring of pressure points. This will assist healthcare workers to have better management of the patient to prevent development of bed-sores.

  • Automatic Regulation of Humidity for Heated Humidifier - This project aims to develop a system to regulate the humidity of the gas which is delivered to the patient through non-invasive ventilation (NIV). NIV is the provision of ventilatory support through a mask or similar device. Patients under NIV often have compromised airways which are less efficient at warming and humidfying gas due to the nature of their respiratory failure. Therefore, automatic regulation of humidity and warmth during NIV would be beneficial to the patient's outcome.
SP Care meeting with SGH to explore project collaborations. From left: Mr Jaichandar, manager of SP Care; Dr Tan Eng Lee, centre director of Centre for Biomedical and Life Sciences, also the chairman of SP Care committee; Dr Aigu, project manager of SGH, Ms Hozarifah Binte Hosain, executive of SGH.

Other Projects

SP Care has secured 6 grants for the following projects:

  • Feasibility Studies for Wearable Non-Occluding Blood Pressure Monitor
    Currently, the measurement of blood pressure is through the use of blood pressure cuffs which compresses the arm of the patient at regular intervals. This can be uncomfortable. The objective is to determine continuous blood-pressure measurement of an individual using non-invasive, non-occluding, multi-channel, continuous synchronized photoplethysmography (PPG) measurement across a forearm. The goal of this project is to develop computational algorithms correlating Pulse Transit Time (PTT) and pulse wave velocity (PWV) to blood pressure measurement. Feasibility studies from this project will lead to algorithms developed for wearable continuous and comfortable blood-pressure monitors for the healthcare industry.

  • Smart Nasogastric tube
    There is a rising need for nasogastric intubation (NGT) for chronic patients with dysphagia (unable to swallow). Although nasogastric intubation is a straightforward procedure and the NGT is a simple device, its implementation requires skilled and experienced staff. Complications have occured arising from the intubation procedure and the need for X-ray reaffirmation, clogging in the NGT feeding hole(s) precludes domestic application. Hospitals have to allocate their precious resources for this simple procedure and patients must always return to the hospital for each insertion and re-insertion (when a non-compliant patient pulls out the tube). The goal of this proposal aims to address issues faced in current NGT devices with a novel design that can streamline the insertion procedure and reduce the need for the patient to return to the hospital. On-the-fly intra-body position/location determination technology will remove the need for X-ray imaging such as when there is a clog.

  • Rapid Blood Pressure Measurement Feasibility Study
    Blood Pressure (BP) is a necessary health-metric. However, its operation is not only time-consuming, but also requires knowledgeable application. Improper usage by an untrained person often leads to questionable results or misdiagnosis. There is a pressing need to develop BP monitors that employ a simpler method of operation with near-instantaneous readings.
    Our approach uses synchronized optical photoplethysmography (PPG) and ElectroCardiogram (ECG) sensors to measure hemodynamic parameters which can then be used to determine BP. Detailed complex information can be processed from bio-signals, by the means of advanced multi-modal signal processing and adaptive filtering. The project aims to collect and analyse data for continuous blood-pressure algorithm development and determine the feasibility of a non-invasive, non-occluding and continuous BP measurement. Feasibility studies from this project will lead to algorithms developed for wearable continuous and comfortable BP monitors for the healthcare industry.

  • Low-GI & Nutritious Yellow Noodles for Hawker Centres, suitable for Senior Citizens
    The elderly often experience decreasing sensitivity in their taste perceptions and hence have decreased appetite. This reduction in appetite often translates to decreased intake of essential nutrients. The challenge would be to incorporate functional ingredients and increase nutrient loading like protein in traditional staples such as noodles to ensure the elderly continue to maintain their nutrient intake despite of their reduced portion intakes. In addition to the nutritional aspects, the silver age group has their own preferential taste which associates to the nostalgic memories they have on specific foods. They are less inclined to try new foods, preferring to stick with foods they are most familiar with. However, the incorporation of functional ingredients may modify the overall eating quality of traditional noodles. Hence, it is vital to understand the need and preference of silver age consumer so as to produce a product with commercialisation potential that benefits them.

  • Development of Rehabilitative Pet Robots for Motivation and Assessment of Elderly Residents
    This project aims to design and develop a low cost rehabilitative pet robot and customise assessment and interaction behaviour pattern using a pet robot that can be used as an intervention and assessment tool for elderly. The intervention will focus on improving skills in psychological, physiological and social to improve the quality of life for the elderly.

  • An Enhanced System for Rehabilitation of Gross Manual Dexterity with User-Friendly Emphasis
    This project intends to enhance the usefulness of a widely used rehabilitative upper limb test by embedding sensors into objects used in the test. These sensors can automate several administrative tasks as well as provide extra information about the physical condition of the user which is not available in the current test.