Johnson & Johnson Vision, the eye health unit of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, will develop an integrated eye health ecosystem in Singapore that uses AI, data and digitalization to connect key stakeholders within the eye health journey – patients and consumers, caregivers, eye care professionals, and other industry stakeholders – seamlessly, and help the country address its eye health needs.
Through the support of the Singapore Economic Development Board, the project will train around 40 local talents to lead key initiatives in areas such as cybersecurity, user interface, user experience design, AI development and blockchain, with a focus on data and digitalization initiatives. The company will invest approximately SGD 10 million (USD 7.35 million) in the project for over three years. Key initiatives which will be implemented include a community eye health e-referral network, an AI-powered eye care service and telehealth services.
The ecosystem will be built to meet these objectives:
- Support eye care professionals by increasing their capacity to provide eye health and care services, by combining in-depth industry expertise with innovative digital capabilities;
- Increase Singaporeans’ access to eye health and care; and
- Improve knowledge of eye health and vision needs among the public, through hyper-personalization of patient care.
Johnson & Johnson Vision highlighted that eye health in Singapore remains “severely” underrepresented, despite Singaporeans being “extremely” vulnerable to eye conditions at every life stage. According to Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), myopia affects one in two children by the age of 12, and by the age of 18, 83% will be myopic. Furthermore, diabetic retinopathy is said to be the leading cause of vision loss among working adults. Based on a 2015 study by the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), the disease has so far caused blindness in over 600 Singaporeans, eye loss for 8,000 individuals and visual impairment for 17,500 people. The risk of blindness also increases fifteen-fold for those aged 50 to 80 and above. Through its eye health ecosystem, Johnson & Johnson Vision plans to lead the way for the delivery of eye care in the Asia Pacific region and set a “gold” standard for eye health innovation.
Other companies have also developed products to support the development of eye health services in Singapore. Local start-up, Plano, developed an eye wellness mobile app, which was added to the apps gallery on Huawei’s mobile and wearable devices as part of the companies’ joint campaign around myopia. Plano also partnered with Thomson X to deliver AI-enabled eye care solutions to patients at the Thomson Medical Group.
(Sources: Johnson & Johnson Vision; Mobile Health News)