Singapore-based Thomson X Enters Strategic Partnership with Eye Healthtech Startup Plano

Feb 2021

Thomson X, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Thomson Medical Group (TMG), entered into a strategic partnership with Singapore-based healthtech startup Plano. The partnership will synchronize Thomson X and Plano’s respective strengths, and use innovative technological solutions to address the rapidly increasing myopia incidence. The partnership will also grant Thomson X an option to subscribe to an equity stake in Plano which can be exercised in three tranches over six years based on certain conditions.

According to the joint statement, myopia is becoming one of the biggest public health challenges in the world, affecting an estimated 2.6 billion people globally, or approximately one-third of the world’s population. By 2050, myopia is projected to affect 5 billion people, which is estimated to be about half of the world’s population. Developed economies in Asia such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea have reported myopia rates of more than 80%, and the estimated direct annual costs of managing myopia globally amount to USD 328 billion.

Launched in 2020, Thomson X is a platform aiming to simplify healthcare through technology, overseeing Thomson Medical Group’s technology roadmap. The subsidiary aims to partner with healthtech startups and international associations.

Founded in 2017 by Mohamed Dirani, Plano is the first spin-off from the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) – Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator Program, dedicated to accelerating ophthalmic R&D projects towards commercialization and medical deployment. The company’s key products are an application and an online optometry booking system, Plano Eyecheck.

(Sources: Thomson X; Plano)