06 April 17 The Business Times by JAMIE LEE
ZUELLIG Pharma plans to work with Singapore's National Healthcare Group to develop predictive models for early health screening, and carry out treatment cost versus quality analysis, using data analytics. It announced this on Wednesday, following an investment commitment of more than S$50 million over the next five years in its new Singapore-based innovation centre.
The centre, known as Zuellig Health Solutions (ZHS), will develop data, digital and disease management solutions. These are meant to help doctors develop more effective treatment plans, support patients managing chronic conditions, and help payors manage healthcare costs, it said.
These solutions will also help healthcare companies identify market opportunities and reach more patients and consumers across Asia.
ZHS will employ more than 50 Singapore-based healthcare, technology and data specialists. It has recently relocated the company's headquarters from Hong Kong to Singapore.
National Healthcare Group's chief medical information officer Eric Wong said that the use of data technology will help to improve health outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs.
Singapore's National Health Survey has highlighted that one in three Singaporean diabetics have poor control of their condition.
"Effective analytics will allow us to better manage early population health screening, gain insight into ways to reduce preventable admissions and avoidable re-admissions, decrease the length of hospital stays and improve cost-effective prescribing. Ultimately, it will help healthcare providers deliver the best treatment outcomes," he said.
Zuellig Pharma's CEO John Davison said that ZHS will focus on addressing gaps in the healthcare sector.
"Asia's healthcare industry is facing some significant challenges. The World Health Organization estimates that in South-east Asia alone, almost 130 million people do not have access to essential healthcare services, while ageing populations and increasing rates of chronic disease are driving up the region's healthcare costs," he said in a speech at the official launch.
"As a society, we need to develop new, innovative solutions to tackle these challenges. This is what ZHS has been set up to do. It will leverage our long history in Asia, our many partnerships across the region and our in-depth knowledge of the various healthcare systems to create new approaches that address issues of access, including education, information, affordability and supply chain reach."
The innovation centre is set up with the support of the Economic Development Board (EDB) in Singapore.