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Message by Chairman, Singapore Manufacturing Federation Medical Technology Industry Group

MT2223_MS01_Pix-01Dear members of the Medtech Industry, Let me first thank members of my Industry Group for entrusting me to lead them by electing me as the Chairman of the Medtech Industry Group of the SMF. I am deeply honoured to bear this mantle. The global health crisis caused by the Covid19 virus first reared its head sometime late 2019 and looks set to continue to disrupt lives and businesses as we prepare to welcome the New Year. Businesses everywhere have had to adapt their practices to ensure their survivability in this new business landscape. During this time, the healthcare and its affiliated industries have come under the spotlight and demands of these spotlighted industries have grown exponentially. This added demand as well as various incidents such as the Suez Canal blockage which caused severe disruption to the global shipping lines have added to the worries of manufacturers everywhere. To cope, manufacturers in Singapore have accelerated their Industry 4.0 journey with the hopes that these advanced manufacturing technologies improve their business resilience and reduce the disruptions to their operations. In that regard, trade associations such as the SMF have launched a slew of initiatives to help manufacturers everywhere on their Industry 4.0 journey. I urge more manufacturers in the Medtech Industry to tap on these resources to make this transformative journey less painful. One such technology that we see being increasingly adopted is virtual medical consultations or telemedicine.

This technology has made accessing healthcare services easier and more convenient for people everywhere. Doctors are now able to examine patients virtually before prescribing medicine which are then couriered to the patient’s home. According to Enterprise Singapore, more than 50 GP clinics have come on board to partner with teleconsultation providers under an initiative by Enterprise Singapore and other agencies last year. The question I ask myself often is why did we wait till such times before launching such initiatives? The technology for video conferencing predate the Covid-19 virus so why did telemedicine take so long to come about? The answer is complacency. Although the Medtech Industry is not immune to complacency, I am pleased to share that with the increased demand for digital tools in the healthcare system, the homegrown Medtech industry has doubled since 2014, with some 300 homegrown Medtech companies established last year. Additionally, Singapore is also home to more than 60 multinational Medtech companies. As such, I believe that, barring another global emergency, the Medtech industry will continue to grow and rise in prominence. I am hopeful that our Medtech industry will be able to take ownership in manufacturing, digitalisation and technology development to continue developing more innovative disease prevention solutions. Therefore, as the newly elected Medtech Industry Group Chair for the Singapore Manufacturing Federation for the term of 2021 to 2024, I aspire to develop leadership skills in the Medtech industry to achieve medical device safety standards. Medical device standards adherence ensures the safety and effectiveness to improve patients’ health, prevent and control diseases, and potentially save lives.

By working together with the healthcare industry, we can develop safe medical devices for everyone while simultaneously improving people’s quality of life. To achieve these goals, I plan to leverage on the SMF’s reach, influence and services to take the MedTech Industry to the next stage of the never-ending journey of innovation and evolution. It is my fervent hope that more members of the MedTech Industry will similarly tap on these resources to develop stronger business resilience and stay ahead of their competitors. I urge all Medtech companies to join me and take advantage of the available opportunities to improve their abilities to network and expand their businesses. I also urge all members to be more proactive by networking not just within the industry but to take creative liberties to develop their own novel approach to business. I believe that every one of us in the Medtech industry has a responsibility not just to our own businesses but to the industry to continually grow, develop and advance the industry. In that regard, I plan to work with the members of the MedTech Industry Group as well as the SMF Secretariat to develop a strong working relationship with more government agencies to advance and improve the efficiency of the Medtech Industry.

To conclude, I believe that with the support of the members of the MedTech Industry and the tools availed to us by the SMF, we will soon see a stronger, more robust MedTech Industry. I would also like all members to treat this message as a personal invitation to join me on this journey.

Mr Henry Tan, JP (Rtd), PBM
Medtech Industry Group Chairman
Singapore Manufacturing Federation