A centre for connected care
Nanyang Polytechnic drives Singapore’s community nursing expertise with the new Centre.
Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) has unveiled its new NYP-StarHub Centre for Connected Care, which harnesses technology and telemedicine advances to pave the way for new and innovative ways to deliver nursing care to homes. The primary targets are the elderly and people living with dementia.
Both registered and student nurses will use the Centre to get training in best practices to transit patients from acute care in hospitals to long-term care at home. Community nursing has been identified as a major growth area as one in four Singaporeans will be aged 65 years old and above by 2030.
Then, one in 10 of our population aged 60 and above is also expected to develop dementia. Therefore, Singapore’s first and largest nursing school, NYP’s School of Health Sciences (SHS), is investing in the pedagogy and facility to ensure that graduates can keep up with the future demands of nursing. An estimated 1,000 nurses will be trained at the Centre annually. Also in the plans is for nursing experts to use this Centre for innovation and experimentation on new methodologies.
The Centre’s design and features are based on a 15-month research project on the needs of families caring for persons with dementia. Dr Wan-Koo May Yeok, assistant director of NYP’s School of Health Sciences, who led the study explained that a key finding was that persons with dementia want to live with dignity, while their caregivers felt a great responsibility and need to constantly keep an eye on them. So, for instance, unobtrusive surveillance systems helped ease the tensions of constant questioning and worry.
NYP will work with 10 partners at the Centre. They range from companies that design toys and activities for the elderly to those that provide digital infrastructure and smart technology. Among them is StarHub, who will ensure digital connectivity of the Centre and share its expertise in data analytics and other advanced technologies to facilitate the development of smart healthcare solutions. Some of the other partners include Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA), Jaga-Me, KYDZ International, Philips and Samsung Asia.
There will also be a number of projects by NYP School of Engineering (SEG) in the Centre. They include the SEG telepresence robot which can patrol the homes of elderly living alone and enable them to communicate with their family and friends, and a portable electronic mind games designed to stimulate the minds of persons with dementia and slow down the progression of the condition.
Dr Chong Yoke Sin, chief of Enterprise Business Group, StarHub, said: “In light of our rapidly greying population and the shortage of manpower in the long-term care sector, technology plays an increasingly important role in the provision of quality care in facilities and at home. As a telco, we are well-placed to advance connected care to better the lives of people, and NYP’s drive to harness advanced technologies in their curriculum and research resonates with us.”
Added Bella Tan, director, NYP’s School of Health Sciences (Nursing): “The NYP-StarHub Centre for Connected Care will play a key role. It ensures that health and social care professionals in Singapore are ready for the reality of caring for an ageing population and for persons with dementia.”
Jason Foo, CEO, ADA, said: “Research has shown that we can slow down the progression of dementia when those with the condition continue to live in an environment that is therapeutic, engaging and safe for them. NYP’s design of an ecosystem where health and social care can be integrated will be a boon for everyone – persons with dementia, their families and professional caregivers.”
(** PHOTO CREIT: Nanyang Polytechnic)