Johnson & Johnson Vision, the eye health unit of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, has revealed its three-year roadmap to develop an integrated eye health ecosystem in Singapore that focuses on data and digitalisation initiatives.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The company said in a media release that it will build a consumer-centric, experiential eye health ecosystem that seamlessly connects patients, caregivers, eye care professionals and other stakeholders. It is investing around SG$10 million ($7.35 million) in the project for over three years.
The ecosystem aims to increase the capacity of eye care professionals in providing services; raise Singaporean’s access to eye care; and enhance knowledge about eye health and vision needs through hyper-personalisation of patient care.
Key initiatives to be implemented include a community eye health e-referral network, an AI-powered eye care service and telehealth.
With the support of the Singapore Economic Development Board, the project will train around 40 local talents for leadership positions who will lead key initiatives in areas such as cybersecurity, user interface, user experience design, AI development and blockchain.
WHY IT MATTERS
Johnson & Johnson Vision pointed out that eye health remains “severely” underrepresented in the priorities of Singaporeans despite being “extremely” vulnerable to eye conditions at every life stage.
According to Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), one in two children develop myopia or short-sightedness by age 12 and 83% will turn myopic at age 18. Those who have contracted the condition early in their lives may easily develop high myopia, which can lead to serious complications, low vision and blindness in their adulthood.
Another eye illness, 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 for over 600 Singaporeans, eye loss for 8,000 individuals and visual impairment for 17,500 people.
Singaporean seniors aged 50 and above are 15 times more likely to go blind, the SNEC said.
Johnson & Johnson Vision said its eye health ecosystem is intended to lead the way for eye care delivery in the Asia-Pacific region and set a “gold” standard for eye health innovation.
Aside from Johnson & Johnson Vision, a Singaporean startup is also helping the island-state tackle its eye health problems. Recently, Plano’s eye wellness mobile app was added to the apps gallery of Huawei’s mobile and wearable devices as part of the companies’ joint campaign around myopia. It has also partnered with Thomson X to deliver AI-enabled eye care solutions to patients of the Thomson Medical Group.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson Vision also has existing partnerships with various organisations. In 2018, it joined hands with SNEC and SERI to improve access to eye care for patients with myopia. It also teamed up with AI Singapore to deliver hyper-personalised eye care using AI.
ON THE RECORD
“At Johnson & Johnson Vision, we’re working every day to help people see better, connect better, live better. Nearly half the world’s population is projected to be myopic by 2050 – disproportionately impacting children – and we’re delivering innovative solutions to change the trajectory of eye health for families around the world, including here in Singapore,” Johnson & Johnson Vision Worldwide President for Vision Care Peter Menziuso stated.
“As a global leader in eye health, we have the power to shape the future of healthcare through data, partnerships, and talent. We have the responsibility of building an integrated ecosystem that is in tune with the needs of patients throughout their life journey, and an ecosystem that leaves no one behind,” said Vaibhav Saran, VP for Vision Care in Johnson & Johnson Vision APAC.
“This project provides exciting job opportunities in Singapore for digital talent to enter and support the growing healthcare sector, and also reinforces Singapore’s position as a leading innovation hub for digital health,” EDB SVP for Healthcare Goh Wan Yee also commented.