Living forever

Imagine you could live to 120 years or more … or do you want to as it certainly disrupts the way Nature has intended. But then again who wants to live long coupled with debilitating diseases?

As medical technology continues its steady march to the future, we can certainly ponder what could be in store for our future, maybe not mine but maybe for the enviable next generation.

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Elderly design principles

I attended another DesignSingapore Council workshop called “Empathetic Ageing with Technology” and design consultants from Orcadesign and Supracopula from Singapore shared the 18 elderly design principles which “serve as a guide in the creation of empathetic solutions that can be easily accepted and used by the elderly”.

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A greying Asia

I picked up the January issue of “Global Health and Travel” which had a story on the greying Asia, and public and private sector healthcare solutions for a growing elderly population.

Here’s a summary on what I read:

With the incidence of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer quadrupled in Southeast Asia from 1997-2005, this has translated into a booming demand for healthcare services and prompting expansion of healthcare and healthcare IT solutions.

IT healthcare initiatives

For instance, Singapore is increasing its bed capacity with more acute care and community hospitals and Hong Kong is looking to address the overcrowding of its medical facilities. With all this, there is also a trend towards home-based care, particularly in Singapore, as a way to reduce the strain on hospitals and doctors, and reduce taxpayer burden. And telehealth initiatives are being rolled out where patients can be monitored remotely.

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Singaporeans shun nursing positions

There were more job openings for nearly all occupational groups, according to the “Job Vacancies, 2014″ report by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), most notably in several areas including in nursing. As at September last year, the number of vacancies for registered nurse (660) and enrolled/assistant nurse (590) that were unfilled for at least six months were the highest among the PMET (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) jobs. And, according to a newspaper article, these two jobs also had the highest incidences of vacancies among PMET jobs that employers reported were hard to fill by Singaporeans.

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Innovations in the aged-care

I recently attended a three-day workshop for the public sector on designing services and experiences for the elderly in communities and public healthcare institutions, organised by the DesignSingapore Council partnering with Experientia, an international experience design consultancy based in Italy.

Experientia shared the Global Trends study, which identified five core themes and shared different individuals and groups that are innovating in the aged-care space:


TREND 1: It take a village
Trends in new models of care

• ‘Community’ is the new nursing home –

Tyze is an online tool.

Tyze, Canada – an online tool that enables a network of people to care for others, pretty much getting everybody on the same page. It is a secure, practical, Web-based solution which does the following – privately communicates with family, friends and helpers about you or the person you care about; schedules appointments and events on a shared calendar; and shares files, photos, updates and much more anywhere, anytime.

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