Founding ASEAN DxD Hub CEO highlights four tools to achieve health transformation through digitalization

“Building enabling tools that capitalize digitalization brings R&D efforts closer to the community.”

Founder Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Diagnostics Development (DxD) Hub and current advisor at Singapore’s A*STAR, Innovation & Enterprise division Dr. Sidney Yee highlighted four tools to achieve health transformation through digitalization in her keynote message for the 41st anniversary of the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) on 17 March 2023, at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City.

“These tools will help build a commercialization ecosystem, develop talents not just for R&D outputs innovating in commercialization R&D, but also for developing products and deepening borderless partnerships,” Dr. Yee emphasized.

In her keynote message, Dr. Yee focused on the need to holistically improve the system integration in healthcare, bringing research and development closer to the public by making investments in building a commercialization ecosystem, developing talent for R&D output, developing product and business engines, and deepening borderless partnerships in the development of product innovation.

Building a commercialization system

According to Dr. Yee, collaborations between the scientific and research community as well as entrepreneurs would allow smooth transfer of R&D outputs to commercialization. “Business acceleration is not just working with researchers and scientists, but also working with entrepreneurs outside of the ecosystem.” 

Once you build a critical mass of companies and people that understand what it takes to make that transition, the convergence of the people and companies willing to work with you will quickly accelerate the spin-off activities,” Dr. Yee added

Developing talent for R&D output

Dr. Yee mentioned that the development of talent for R&D output in building innovative healthcare products would lead to the long-term viability of scientific product commercialization. 

“In the development of talent for R&D output pertaining to how to build products, we are teaching individuals not just how to build products, but the total product life cycle perspective. That actually leads to what we call the target product profile. If a researcher is able to understand that (strategies), it totally changes your perspective on how and when you do research and development,” Dr. Yee explained.”

Developing product & business engines

To achieve product adoption, evaluation of the product’s business angle in a national scope and collaboration with many institutions in the translation of R&D into products should be considered. “We are not just building the product with you (researchers), but we are also building your business with you,” Dr. Yee explained.

Dr. Yee also mentioned that the multi-disciplinary productization engine is critical in convincing the community to use innovative solutions. “When you present a new inventive solution, it does not exist in isolation. Product development has a broad impact on workflow,” Dr. Yee added.

Deepening borderless partnerships

Dr. Yee presented the efforts of the ASEAN Network for Drugs, Diagnostics, Vaccines, and Traditional Medicines Innovation (ASEAN-NDI) and the collaboration between the Philippines and Singapore, which includes the promotion of R&D, the development of North-South and South-South partnerships to support capacity building, and the establishment of strategic research networks to facilitate collaboration. 

“We are fortunate to get guidance from Dr. Jaime Montoya who is a pioneer in borderless partnership in starting up ASEAN-NDI. Using that as a role model, we started ASEAN Diagnostics initiatives. The Philippines and Singapore continue to co-chair this initiative,” Dr. Yee said.

In closing, Dr. Yee emphasized that the broad digital health concepts for the national platform must have intended outcomes related to care, aimed at improving and maintaining population health. “At the end of the day, digitalization is everywhere and in everything we do. How we are able to capitalize on that depends on the tools that we’re able to build to enable that. There are many things we can do to further improve human lives,” Dr. Yee concluded.

A replay of the celebration may be accessed through this link.


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