I joined the Medical Technology Office (MTO) after doing a one-year Singapore Stanford Biodesign Fellowship in medtech innovation. I specialise in software and electrical engineering and worked in the software development industry before joining SingHealth. I see healthcare institutions as the birthplace of unmet clinical needs, and this is where the impact of innovation will be made. I wish to see engineering and technology make a difference in patients’ and healthcare professionals’ real-world experiences, and have technology come into real clinical use. At MTO, we work on the processes and provide practical support to innovators to make this happen. 

Part of my daily work includes building and supporting programmes to improve the pipeline of SingHealth innovation projects in terms of their value proposition and engineering standards. Our team’s work helps to advance projects towards commercialisation and adoption, and also develop-innovators amongst our doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. Our team is small so we do a bit of everything, such as technical engineering work, grants administration, medtech innovation training, and more! 

I derive satisfaction when I am involved in the successful commercialisation and real-world adoption of products. Commercialising a device is a challenging process in which the goals of the commercial partner company must match the product development plan, and the design and testing activities should align with regulatory, quality and manufacturing requirements. 

One of the devices our team helped to develop was a surgical lighting system named Klaro. This small, portable and bendable lighting device can be easily attached to surgical drapes or trolleys, thus allowing better visibility to deep, angled body cavities. It is now licensed and marketed by Vivo Surgical worldwide. Another interesting one was an emergency-use ventilator called SG-Inspire, designed to provide breathing support to COVID-19 patients should the need arise. The cost-effective ventilator can be mass-produced within a short time. In fact, a number of the ventilators were manufactured and exported during COVID-19. 

- Fiona Loke
Assistant Director, SingHealth Medical Technology Office