LATEST UPDATES » Vol 22, No 12, December 2018 – The story of WeDoctor - The medical service system for tomorrow       » World's first unmanned clinic in China       » International outcry over world's first gene-edited babies born in China       » More HIV-positive foreigners enter China       » Pain-free childbirth to be promoted in China       » The past, present and future of life science      
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Vol 22, No. 11, November 2018
Asian oncologists' perception in adopting next-generation sequencing multigene panels

Most oncologists feel that genomic testing is useful, but not all would order a test for their patients. The experts at ACT Genomics tell us more.

Time to get serious

Thierry Protas looks at the effect of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) legislation on companies looking to export pharma products to the United States, the looming 2018 cut off point for compliance, and how coding and marking is a key consideration.

Vol 22, No 10, October 2018
Delivering on the promise of digital health

The role of patient-level digital interventions in improving patient outcomes across the Asia Pacific region. By Rowena Yeo

Rehabilitation in good hands

From pre-programmed software to intention detection application, soft robotic medical technologies have it all to become the future of rehabilitation for patients with neurological disorders. By Jane Wang

Gene edited foods: Key to solving the world's food crisis

Scientists say the technology could be used one day to increase yields and drought and pest resistance, and improve nutrient proles. By Melita Brainta

Vol 22, No 09, September 2018
The food revolution

3D printing has become a phenomenon in recent years. With an extensive history and many variations of it, 3D printers have permeated various manufacturing industries, and surprisingly, even the food industry. Tan Guan Chwen explores 3D printing and food printing.

Vol 22, No 08, August 2018
The future of pharma: Digital, personalized, and dynamic

Find out how new cancer medicines are being made, starting with dogs. By Andrew Hessel

Using real world evidence in the development of new medicine

Learn about the differences between real world data and real world evidence. By Andrew Roddam and Sumitra Shantakumar

Hunting for new drugs to treat mental illness

Dr Anil K. Ratty and Dr Michael Entzeroth speak on the landscape of mental illness in Asia and the road to solving a burgeoning issue

Clean cow starts now

Most of us are familiar with the two most commonly heard gases in the air we inhale and exhale - oxygen and carbon dioxide. Less attention is given to methane, one of the many gases in the ozone. By Lim Wan Er

Vol 22, No 07, July 2018
How to make value-based care a reality?

Healthcare providers today face the challenge of delivering up-to-date, evidence-based care given the ever-burgeoning pool of medical evidence, coupled with the hassle of meeting advance electronic health record (EHR) platform integration requirements. Dr Ujjwal Rao proposes that buying knowledge-based CDSS is increasingly more favourable and the way forward.

Impactful interventions to maximise healthspan

In order to design impactful interventions that can maximise the length of time that a person is healthy, we must first understand fundamental research about the biology of ageing. By Dr Anis Larbi

Viral hepatitis in Arkhangai: How Asia's first micro-treatment program's successes can be leveraged to treat a "silent killer"

The Arkhangai Liver Disease Free Program is a first-of-its-kind collaboration project in Asia and has nearly cured all its screened patients - at no cost to them. In light of the rising hepatitis infections in the world, public and private entities should work together to eliminate viral hepatitis.

The long-suffering challenge of vaccination

Most individuals of education and science know how important vaccination is to public health, yet it has seen, and still sees, many challenges. Pearly Neo takes a closer look.

Vol 22, No 06, June 2018
Navigating the screening conundrum in the pharmaceutical industry

Mary O'Loughlin highlights the importance of consistency and compliance in the rapidly changing Asia-Pacific healthcare landscape.

Vol 22, No 05, May 2018
Are boys with asthma more susceptible to bone fractures?

New Australian research shows that asthma may be associated with an increased possibility of childhood bone fractures, especially for boys. By Lim Wan Er

Vol 22, No 04, April 2018
Clinical program for oral immunotherapy for food allergies

Oral immunotherapy for food allergies can bring significant benefits to children with food allergies. It carries risks and has a significant cost. This treatment requires significant commitment from the children and their caregivers, for it to be performed safely and effectively.
by Dr Soh Jian Yi

Humanities for health

Mediating between the disease, the patient, and the physician. By Ivy Chua, Izza Haziqah and Rafiq Ismail

Digital transformation and the rise of smart hospitals

With the Asia-Pacific healthcare market in a period of digital transformation and the explosion in IoT devices, Dirk Dumortier looks at the importance of the network in modernizing healthcare delivery and keeping healthcare provider and patient data safe in the face of cyber threats.

IoT helps healthcare providers deliver the right treatment to the right patient

The healthcare industry faces a myriad of challenges. The traditional way of delivering patient care by dividing their attention between treating patients and handling administrative matters is not sustainable. With technology, doctors and nurses can free up their minds andhands to focus on providing quality service. By George Pepes.

Vol 22, No 03, March 2018
Brain aging in ASEAN

The elderly population in ASEAN countries is rapidly aging, which brings about significant economic, social and fiscal consequences to the region. Brain aging is perhaps one of the most important challenges we will face, as it represents an integral part of our overall health and well being. Dr. Shawn Watson shares about this natural decline in our cognitive capabilities as we age.

What value-based healthcare means for Asia

Value-based healthcare is a healthcare delivery model in which providers, including hospitals and physicians, are paid based on patient health outcomes, which differs from a conventional fee-for-service system where providers are paid based on the treatment services delivered. By Fredrik Nyberg

Improve healthcare access to tackle Asia's healthcare challenge

Hyper-precise technology reinvents how healthcare is delivered. By Karen Reddington

Vol 22, No 02, February 2018
Bringing the Asian cosmetics markets to greater heights

Once a privilege of elites, beauty products are now accessible and enjoyed by the masses. With many brands in the market, consumers are spoilt for choice and have higher expectations, which cosmetics manufacturers are determined to meet. In their quest for competitive advantage, cosmetics manufacturers have created and proposed various novel product claims that consumers and the industry have grown to embrace, Jessen Curpen tells us more.

Meeting the global demand for non-monoclonal antibody biosimilars

Dr Frank Detmers gives us an overview of how new approaches to the manufacture of biosimilars have the potential to support sustainable access to critical non-monoclonal antibody biosimilars such as human growth hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, tissue plasminogen activators and many other protein therapeutics.

Vol 22, No 01, January 2018
CSI: Cancer Scene Investigation

Are there enough clues for us to find the killer?

Improving risk stratification in hypertensive heart disease: What is in the horizon?

Hypertension is a major contributor to heart failure and other cardiovascular complications. Integrating markers of adverse myocardial features (fibrosis and exaggerated hypertrophy) in hypertension management may improve risk stratification and informed therapeutic options for hypertensive patients, says Asst Prof Calvin Woon Loong Chin.

Vol 21, No 12, December 2017
Digital health technology to combat world's number one killer

Diederik Zeven says the key to fighting cardiovascular disease still lies in early detection and leveraging on data and technology to decide on the best treatment strategy tailored for each patient.

Cancer Immunotherapy: where we stand and move forward

Over the past few decades, immunotherapy has been studied intensively as a promising treatment for cancer. Newer types of immune treatments are currently being studied, and they will impact how we treat cancer in the future. Dr Chen Shu-Jen and Dr Poon Song Ling share more with us.

Vol 21, No 06, June 2017
New Womb-Like Invention for Preterm Infants

In some extreme cases, a premature infant might need to be removed from the womb before completing the gestational period. Doctors from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in United States designed an innovative Biobag with the idea to allow premature newborns to continue developing in an artificial environment mimicking a mother's womb. The Biobag (Figure 1) used in the experiment is...

Reversing Paralysis: Can I Walk Again?

Rachel's pet kitten pads its way gently to her side, brushing its warm furry body against her legs. "Hello there..." Rachel coos, as her gaze meets those innocent eyes of the kitten glistening like black pearls. The kitten then yawns and stretches, before heading off to explore some nook in Rachel's house. Rachel misses the warm furry feeling against her leg, as with her spinal cord injury, her bottom torso is unable...

Vol 21, No 05, May 2017
The Potential of Saving Human Lives with Hibernation

Humans go into hibernation, something we only read about in science fiction. is this possible? However, Dr Kevin Fong, who was trained in intensive care medicine, brought us through the mysterious tunnel in the Discovery program he hosted at BBC; 'Human Hibernation: The Big Sleep' [1]. In this program, he presented a case happened in 2006 that a Japanese man survived through weeks without food and...

Vol 21, No 02, February 2017
Osimertinib, A New Drug to Extend Life of Advanced Lung Cancer Patients

Lung cancer is a complex disease that can be classified by the types of cells seen under microscope, and also can be described further by mutation-the changes to the cell causing cancer growth [1]. In other words, lung cancer could occur due to the mutation of different kind of genes. Thus far, researchers had identified a few mutations that might be found in lung cancer. These discoveries introduced the era...

Cancer: Fighting an Informed Battle

"14 people die from cancer daily." "1 in 3 Singaporeans die of cancer." "33 people are diagnosed with cancer everyday." [1] These irking numbers and facts are thrown in our way every single day. They unnerve us, frighten us, and prompt us to leap to our feet and start taking control of our health and our lives. While some may disregard these figures, it is the undeniable truth that cancer has indeed...

Vol 20, No 12, December 2016
Biomedical Engineering Industry Alliance (BME IA): Working in Favour of the Industry's Stakeholders

APBN was recently invited to attend the 5th Annual Biomedical Engineering Industry Alliance networking event on 11th November 2016 held in the Shaw Foundation Alumni House in the National University of Singapore. There to welcome us was Dr. Dieter Trau, the original founder of BME IA. He introduced us to the current chairman of the organization, Dr. Michael J.A. Girard, with whom...

Counter-Acting Chemotherapy's Side Effects

We attended the press conference for the release of Akynzeo, the latest anti-nausea and anti-vomiting drug distributed by Mundipharma for chemotherapy patients, led by Dr Wong Seng Weng. A comprehensive virtual reality program explaining the effects of the medication was presented with the Oculus Rift, giving a peek of the potential of technology in educating the public. Akynzeo was...

(Writer's Thought) Treating Patients, Not Diseases

Many trends have evolved in the healthcare industry, such as personalised medicine or alternative medicine...

Vol 20, No 10, October 2016
Top Medical Tourism Hotspots

You may spot a foreigner in Orchard Singapore, and pass him off as a tourist here for holidaymaking. But, no, he is in fact a medical tourist. Indian national Timir Patel, 48, is one such example. He travelled specially from Mumbai to have kidney transplant surgery at Mount Elizabeth Hospital [1]. Singapore, together with India and Thailand are the top 3 Asian countries that medical tourists flock to. These...

The Growing Trend of Medical Spas

Tourists would usually plan an itinerary to go sight-seeing, shop, capture pictures and videos and to relax. Personally, I go travelling to break the routine of the daily grind and to rejuvenate. My other favourite parts of taking a vacation include immersing in another culture, sampling local food, meeting new people and experiencing another way of living, even for a little while...

Vol 20, No 09, September 2016
Eliminating MALARIA. Is it Possible?

"Eeeeee", the familiar high-pitched sound one hears when a mosquito flies near our ears, and we bat it away irritatedly. One of these mosquitoes could be the Anopheles species, which is the carrier of Plasmodium parasites that cause the life-threatening disease, malaria. On World Malaria Day (25 April 2016), World Health Organisation (WHO) released a report stating that, although an ambitious...

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease: Symptoms, Prevention and Updates on HFMD

Co-organized by the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), part of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Singapore, the Consortium of Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease/Enterovirus 71 Studies in Asia (CoHESIA) and the Singapore Society of Microbiology and Biotechnology (SSMB), an international conference for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease...

Vol 20, No 08, August 2016 - HEALTH COLUMNS
That Gut Feeling: How A Healthy Digestive System Has Everything To Do With It

Due to an average adult's changing and dynamic lifestyle of always chasing time, the easier option is to reach for the convenient and the accessible, which can result to an unhealthy diet, not getting enough sleep or lack of exercise. On top of these, the air we breathe, the food we eat, the things we touch-virtually anything...

World Heart Day - At the Heart of Health

Home is where the heart is. This phrase is not all that figurative as it is biological. As one of the vital organs, the heart has been long identified as the center of the entire body and the seat of life. Founded in 2000, World Heart Day is celebrated in more than 100 countries around the world to raise public awareness about heart health and the prevention of cardiovascular disease...

Vol 20, No 07, July 2016
The Drinkable Book™: A Book You Wouldn’t Mind Getting Wet

It is a given that water is a basic human need. The daily recommendation for optimum health is to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water everyday, as the average adult's body is composed of 75% water. Water serves as an agent to flush out toxins and energize our immune system, which in turn fights off several diseases...

H2O: Managing our Water and Technology

Water, one of the three crucial ingredients in our life sustenance. We can only last for about 3 to 4 days without water. Our body is made of at least 60% water, and it helps keep us functioning daily...

World Toilet Organisation – Let’s Talk about Toilets

When one mentions the acronym, WTO, we would immediately associate it with the World Trade Organisation. Little did many know that we have our very own WTO spearheaded by a Singaporean and the headquarter is also on this sunny island that deals with creating toilets around the world including water management and sanitation...

Vol 20, No 05, May 2016
3D Printing: The Versatile Innovation at the Healthcare Forefront

Additive Manufacturing (AM), more popularly known as 3D printing, was first developed for designers and engineers in 1984 [1] to assemble an object from a virtual design by adding layer by layer of various material like bioplastic tubes until the desired result is complete. This process is done by forging, moulding and...

Healthcare Cost Effectiveness in Singapore

Many countries in Asia are facing an ageing population and the growing demand for healthcare has never been more urgent. Good quality healthcare is expensive, and many of the most-developed nations of the world are finding that the ever-rising costs for quality care are unsustainable. Singapore, on the other hand, has dexterously managed to keep its costs low without sacrificing quality...

Vol 20, No 04, April 2016
Cytosponge: Trailblazer for Barrett's Oesophagus?

When you fall off the wagon from your healthy diet or habitually consume food that trigger heartburn or indigestion, acid reflux may be a common occurrence. However, stomach acid backing up your food pipe is never a pleasant experience. If this happens often, and you're having difficulty swallowing food, it may be best to...

Vol 20, No 03, March 2016
Bending Forwards: Blending Yoga into Our Modern Lifestyle

When touching your toes or reaching for something from a high shelf is proving to be difficult, you probably need to work on your flexibility. Being flexible doesn't necessarily mean turning into a gymnast or a contortionist. Rather, it's being able to...

Vol 19, No 12, December 2015
What to expect in Year 2050

There shall be no surprise to some of the events that we will be witnessing in the next 35 years. Some islands will be completely submerged, some languages and species of animals will be extinct. Changes to our intentional or unintentional habits that are disruptive to the environment...

International Mountain Day: Are we making a mountain out of a molehill?

I believe we've all heard of this idiom: Making a mountain out of a molehill - greatly exaggerating the severity of the situation. In many aspects, the idea of adverse magnification of an issue is surrounding us on a daily basis. With the advent of technology and the use of social media, we are forced to face the bombardment of minor issues that...

Vol 19, No 10, October 2015
Learning to Code may give you a Vanilla Sky – Yuhui N. Lin

I have vivid memories of my first Nintendo hand-held gaming device, the infamous GameBoy. My first input computer language was DOS, where users had to punch the keys 'cd blahblah' and backslashes. It did not take too long till I started programming in Perl, Visual Basic and HTML...

Social Media Literary: One step ahead or one step back? – Clarrie Ng

What comes to mind when you see the words: Social Media? For some, it is an everyday interaction with your phone and for others, you are wary of this term and cannot help but notice its presence everywhere. Just how significant is social media in our daily lives?...

Vol 19, No 09, September 2015
Small, but Powerful. Who are the Rivals? — Yuhui N. Lin

Singapore, renowned for its Monopoly 'Playground' among foreign investors and traders, most often find itself in a competitive position next to China and Japan...

Vol 19, No 07, July 2015
Some Parents don't vaccinate their Children, and why they should stop behaving like a Clown.

Inoculation of infected individuals' skin material was a common procedure before the 1700s. Edward Jenner was one of the pioneers for smallpox vaccine, and Jenner is considered as the Grandfather of Immunology. In simple terms, we should learn that vaccination procedure was not invented by pharmaceutical companies. The main objective of vaccination is to save lives. From a simple inoculation procedure to an in-depth understanding of acquired immunity?, vaccination is considered as the most important medical discovery.

"To edit or not?"- the dilemma around CRISPR.

Now, we are empowered to edit the genome of our offspring - to correct them from inheritable genetic diseases (i.e. Down's syndrome) and if we like, add in one or a few of our desirable traits. This has been made easier with the power of the newly-discovered CRISPR technology. Like other genome editing tools that have long been challenged with bioethical concerns, CRISPR emergence has once again cast unseen anxiety, caution and yet anticipation in the future of translational therapeutics for human diseases.

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Asia Pacific Biotech News

APBN Editorial Calendar 2018
Obesity / Outlook for 2018
Searching for the fountain of youth
Women in Science - Making a difference
Digestive health in the 21st century - Trust your guts
Dental health - The root to good health
Cancer - Therapies and strategies for better patient outcomes
Water management - Technologies for biotech and pharmaceutical industries
Regenerative technology - Meat of the future
Doctor Robot - The digital healthcare revolution
Bones / Breast cancer
Liver health / Top science research nations & institutions
AIDS / Breakthrough of the year/Emerging trends
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
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