Sobering truths about dementia

Over the weekend, I attended a symposium on dementia, for primary care physicians, organised by Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and chaired by Dr Philip Yap. There were many interesting conversations, in particular during the Q&A session, especially centred around the screening and prevention of dementia. It is a very pressing problem indeed. The situation today It is estimated that approximately 10% of the population above the age of 65 has dementia. Taking one of our ‘townships’ in Singapore as an example – Chong Pang : There are approximately 320 patients with dementia in...

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Future Everything Singapore (17 Nov 2015)

As a citizen that is highly interested in the evolution of my beloved country into a ‘smart nation’, I had the privilege of attending the Future Everything Singapore conference held at the Art Science Museum over the weekend. The panel of speakers were brilliant and there were a lot of discussion and take-home messages to consider. It was an intellectually stimulating afternoon – the kind of saturday afternoons I love.   Summary of key thoughts : – Internships are boring and pointless – after a few months of photocopying papers, making coffee, many interns...

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Machine Learning and Neural Networks

Because of the work I am involved in, I’ve been trying to get a better grasp around machine learning and artificial intelligence. The belief is that data science is going to do more to improve healthcare than systems biology in the next decade. And I’m a believer. Here’s a fun video I found that introduces neural networks – especially if you’re old enough to remember Mario!  

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Living the diabetic life with the iHealth Align

Over the past week, I’ve been living out various elements in the lifestyle of a person with diabetes. I plan to keep this up for the rest of the month. As a clinician, I interact with people with diabetes mostly in a limited way – the short 10 minute consult, a quick review of their lab results and status and prescription of medications. There’s a much larger (and perhaps more important) aspect to managing diabetes – lifestyle and psychosocial – that I want to better understand, and be in a position to improve. So..I’ve been : Logging everything I eat on a...

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“I wouldn’t believe this, even if it were true”

  I attended a seminar on healthcare transformation through design this morning.  There were good people speaking.  However, the key take-home (for me) from this was this highly amusing article that was published in the BMJ a decade ago : Easy Ways to Resist Change in Medicine. I couldn’t help laughing – I’m perfectly guilty on many of these.  There’s just something about us physicians that makes changing our ways so darn difficult. I suppose it’s having gone through the ‘trial by fire’ of insane hours at work, perfecting a particular process...

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Big Data – the key in the battle against chronic diseases

It’s been months since I’ve written something here – I’ve been really focused on my work at Holmusk over the last few months and I truly believe that we are on the cusp of creating something of great value for patients with chronic diseases.  More on that soon! Anyway, I digress.  I want to share an article I wrote that appeared in Today Online/The Malaysian Insider on 28 July 2015.  It was initially at 2000+ word discussion piece, and the editor had me cut it down to 900 words to make it more readable. The gist is that we’re in the middle of a chronic...

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roasted chicken

Healthcare systems (and roast chicken?)

To have a glimpse of how complex the US healthcare system is, you should take a look at this video, from the 2014 Health Innovation Summit. ‘99 problems but reinbursement ain’t one‘. It’s a very interesting 35 minutes.  The speakers include CMO of Welldoc, CEO of Omada Health (love this company) and a lady from a healthcare think-tank. And I mean complexity in terms of payments and reimbursement, not quality of medical care.

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Diabetes App Review – mySugr gets my thumbs up

As a doctor, I have a keen interest in mHealth – because in this age of smartphones and always-on connectivity, we have new ways to reach out to people in order to influence their lifestyle habits and choices, channels that we never had before 10 years ago.  I’ll be reviewing a series of innovative diabetes apps that have piqued my interest, and I’ll share with you my unbiased opinions on each of them, from my perspective as a medical professional. Review of mySugr diabetes app Over the last few months, I have tried out several logger apps for diabetes.  The mySugr...

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Project Sothea, a medical screening initiative in Cambodia which I was involved in.

The Healthcare Revolution You Haven’t Heard About

These are extremely exciting times.  We’re in the midst of a healthcare revolution – have you heard about it? Medicine, in the past Medicine is a marvellously interesting field – I love it.  We’ve come along so far over these past 100 years since penicillin was invented (1928), and yet there is still a long way to go.  There is still so much of disease that we do not fully understand, or even if we do, have not found the cure for. I’ve spent a good part of my life in medicine, almost half of it now.  5 years in medical school, and another 8 years working in...

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Mi Band Xiao Mi review

Mi Band Review : Wearables are going explosive

The last time I wore a watch was more than a year ago – it was a minimalist Movado watch without any numbers on the clockface, leaving you to guess the exact time. The leather strap snapped one day, and I didn’t feel any compelling need to fix it, nor even to get a new watch. If I needed to find out the time, I’d just whip my iPhone 5S out of my pocket. And at the same time, with my phone, I can check if any new emails came in, or if someone replied to my facebook message. That’s all a watch really does – tell the time. It has been made obsolete, more of a...

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