Increasing demand for health care creates challenges for decision-makers around the world

Increasing demand for health care creates challenges for decision-makers around the world


Living to 100 in Singapore with knowledge from Finland

A delegation of 11 Finnish companies led by Pirkko Mattila, Minister of Social Affairs and Health, as well as Finnish companies participating in the Innovation Forum event, are presenting their innovations and services to Singapore’s health sector decision-makers on 24-26 April 2017. Echoing Finland’s centenary independence celebrations, the theme of the visit is “How to live to 100 with knowledge from Finland”.

The participating companies will be presenting their offering at many events organized around this theme during the week. The Embassy of Finland in Singapore has been preparing the program together with Finpro. The events are part of the year-long Finland 100 Singapore program.

- Senior care, health technologies and wellbeing form one of the focus areas that has been selected on the basis of demand in Singapore and Finland’s offering, according Paula Parviainen, Finland’s Ambassador in Singapore.

The services of the Finnish companies range from safety solutions for smart homes to video-based home health care for assisted living. The companies are mainly looking for new markets in Singapore: public and private service providers, distribution channels and partners.

- The ageing population is a major issue in Singapore and the country is looking for solutions from the leading technology in the sector and specifically from the foreign offering. By the year 2030, 20% of Singapore’s population will be over 65, which means more than one million people, says Ilkka Räsänen, Finpro’s Health & Wellbeing Program Manager, responsible for Senior Care, Rehabilitation & Prevention.

- Finland and Singapore share a very similar starting point in terms of their ageing populations, and they have about the same population size. Both countries value high-level education and also represent a secure social and political living environment. They both have a great need for innovative and advanced health care solutions. There are many possibilities for cooperation.

Singapore is investing in the new health care trends. The budget of Singapore’s Ministry of Health has grown dramatically over the past 20 years. The challenges facing health care in Singapore can be divided into four areas: quality, cost, expectations and regulation. From these, Singapore is especially focusing on cost-efficiency. Singapore’s health care costs have increased significantly, from 1.2% of GDP in 2005 to 5.2% of GDP in 2015. Singapore also has one of the most rapidly ageing population structures in the world and, at the same time, its population’s life expectancy is growing and the birth rate is low. This is why Finpro’s experts see many opportunities for Finnish companies in Singapore’s health and wellbeing sector.

Assisted living is a growing sector in South-East Asia

According to Finpro’s experts, assisted living solutions that utilize digital innovations and highly developed networks are rapidly becoming more common. These solutions offer services to support the wellbeing of the elderly, such as sleep monitoring and medication reminders. New interactive solutions aiming to prevent the growing problem of depression among the elderly are also increasingly being used.

Singapore’s Ministry of Health is having new care homes constructed for the elderly. The private sector is also investing in new types of accommodation for the elderly, which also aim to utilize technology in a completely new way. For many years already, there has been excellent work conducted in Finland in the area of prevention, rehabilitation and advanced living solutions. For example, The Guardian newspaper in Britain has recently published a major article about operating model of the Finnish Mental Hub.

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- In Singapore, our companies want to tell the good news about how innovative solutions can be utilized to meet the biggest needs. For example, the number of people suffering from dementia-related illnesses is forecast to increase by almost three-fold during the coming decades, says Räsänen.

- Personalized rehabilitation solutions for the elderly are also very advanced in Finland and becoming internationally recognized. We are also especially strong in the field of hospital hygiene. Companies from this specialist sector are also here to present their solutions.

Finnish companies are already making their mark internationally. For example, HUR signed an agreement in February for establishing an “Elderly functional sports” rehabilitation clinic in China. Finnish company Nightingale Health was chosen as one of the official MIT Solvers by the United Nations for its ground-breaking preventive work on chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases with the help of its innovative blood sample analyses.

Finpro and the whole of Team Finland have been carrying out long-term export promotion work in Singapore under the FinlandCare brand. This brand has become well-known in the region and is still utilized in meetings. These are the Finnish companies participating on this trip: Abloy, Ainovia, David Health Solutions, Ecosir Group, Mediconsult, Nightingale Health, Paras Biopharmaceuticals Finland, SE Innovations, Solutos, South Karelia Social and Health Care District, VideoVisit.

More information:

Ilkka Räsänen
Tel: +358 29 46951
Program Manager, Health & Wellbeing
Senior Care, Rehabilitation & Prevention, Finpro

Riku Mäkelä, Counsellor, innovations and trade,
Embassy of Finland, Singapore
+65 9815 7094

Finpro helps Finnish SMEs go international, encourages foreign direct investment to Finland and promotes travel to Finland. Finpro consists of Export Finland, Invest in Finland and Visit Finland. Finpro is a public organization with 240 professionals in 37 trade centers in 31 countries and 6 offices in Finland. Finpro – Growth for Finland

Read more about opportunities in Singapore:

Singapore’s ageing population
According to Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, the changing population structure is one of the three biggest future challenges in Singapore. Population growth has slowed down and in 2015 was at its lowest (1.2%) for a decade. In the period 1965-2015, the population increased from 1.9 million to 5.5 million, and now the big post-war age groups are reaching retirement age. The number of elderly people (over 65) doubled from the year 2000 (220,000) to the year 2015 (440,000), and will double again by the year 2030 (900,000). The elderly currently make up 7% of Singapore’s population but their share will increase to 19% by the year 2030 and 40% by 2050. Life expectancy has increased by 10 years since 1980 and is currently 82 years. With the current birth rate and without immigration, the median age will go up from current 39 to 47 years by 2030.

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