plano®: A Parental Management App for Safe Smart Device Use

plano®; AN INNOVATIVE PARENTAL MANAGEMENT APP FOR HEALTHLY AND SAFE SMART DEVICE USE AMONG CHILDREN

 plano® is the first spin-off from the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI)-Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator Programme

12 September 2017, Singapore – The miniaturisation and proliferation of technology, coupled with the convenience of mobile applications and “on-the-go” information, has led to a higher dependency on smart devices. Increased smart device use means that more time is spent sitting, and less time is spent engaging in physical and outdoor activities. This could lead, even in the short term, to habits that are detrimental to general and eye health. Excessive device use can result in ocular symptoms, and increase risk factors associated with myopia, such as (i) time spent on near work, (ii) distance of device held from one’s eyes[1] , (iii) childhood obesity, and (iv) the formation of bad body posture[2].

To better manage this phenomenon, plano® was created to revolutionize the way smart devices (phones and tablets) are used. plano® was created to minimize the potential adverse outcomes that may result from the inappropriate device use and incorporates an innovative screening tool for myopia, which can assist in early detection for decreased vision in children and provide users (parents and children) with easy to read reports to assist in improving device use behaviour. plano®’s analysis of big data can be used for early detection and prevention strategies, resource allocation and refining intervention measures to ultimately improve paediatric eye health in Singapore and beyond.

plano® sets ‘eyes’ on managing Smart Device Usage

Fresh out of the SERI-SNEC Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator programme and
co-funded by the National Health Innovation Centre Singapore, plano® is a parental management app and myopia screening tool which encourages healthy and safe smart device use in children.

Primarily targeted at parents, plano® can be used to keep track of a child’s smart devices use and usage habits. Parents can monitor the frequency and duration of time spent on the devices, the apps their children are using, and the distance at which they hold the device. plano® also captures important eye related data, such as utilization of optometry care and onset of myopia, and recommends eye tests using a validated framework for eye testing frequency in children. Parents can choose to receive weekly reports on their children’s device use, and can also subscribe for recommendations for better management.

plano® founder and CEO, Dr Mo Dirani shared, “We have seen the age of the users decrease as we become more dependent on these devices in our everyday lives. This does not need to be a problem, but it is a trend we must be mindful of. plano® is a ‘smart solution’ to better manage device usage behaviour. We believe many populations around the world will find this app useful, especially in a country like Singapore, which has both high myopia levels and high levels of smart device use amongst children.”

Launched first in Singapore, the plano® app can be downloaded for free on the iTunes App Store and on the Google Play Store. While plano® is currently available in English, there are plans to launch the app in Asia in local languages within the next two years.

Please refer to Annex A for the key features of the plano® app and Annex B for Dr. Mo Dirani’s profile.

First project to be unveiled by the SERI-SNEC Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator Programme

The SERI-SNEC Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator programme was first introduced in 2013. The programme is dedicated to supporting and nurturing highly promising ophthalmic R&D projects, accelerating them towards commercialisation and medical deployment via creating start-up companies, such as plano®. Members of the SERI technology development and commercialization team worked closely with the plano® project team, providing support in areas including regulatory, Intellectual Property (IP), market research, business planning and financial modelling and more.
On this basis, the project attracted additional translational funding from the National Health Innovation Centre Singapore to expand the scope of the development that could be undertaken.

The development of the plano® app is the third project that was supported by this programme, and its first successful spin-off.

Executive Director of SERI, Professor Aung Tin said, “plano® is an exciting spin-off company and is testament to the benefits of collaborative R&D that we hope will ultimately lead to better eye health for Singapore and beyond. This – along with our hopes to enable entrepreneurs and create a more vibrant, competitive medical research and technology ecosystem – are the key reasons why the Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator was set up. We hope such collaborations will firmly place Singapore on the map of entrepreneurial medical technology development.”

 

More on the SERI-SNEC Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator

 Through the Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator, SERI and SNEC are supporting researchers and entrepreneurs in their journey to develop diverse medical technologies, including therapeutics, devices, diagnostics and software. As global leaders in clinical practice and eye research, both SNEC and SERI strongly support the efficient and robust development of promising technologies towards commercialization via a string of start-up companies. Such initiatives will help position Singapore as a centre for entrepreneurial medical technology development and ultimately contribute to enhanced treatments for patients in the country and globally.

The operation of the Incubator is one of the main activities of the SERI technology development and commercialization (TD&C) team. It does however have a much wider role as a one-stop support resource for all SERI and SNEC staff involved in development of technologies which hold potential commercial promise. The TD&C team is focused in their goal to drive the development of budding technologies, support the commercial development of current research collaborations with industry and actively promote such collaborations with new partners.

To date, SERI and SNEC have filed over 122 patent applications, concluded over 20 licenses with industry, forged numerous early and late stage collaborations with industrial partners (including a recent $37M co-development collaboration with Santen Pharmaceutical of Japan) and spun off three companies, of which plano® is the latest.

For more information on plano®, please contact Dr. Mo Dirani at mo.dirani@plano.co or visit http://plano.co.

For more information on the SERI-SNEC Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator and the institutes’ industrial collaborations, please contact fang.xiaoqin@seri.com.sg or visit www.seri.com.sg.

About plano®

Founded in 2017, plano® is committed to ensuring healthy and safe device use in children worldwide. Through a mix of innovative parental management tools, plano® has the potential to make major contributions to paediatric health and well-being and ultimately become a leader in smart digital solutions.

plano® is a privately held company headquartered in Singapore. For more information, visit http://plano.co.

 

About Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC)

Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) was incorporated in 1989 and commenced operations in 1990. It is the designated national centre within the public-sector healthcare network, and spearheads and coordinates the provision of specialised ophthalmological services with emphasis on quality education and research. Since its opening in 1990, SNEC has achieved rapid growth and currently manages an annual workload of 300,000 outpatient visits, 35,000 major eye surgeries and laser procedures.

Subspecialties in Cataract, Corneal and External Eye Disease, General Cataract and Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Neuro-Ophthalmology, Oculoplastic, Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Refractive Surgery, Ocular Inflammation and Immunology, Medical Retina and Surgical Retina have been established to provide a full range of eye treatment from comprehensive to tertiary levels for the entire spectrum of eye conditions.

For more information about SNEC, visit https://www.snec.com.sg.

 

About Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI)

Established in 1997, SERI is Singapore’s national research institute for ophthalmic and vision research. SERI’s mission is to conduct high impact eye research with the aim to prevent blindness, low vision and major eye diseases common to Singaporeans and Asians. SERI has grown from a founding team of five in 1997 to a faculty of 226, encompassing clinician scientists, scientists, research fellows, PhD students and support staff. This makes SERI one of the largest research institutes in Singapore and the largest eye research institute in Asia-Pacific. In addition, SERI has over 100 adjunct faculties from various eye departments, biomedical institutes and tertiary centres in Singapore. SERI has amassed an impressive array of more than 2880 publications, scientific papers as of May 2017, and has secured more than $265 million in external peer-reviewed competitive grants. To date (as of May 2017), SERI’s faculty has been awarded more than 419 national and international prizes and filed more than 122 patents. Serving as the research institute of the Singapore National Eye Centre and affiliated to the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, SERI undertakes vision research in collaboration with local clinical ophthalmic centres and biomedical research institutions, as well as major eye centres and research institutes throughout the world.

For more information about SERI, visit http://www.seri.com.sg.

 

About National Health Innovation Centre Singapore

The National Health Innovation Centre Singapore (NHIC) was established in 2014 to accelerate the translation of healthcare innovations arising from the publicly-funded clinical research sector in Singapore. Through its project funding and strategic guidance, NHIC supports the development of innovative technologies towards commercially attractive products.

For more information about NHIC, visit: www.nhic.sg.

 

For media enquiries, please contact:

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Ms Pearlene Wong
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Ms Julie Chiang
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Singapore National Eye Centre(SNEC) Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI)

Mr Ravi Chandran

Corporate Communications

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E-mail: ravi.chandran@snec.com.sg

 

 

[1] P. Vate-U-Lan, “Text neck epidemic: a growing problem for smart phone users in Thailand,” The Twelfth International Conference on eLearning for Knowledge-Based Society, 2015.

[2] J. Park, J. Kim, J. Kim, K. Kim, N. Kim, I. Choi, et al., “The effects of heavy smartphone use on the cervical angle, pain threshold of neck muscles and depression,” 2015.

New Hope for Treating Fibrotic Diseases

Breakthrough discovery presents hope for treating fibrotic diseases which cause organ impairment

  •  Duke-NUS, SingHealth and NHCS researchers discover a key driver of cardiac and renal fibrosis
  • Findings will be presented in the Late-Breaking session at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2017 in Barcelona

 Singapore, 28 August 2017  – A breakthrough discovery in the field of cardiovascular fibrosis research made at Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS) and National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) has been licensed to a newly launched company Enleofen Bio Pte Ltd, a Singapore-funded biotechnology start-up.

Enleofen Bio plans to use the intellectual property (IP) derived from the Duke-NUS and NHCS research to develop first-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of multiple fibrotic human diseases including cardiac and pulmonary fibrosis. Fibrosis is the formation of excessive connective tissue, similar to the formation of scar tissue during the healing process; however, the excessive connective tissue in fibrotic disease does not heal but rather disrupts the structure and function of the organ and tissue where it forms, rendering it diseased. This process may affect many tissues within the body and is the main pathology behind heart and renal failure.

Professor Stuart Cook along with Assistant Professor Sebastian Schafer, who are both from NHCS and Duke-NUS’ Programme in Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders, carried out the translational research to identify the key drivers of chronic fibrotic disease in heart, kidney and other tissues.

The team’s findings will be presented at the Annual Congress of the European Society of Cardiology in Barcelona, on 28 August 2017, 8:30hrs CET.

“We discovered that a specific cytokine1 is a key driver and potentiator of TGF-beta2 in cardiac fibrosis. Ironically, it has been in plain sight for many years, but unfortunately for patients, this target was completely mischaracterised and hence overlooked,” explained Professor Cook, who is Director of the Programme in Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders at Duke-NUS Medical School, Director of the National Heart Research Institute Singapore, as well as a scientific founder of Enleofen Bio.

The development of the IP was facilitated by a unique collaborative model between Duke-NUS, NHCS and the National Health Innovation Centre Singapore. All three organisations partnered with Professor Cook to de-risk the discovery and prepare therapeutic technologies for commercial readiness as part of an ‘Active Translation Model’. The Enleofen Bio agreement represents a significant milestone in the development and commercialisation of fundamental biomedical research conducted at Duke-NUS and SingHealth, which promises to lead to improved healthcare outcomes.

 “We are very excited to see this great Singapore-derived therapeutics platform now under development at Enleofen Bio,” said Centre for Technology and Development’s (CTeD) Director and Duke-NUS Vice Dean for Technology and Development, Professor David Epstein. “We have found the right partners to take Professor Cook’s work to the next level of clinical application to improve peoples’ health and lives.”

“The licensing of this IP demonstrates Duke-NUS and SingHealth’s dedication to doing impactful research and translating that science to medical solutions,” said Senior Vice Dean of Research at Duke-NUS, Professor Patrick Casey.

Professor Terrance Chua, Medical Director of NHCS, who is also Group Chairman Medical Board, SingHealth, and Academic Chair of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Cardiovascular Academic Clinical Programme added: “Professor Cook led a group of dedicated clinicians and scientists within SingHealth and Duke-NUS to do groundbreaking research on fibrosis, and SingHealth and CTeD accelerated that progress to commercialisation. We are confident that such innovative research, which plays a significant role in setting new healthcare standards and transforming models of care, will continue to aid healthcare professionals to apply the science into practical and clinical solutions to improve patient care and treatment.”

***

Notes:

  1. Cytokines are a broad and loose category of small proteins that are important in cell signaling. Their release has an effect on the behaviour of cells around them.
  2. TGF-beta (transforming growth factor beta) is a kind of cytokine that plays an important role in growth and development, inflammation, repair and host immunity.

  

About Duke-NUS Medical School

The Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS, 杜克 - 新加坡国立大学医学院) was established in 2005 as a strategic collaboration between the Duke University School of Medicine, located in North Carolina, USA, and the National University of Singapore (NUS). Duke-NUS offers a graduate-entry, four-year MD (Doctor of Medicine) training programme based on the unique Duke model of education, with one year dedicated to independent study and research projects of a basic science or clinical nature. Duke-NUS also offers MD/PhD and PhD programmes. Duke-NUS has five Signature Research Programmes: Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, Neuroscience and Behavioural Disorders, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders, and Health Services and Systems Research.

Duke-NUS and SingHealth have established a strategic partnership in academic medicine that will guide and promote the future of medicine, tapping on and combining the collective strengths of SingHealth’s clinical expertise and Duke-NUS’ biomedical sciences research and medical education capabilities.

For more information, please visit; www.duke-nus.edu.sg

For more information about the Centre for Technology and Development, please visit: www.duke-nus.edu.sg/cted/

 

About the National Heart Centre Singapore

The National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS, 新加坡国家心脏中心) is a 185-bed national and regional referral centre for cardiovascular diseases. A one-stop facility with the largest heart specialists group in Singapore, NHCS treats complex cases and sees the highest volume of heart patients locally.

Each year, the Centre handles over 120,000 outpatient consultations, 6,000 interventional and surgical procedures and 9,000 inpatients. Its outcomes for heart attack treatment, balloon angioplasty with stenting and coronary bypass surgery have been shown to be equivalent to international standards.

NHCS is the first heart centre outside USA and in Asia to receive the prestigious Joint Commission International (JCI) since 2005, which is an assurance for safe and quality patient care for the patients.

For more information, please visit www.nhcs.com.sg.

 

About National Health Innovation Centre Singapore

The National Health Innovation Centre Singapore (NHIC) was established in 2014 to accelerate the translation of healthcare innovations arising from the publicly-funded clinical research sector in Singapore. Through its project funding and strategic guidance, NHIC supports the development of innovative technologies towards commercially attractive products.

For more information about NHIC, please visit: www.nhic.sg.

 

About Enleofen Bio

In 2017 the start-up company Enleofen Bio Pte. Ltd. was founded as a spin-out from National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), SingHealth and Duke-NUS Medical School with Series A funding. Enleofen Bio develops first-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of fibrotic human diseases. Fibrotic disorders include diseases of the skin, lungs, heart, eye and kidneys and are a major health burden in Singapore and around the world. The initial discovery science and drug target validation was carried out at NHCS and Duke-NUS, funded by Professor Stuart Cook’s funding from the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) as well as Goh Foundation and Tanoto Foundation. Multiple patent applications and a number of advanced drug candidates arising from the scientific work have been licensed to the company giving it a significant position in drug discovery and development for the treatment of fibrosis. The company aims to develop drugs for the treatment of multiple fibrotic diseases for which there are currently no treatment options.

For more information about Enleofen Bio, please visit www.enleofen.com

NHIC Breakout Session at SCRI 3rd Annual Scientific Symposium 2017

IMG_2670[2] copy 2.JPG

NHIC held a Breakout Session at the SCRI 3rd Annual Scientific Symposium on 29th August 2017. A full house was welcomed by NHIC’s Executive Director, Associate Professor Tina Wong and heard presentations on innovation processes and funding by NHIC Director, Mr Teo Cher Hwa.

This was followed by talks by specialists in the areas of medical device development, regulatory strategies and successful case studies. The full agenda can be viewed below:

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 9.25.35 AMScreen Shot 2017-08-30 at 9.26.20 AM

NAMIC Summit: 3D Printing in Healthcare

NAMIC is holding a one day summit/networking event on 21st July 2017 on 3D printing for the healthcare industry. The programme will include four key themes:

  1. A broad overview of the Singapore healthcare sector and how technologies such as additive manufacturing or 3D printing will transform the sector.
  2. Additive Manufacturing in Surgical Applications: specialist case studies on bone, organ, new applications.
  3. Regulatory and Quality System Considerations for Additive Manufacturing: regional regulatory panel.
  4. Start-up Innovation Spotlight: presentation and success stories by innovative start-ups

For further information on the event, please visit the website: NAMIC Summit on 3D Printing in Healthcare

Intellectual Property (IP) 101

Join us for an interactive session on Intellectual Property (IP) 101 to gain understanding and appreciation of the different forms of Intellectual Property and the methods through which they could be protected. This session is jointly organised by Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Namazie & Co., NDR Medical Technology Pte. Ltd. and the National Health Innovation Centre Singapore (NHIC).

Designed for medical practitioners embarking out on the journey of research and development in medical technology, Katherine Kan from Namazie & Co will provide attendees with the practical knowledge of IP protection in the form of patents, know-how, trademarks and copyright.

NHIC will also give an overview of the funding opportunities available via NHIC Innovation to Protect (I2P) grant.

The details of the session are as follows:

 Date: Thurs, 29th June

Time:  1-2pm.

Venue: Tower B, Level 1. Learning Centre, Room Kaizen 3

Contact: On arrival, kindly please contact Joseph (9822 8401) or Renyi (9726 3249). Staff access will be required through the Learning Centre entrance

Car Parking: KTPH Basement Car Park.  Nearest parking lots are in the Tower B area. Complimentary ticket is available from KTPH.

Seats are limited and available on first come, first served basis.

 

About Namazie and the Speaker (Katherine Kan)

Namzie & Co. is an Intellectual Property & Technology law firm. Founded in 2001, it serves clients who require specialized legal services and solutions to protect and commercialise their Intellectual Property assets in Asia. The firm’s clientele includes a rich mix of multi-national corporations, local and foreign law firms, research institutions, technology start-ups, small and medium enterprises and individuals, both locally and internationally, across diverse industries.

Katherine Kan is a legal associate with Namazie & Co. and advises clients on trademark protection, copyright enforcement and data protection matters. Her practice includes structuring and advising on commercial transactions that involve intellectual property. Katherine’s practice also includes the drafting and negotiating of various commercial contracts, such as licensing agreements, services agreements, distribution agreements and sponsorship agreements. She has worked with international conglomerates and domestic SMEs from various industries, such as food & beverage, real estate, entertainment, hospitality, education, manufacturing, publishing, fashion, retail and information technology. She has also published several articles on IP and Technology law internationally and domestically.

NHIC Funding Featured in SPRINT

NHIC funded project ‘Mobile Interactive Supervised Therapy’, a smartphone-based platform aimed at improving medication adherence in tuberculosis treatment was featured in the 2016-17 annual report by Singapore Programme of Research Investigating New Approaches to Treatment of Tuberculosis (SPRINT-TB). The platform will be tested with TB patients in selected countries in the region in 2017.

SPRINT

The full version of the annual report can be found at http://www.sprinttb.org/.

Briefing on Innovation Partnerships and Capability Development for Healthcare Innovations

NHIC is partnering with the Singapore Business Federation and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster to conduct a complimentary partners’ briefing on Innovation Partnership and Capability Development Programmes, to help companies develop sector capabilities through Healthcare Innovations and Additive Manufacturing Technologies. In addition, the speakers will speak on the funding streams for innovation to support projects and tackle unmet sector needs. See link below for details:

Briefing Session with NHIC and NAMIC

 

 

Launch of “Innovation to Startup” (I2Start) Pathway scheme

The National Health Innovation Centre Singapore, in collaboration with SPRING Singapore, is pleased to announce the launch of the “Innovation to Startup” (I2Start) Pathway scheme. This is an accelerated funding pathway to provide Singapore’s clinician scientists with a platform to develop a medtech innovation and then commercialise it via a startup company route.

The I2Start Pathway brings together two successful grant schemes: the NHIC Innovation to Develop (I2D) and the SPRING Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme (TECS), to streamline the funding support.

We are seeking highly driven clinician-led project teams planning to start a medical device company. The team submits a single proposal to NHIC, and a joint NHIC-SPRING evaluation panel will assess the healthcare impact, market and business potential of the applications. Successful applicants will be awarded the NHIC I2D grant of $250K to the host institution, alongside a Letter of Intent from SPRING to support the continuation of the project via a start up vehicle, under their TECS grant.

 Interested applicants should contact your NHIC Healthcare Cluster Manager for the I2D-I2Start grant application template. The next closing date is Friday 7th April 2017.

For further details on the I2Start Pathway, please contact your NHIC Healthcare Cluster Manager or email enquiry@nhic.sg.

Healthcare Cluster

NHIC Cluster Manager

SingHealth

Sharron Bennett

NUHS

Modukuru Naga Kishore

NHG and JHS

Michael Ho

EHS and AHS

Joshua Lim

 

Intellectual Property (IP) 101 Session

Join us for an interactive session on Intellectual Property (IP) 101 to gain understanding and appreciation of the different forms of Intellectual Property and the methods through which they could be protected. This session is jointly organised by Eastern Health Alliance Centre for Innovation, Namazie & Co. and the National Health Innovation Centre Singapore (NHIC).

Designed for medical practitioners embarking on the journey of research and development in medical technology, Katherine Kan from Namazie & Co will provide attendees with the practical knowledge of IP protection in the form of patents, know-how, trademarks and copyright.

NHIC will also give an overview of the funding opportunities available via NHIC Innovation to Protect (I2P) grant.

The details of the session are as follows:
Date: 17 March 2017, Friday
Time: 12 – 1.30pm (Registration will commence at 11.45am)
Venue: Changi General Hospital, Centre For Innovation
Lunch refreshment will be provided to registered attendees. Seats are limited and available on first come first served basis.

Register today by emailing your respective Research Office with the following details:
Name:
Organisation:
Department:
Email:

About Namazie and the Speaker (Katherine Kan)

Namzie & Co. is an Intellectual Property & Technology law firm. Founded in 2001, it serves clients who require specialized legal services and solutions to protect and commercialise their Intellectual Property assets in Asia. The firm’s clientele includes a rich mix of multi-national corporations, local and foreign law firms, research institutions, technology start-ups, small and medium enterprises and individuals, both locally and internationally, across diverse industries.

Katherine Kan is a legal associate with Namazie & Co. and advises clients on trademark protection, copyright enforcement and data protection matters. Her practice includes structuring and advising on commercial transactions that involve intellectual property. Katherine’s practice also includes the drafting and negotiating of various commercial contracts, such as licensing agreements, services agreements, distribution agreements and sponsorship agreements. She has worked with international conglomerates and domestic SMEs from various industries, such as food & beverage, real estate, entertainment, hospitality, education, manufacturing, publishing, fashion, retail and information technology. She has also published several articles on IP and Technology law internationally and domestically.

Innovation to Industry (I2I) Scheme to Launch in April

NHIC is to launch the Innovation to Industry (I2I) funding scheme in April 2017. This co-development scheme is designed to support the transition of a successfully completed I2D project towards the market with the committed contribution of an industry partner. Projects supported by I2I are expected to lead to a licence on commercial terms from the institution to the industry partner (or spin-off vehicle) at the completion of the funding.

The funding is up to $250,000 over 12 months and application is by NHIC invitation only. For further information, please speak to your I2D Project Manager.