When one thinks of ‘healthcare’, images of doctors and nurses in their distinctive white garb come to mind.
What about ‘HealthTech’?
You might think that there is no relation between the healthcare and tech sector, but these two millennials think otherwise!
HealthTech is the solution to alleviate Singapore’s ageing population issues, as well as a means to meet the needs of our burgeoning healthcare industry.
With healthcare investments expected to increase to 3.5 per cent of our GDP in 2030 and the industry needing 30,000 more healthcare workers by 2020, technology plays a vital part in improving the efficiency of our limited manpower pool.
But did you know that you can be part of this sector, even if you have no infocomm or healthcare background?
As these ICT professionals will tell you, entering the HealthTech industry is not as unattainable as it sounds.
If you are a fresh graduate looking for an industry to step into, or someone looking for a mid-career switch, read on and find out why the growing HealthTech sector could be what you are looking for.
Growing Opportunities In The Sector
According to a recent report by Galen Growth Asia, funding for Asia’s HealthTech startups exceeded US$2.6 billion in 2017 – and it is predicted to continue growing.
This translates to countless opportunities in the HealthTech sector.
As Singapore’s HealthTech agency, IHiS (Integrated Health Information Systems) plays a key role in developing Smart Health solutions for the public healthcare sector to enable better care delivery and bring greater convenience to Singaporeans.
Take for example Smart Health TeleRehab, a technology platform that IHiS developed with NUS’ Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, and local startup T-Rehab.
The platform allows suitable patients to perform prescribed rehabilitation exercises at a time and location of their choice. This is made possible through the use of wearable sensors and guided videos.
With a patent-pending algorithm, therapists can also monitor their patients’ performance remotely and asynchronously via a smart metrics dashboard.
Smart Health TeleRehab has since been implemented by various healthcare institutions.
Hanalytics, a company that deals with big data analytics and machine learning is also a changemaker.
Their partnership with hospitals has helped to develop state-of-the-art AI applications to assist doctors in patient diagnosis.
Their expertise in deep learning analytics fused with medical knowledge has allowed them to derive solutions to overcome the limitations of human doctors, thus moving the industry forward by leaps and bounds!
As the tech element is pretty strong in the industry, the career progression roadmap is similar to that of an ICT career.
According to the Skills Framework for ICT, there are 119 ICT job roles in the ICT sector, and as technology continues to make more breakthroughs, that number will also increase.
During the Health Tech Day event, IMDA announced that global biopharmaceutical company Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp (MSD) has come on board as a partner to boost the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) initiative, which aims to accelerate professional development for tech jobs.
With that move, MSD has committed to equip over 90 ICT professionals with in-demand skills in cybersecurity, data analytics, cloud computing and software development over the next three years through on-the-job training and overseas attachments.
This partnership will also put in motion the employment of both fresh and mid-level ICT professionals, especially in the healthcare sector.
Kickstarting A HealthTech Career
There are also many programmes and courses available to prepare you for a smoother entry into the industry.
Individuals can leverage on programmes and courses to acquire in-demand specialised tech skills, and take up training opportunities.
To accommodate varying work schedules, there are both short courses and longer duration programmes that individuals can enrol in.
The programmes under the TeSA initiative also allows individuals to plan their professional development and provides them with funding support for trainings.
Professionals can benefit from and receive much needed support to build on specialised ICT skills through TeSA programmes and courses.
You can acquire skillsets that are high in demand such as data analysis, data mining, and machine learning.
These are skills you can learn from Business Analytics courses such as CCC Big Data Foundation, Certified Data Analytics Specialist, Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) Data Analyst, and Tableau Desktop Qualified Associate.
The skills acquired through these courses can be applied in various industries.
At the end of some of these programmes and courses, participants will be awarded with industry-recognised qualifications and certifications.
Embark On A Promising And Fulfilling Journey
According to Bruce Liang, Chief Information Officer, Ministry of Health & Chief Executive Officer, IHiS, HealthTech is an “exciting space” to be in now.
He noted that investments in this sector have increased by 7% over the last three years in Singapore, and he expects this growth to double to 13% in the next three years.
“This growth trajectory would translate to a demand of approximately 1,200 more health IT jobs,” he added.
The prospects are indeed bright in HealthTech, and you too can be a part of this exciting and growing sector.
If you’re looking to score a career in this meaningful industry, you can check out companies such as AEvice Health, Hanalytics, IHiS, Medisys Innovation, Nucleus Dynamics, and Taggle; and check out this extensive list on the various roles available.
This article was written in collaboration with IMDA Singapore.
Featured Image Credit: Integrated Health Information Systems