Interview with the Centre for Innovation in Healthcare (CIH) In Singapore

What is CIH?

The Centre for Innovation in Healthcare (CIH), a part of the National University Health System (NUHS), Singapore, connects companies in the healthcare tech space with clinical experts, enabling the latter to evaluate the quality and impact of their new inventions. The result is a more streamlined process where emerging technologies reach their intended users and meet health needs sooner and better.

What does CIH do?

CIH’s goal is to facilitate clinical adoption of healthcare innovations for public good and global impact. Our key differentiator is our clinical expertise; our assets are our patients, our healthcare professionals and our clinical data. We focus on helping our partners demonstrate the value of their healthcare innovations through clinical validation trials, overcome regulatory hurdles through later phase trials and show the cost-effectiveness of their solutions through health technology assessments (HTAs).

As CIH partners with many experts within the healthtech ecosystem, we can effectively support our innovators to overcome challenges in various stages of the innovation process. We are also proud to have built a vibrant co-innovation community. Companies can leverage this network to accelerate the journey towards clinical and market adoption.

How does CIH support Clinical Adoption?

CIH’s core services aim to bridge the gaps for healthcare innovations to be clinically adopted. The services below elaborates how CIH provides support to our innovators.

  1. Usability Trial Sessions
    For clinicians to provide innovators with clinical insights, CIH conducts usability sessions where relevant clinical users from NUHS institutions are invited to provide valuable feedback regarding the product and how it can be adopted into the clinical practice.

  2. Clinical Validation & Health Technology Assessments (HTAs)
    After the successful matchmaking with a Clinical Principal Investigator (PI), CIH provides various clinical services that enable innovators to validate their innovation and assess their suitability for deployment within the NUHS cluster.

    CIH will provide options for various services for clinical validation, these services include Domain Specific Review Board (DSRB) submission and Project Management of the clinical trial.

    For start-ups looking at a systematic evaluation of the cost-effectiveness and impact of their health innovation, CIH has a network of health economists who can evaluate the health technology using established HTA methods, taking into account both clinical expert opinions and existing scientific evidence.

    The evaluation would be able to provide evidence to guide decisions such as procurement, incorporation into clinical workflow, health policy decision, further development of the health technology.

A special place to collaborate and build links with Healthcare Innovation ecosystem partners

If companies want to do clinical validation at CIH, can they do it without disclosing their innovative secrets?

Yes, but this will depend on the scope of validation study, study design and the goal of the clinical validation study.

What is the usual cost and timeframe for clinical validation?

The cost and timeframe will depend and adjusted accordingly to the scale and the study design.

Any collaboration events with Japanese counterparts?

In February 2021, CIH co-organised an online event with the Kanagawa Prefectural Government and Mizuho Information & Research Institute. The theme of the event was on “Devices, Drugs and Services that contributed to the fight against infectious diseases”. The event was attended by Japan healthcare company representatives from Kanagawa prefecture, Kanagawa Prefectural Government and CIH Community members. During the webinar, Japanese companies had the opportunity to introduce their companies and showcase their innovations to the local audience.

Any last thoughts or comments?

CIH welcomes the opportunity to work with companies that can co-create value with CIH through our expertise in navigating the clinical trials and HTAs landscape in our institutions. We also welcome partners that can complement our clinical validation expertise, and expand our network of resources to effectively support our innovators.

Please contact GPC if you have any questions regarding your market entry into Southeast Asia or vice versa, expand into Japan.
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