The Future of the Biomedical Sector in Singapore: Trends, Talent and Technology

“The Future of the Biomedical Sector in Singapore: Trends, Talent and Technology” – this was the topic of the panel discussion, organized by Murdoch University, in conjunction with the Singapore Centre for Research in Innovation, Productivity and Technology (SCRIPT). The keynote lecture was delivered by Dr. Chris Smith who gave his perspective on the important things and challenges facing the world.


Credit: Maven Potter

Dr. Chris Smith is a consultant medical microbiologist based at Cambridge University and also a consultant clinical virologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital where he teaches medical, veterinary and natural sciences in infectious diseases and virology. As the creator of ‘The Naked Scientist’, a science and medicine radio show, podcast and website, Dr. Chris Smith added:

‘We can see what’s coming up in relevant journals up to 6 weeks ahead and every week, we scrutinize those journals and ask what do we think is important, what do we think people would love to know about…it’s very important to draw the right conclusions from Science so we always read these papers that were put up very carefully.’

He pointed out the concerns of increasing population density translating to greater population dynamics, bringing up concerns over the already limited resources as well as incubation periods of major infectious illnesses exceeding flight durations, resulting in greater ease of spreading. With increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere, consequences of climate change were also discussed. Challenges faced by an aging population were briefly touched on, with concerns such as the shift in healthcare focus and an increasing financial burden on societies.

Dr. Chris Smith then carried on to provide several interesting insights on biomedical breakthroughs, and they were as follows:

Although these challenges may seem impossible to tackle in the short run, it may not be all doom and gloom. In his closing statements, Dr. Chris Smith concluded: ‘there are some very bright people doing some exciting work at the same time, which is going to help us solve a lot of those problems and probably there has never been a better time to get ill.’

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