Innovating for Better Healthcare

Projects in this theme aim to design better solutions to meet healthcare needs in hospitals and the community. Students who work on projects in this theme will learn from and work closely with healthcare and medical professionals as well as academic staff from Engineering and other faculties to conceptualise, design, test, and develop healthcare and medical technologies. Designed specially to bridge engineering and medicine, the track introduces engineering students to the realities and challenges they will face when developing practical solutions for the treatment and care of patients.


Lego-Inspired Modular Microfluidics for Unit Operations in Human-On-Chip

Human-on-chip (HOC), an integration of different functional organ-on-chip (OOC) modules on a common platform, is an emerging technology to replicate inter-organ interactions for drug development purposes. However, researchers have to redesign the HOC for different OOC combinations and flow configuration, which is time, cost and labor-intensive. The solution to mitigate the shortcomings of current HOC employs manipulatable HOC platform

Detecting Intrauterine Growth Restriction

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is one of the challenges in obstetrics as it is the second leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality in the general obstetric population. To address this, a minimally invasive miniaturized oximeter is developed to be implanted onto the umbilical cord. This device measures the oxygen saturation of arterial and venous blood and transmits the data to mobile phones for real-time monitoring.

Emergency Care on the Fly

MyResponder volunteers had raised concerns in terms of locating necessary medical equipment and supplies and time taken to locate them during an emergency situation. Our group recognised the problem and aims to promote early intervention and early access so that the victim can be attended to as soon as possible. To avoid traffic congestion, we utilized UAV as the mode of provision along with a wearable communication device to enable the MyResponder to communicate with paramedics directly.

Clinical Wearables with IoT for Medical Applications

In the National University Hospital (NUH) emergency department, staffs need to continuously monitor patients in order to diagnose patients timely and accurately, and administer appropriate treatment. However, due to resource limitations, the monitoring of patients may not be possible all the time. The solution is a scalable IoT system for continuous patient vital signs data collection and data analytics.

Adipose Stem Cell Harvesting

Adipose Stem Cells (ASCs) are an attractive and abundant source of Mesenchymal Stem Cells which have tremendous applicability in the field of repair and regeneration of chronically and acutely damaged tissues. Currently, the commercial systems used to isolate the ASCs are enzymatic and lack standardisation. Our aim is thus to develop a standalone system to be intuitive, easy to use for the medical staff, and able to overcome the shortcomings of the past models of the harvester.

Personal Mobility Device cum Gait Trainer for Stroke Patients

After the stroke patient is discharged from the hospital, frequent gait training is necessary for the patient to quickly restore normal body functions. While doing their gait training, patients are still required to go about their normal lives but are limited by their mobility. Our solution is to make the gait training conveniently combined with a means of faster mobility for patients to continue their training whilst commuting.

Image guided, minimally invasive surgical robot for removal of Oseous Giant Cell Tumors (GCTs)

The standard treatment of GCTs, require invasive curettage and the creation of a large cortical window for assessment. This technique includes risks such as bleeding, damage to bone and adjacent soft tissue, risk of fractures of the operated bone and significant post-operative pain and immobility. Using a snake-like robot has the advantages of minimally invasive surgery by effectively reducing the size of the cortical window needed for tumor removal.

Point-of-care Diagnostics for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is prevalent in Singapore especially in childcare centres and diagnosis is mainly done through visual assessment. Currently, the only accurate methods of diagnosis available are done through tests in laboratories. The solution is to establish communication to transfer results to more accessible devices such as phones, expediting the conventional laboratory process of detecting the presence of the HFMD virus.

Dysphagia Rehabilitation Training Device

Oropharyngeal Dysphagia (OD) is a serious swallowing disorder that affects patients suffering from a wide range of diseases such as stroke, nasopharyngeal cancer and ALS. The team has developed a device to help patients to overcome OD via physical exercise. The team has won several accolades at NHIC Innovation to Develop Awards and NUS FOE Innovation and Research Awards.

Eye Tracking Device

This is a project aiming to develop a system capable of detecting the movement of the human eye-ball and extracting useful information such as the range of eye-ball movement, movement speed, head movement range, speed and frequency, etc. Such information will be useful in the field of medicine, where certain ailments of the eye can be diagnosed, monitored and rehabilitated.

Soft Robotics Material For Implantable Blood Pumps

Only 10% of patients awaiting heart transplant are able to receive a transplant every year. Man-made mechanical circulatory support systems are being used in place of heart transplant to bridge this gap. In this project, students are designing an enhanced Left Ventricle Assist Device (LVAD) to support an ailing heart in maintaining normal blood circulation. The project develops a novel pump and power system for LVADs to minimize the risk of infections, allow patient specific customization and reduce costs compared to existing devices.

Point-of-Care Diagnostics For Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is an infectious disease that affects children under the age of 5. The current detection methodology for HFMD includes laboratory testing which requires complicated sample handling and long turn-around times. To enable rapid and reliable detection of HFMD, this project is developing a point-of-care testing kit for usage in childcare centres and kindergartens. The developed prototype uses saliva as the biological sample and Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy as the detection methodology.

Optimizing The Workflow In NUH Heart Pharmacy

Hospital pharmacies are tasked with serving a high volume of patients while managing a large inventory of drugs. Being one of the last stops in the healthcare service chain, pharmacies are especially susceptible to patient complaints when the waiting time is long. This project aims to reduce the patient waiting time to enhance the service quality in hospital pharmacies. The project uses human factor engineering and statistical tools to optimize the manpower allocation in pharmacies.

CANDEE : Point-of-Care Diagnostics For Cancer

Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality in Singapore. The current detection methodologies rely on cumbersome techniques which require laboratory equipment. In this project, students are developing a point-of-care diagnostic kit to facilitate low-cost and early detection of cancer. The project involves development of cost-effective platforms for separating plasma from blood sample and fabricating a microfluidic chip to quantify the concentration of cancer antigens in the sample.

Novel Compliant Cat Robot

This project is developing a novel compliant cat robot that can be used for search and rescue operations, entertainment purposes and military stealth. The quadrapedalled robot is designed to look like a cat, move like a cat and even behave like a cat. The project involves mechanical design, microcontroller programming and a communication module interfacing.

IoT Enabled Innovation For Emergency And Disaster

This project develops a system to enable faster rescue of casualties during an emergency situation. The team is using IoT based indoor localisation of casualties to assist firefighters in rescue operations. The system uses low-energy Bluetooth beacons for indoor localisation. In addition, the system uses RFID and mobile application to provide access to the floorplan of the emergency area.

IoT Based Vital Signs Measurement

Measuring patient vital signs is an integral part of the healthcare routine in the emergency department of hospitals. However, due to manpower constraints, patients vitals are not measured at regular intervals thereby compromising on essential information required for continuous health monitoring. This project develops a device for automated, continuous and accurate measurement of patient vital signs crucial to emergency department, namely – temperature, SpO2, blood pressure and heart rate. The project uses non-invasive sensors powered by IoT technology to enable easy access to patient vitals for the healthcare providers.

HAPee - Solution For Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence – defined as the loss of bladder control is a common problem among children and elderly. The HAPee team is developing a solution that enables children suffering from urinary incontinence to regain control of their bedwetting condition. The developed prototype – HAPee – enables patients to non-invasively measure the urine volume in bladder and triggers an alert when the bladder is full.

Taxeia – Partial Weight Bearing Learning Device

Weight bearing refers to amount of weight a patient puts on a leg that underwent surgery. The current methods of measuring weight bearing such as force plates, bathroom scales and limb load monitors are expensive, designed for lab usage and do not provide real time feedback after training. Taxeia is a partial weight bearing training device that uses biofeedback to provide real time monitoring during patient rehabilitation.

Wheelchairs For The Needy Elderly

Electric wheelchairs provide a higher degree of independence compared to manual designs. However, electric wheelchairs are prone to frequent breakdowns and require regular maintenance. During the maintenance sessions, wheelchair users are left stranded at home unable to carry out their activities of daily living. This project develops a solution for the elderly to maintain their mobility while their electric wheelchair is under maintenance. The project team has developed a power add-on module to motorise the manual wheelchairs.