Singapore looks to wearable tech for population-based health initiative
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Singapore looks to wearable tech for population-based health initiative

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The Singapore government is creating a "comprehensive digital health platform" based on the use of wearables, as part of a new nationwide health initiative designed to get Singaporeans more physically active.

The landmark Live Healthy SG scheme will harness technology, behaviour insights and analytics and aims to achieve sustained behaviour change in Singaporeans.

Live Health SG forms part of Singapore’s Smart Nation programme, a government-led initiative to transform key sectors of society – including healthcare – through innovative technology and big data.

Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB), a government agency responsible for implementing policy and programmes to improve the nation’s health, has partnered with wearable tech firm Fitbit for the initiative.

Live Healthy SG has been designed by FitBit and will look to engage people of all ages and levels of health using Fitbit devices and the company's new Premium service, set to launch later this year.

The programme will leverage the full Fitbit ecosystem of wearable devices, software and services and will focus in the areas of physical activity, sleep, nutrition and emotional wellbeing.

Participants who enrol will commit to one year of Fitbit Premium service and receive a Fitbit Inspire HR at no cost – supplied by FitBit.

HPB will leverage its outreach channels to encourage participation in the programme and those who take part will share their data, providing insights and potentially contributing to further health promotion programmes.

Live Healthy SG will officially go live in late October 2019.

While Singapore is considered one of the healthiest countries in the world – it was ranked eight healthiest by the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index 2019 – it faces, like many nations, a rise in chronic conditions such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

“The area of population health presents an exciting opportunity for innovation," said Zee Yoong Kang, CEO of the Singapore Health Promotion Board.

"Increasingly, we have leveraged emerging technologies as well as behaviour insights in the design of our programmes, such as the National Steps Challenge – a nationwide programme to keep active, to encourage Singaporeans to adopt healthy living and to affect behaviour change.

"We will continue to embark on such nationwide programmes to encourage and support Singaporeans in keeping active, adopting healthy living and affecting behaviour change.

"At the same time, we intend to work with industry innovators, such as Fitbit, on additional efforts to use technology to provide Singaporeans with personalized health advice and nudges, so that they can take control of their own health.

"Participants of this programme will benefit from Fitbit’s plans to incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning to encourage physical activity, healthy eating and better sleep quality. The insights gathered can also help to enrich HPB’s health promotion programmes."

James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit, added: “Our partnership with the Singapore HPB is a recognition of our work to date, and we are confident that the powerful combination of our devices, software and services will motivate Singaporeans to improve their health, while also tangibly helping a nation to improve health at scale.

"We commend Singapore for its leadership and look forward to seeing other countries follow a similar blueprint to improve the health of their people.”

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The Singapore government is creating a "comprehensive digital health platform" based on the use of wearables, as part of a new nationwide health initiative designed to get Singaporeans more physically active.
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