Thought Leaders Series 2019

Singapore Biodesign Thought Leaders Series 2019

Singapore Biodesign would like to cordially invite you to our signature event where we will be sharing current trend in medtech and digital health via a series of events on October 7th, Monday at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre!

Globally, the impact of vision loss extends far beyond the prevalence of blindness and vision impairment. For the 39 million people who are blind and the 253 million who have a vision impairment, vision loss often represents a lifetime of inequality. People with vision impairment often have poorer health, and face barriers to education and employment. The consequences of vision loss can also be felt within a family. This year, Singapore Biodesign Thought Leaders Series presents to you “Ophthalmic Innovations for Asia”. The keynote address will shed light on ‘Innovation in Global Eye Health and Opportunities in Asia Pacific’. Our fellows will also share their on-the-ground immersion findings from Singapore, China and Indonesia on the societal and cultural norms that affect the way ophthalmic diseases are developed and managed. This will set the tone for a discussion by a respected panel of local and international experts in the Ophthalmology space on what it means to innovate for Asia and to ensure market success in these countries. There will also be a showcase of ophthalmology innovations by Singapore-based companies at the event. All are welcome!

The Thought Leaders Series is an annual signature event which is free and open to all aspiring multi-disciplinary medtech innovators and ecosystem stakeholders. Don’t miss this chance to be inspired by our expert lineup and to network with the rest of the medtech community! 


Event Sponsor:


Details of Event

Date: 7th October 2019, Monday
Time: 2:00pm - 5:30pm (SGT) (Registration starts at 1:30pm)
Event Venue: Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Center, Room 300-301
Programme Booklet: Click here to download

  •      Keynote Speaker and Panel Profile

    Keynote Speaker: Ms Bebe Teo, Managing Director, Vision Care, Seed, Accelerate, Sustain Markets, Asia Pacific

    As the Managing Director of Seed, Accelerate, Sustain Markets in Asia Pacific, Bebe is responsible for the Vision Care Business and leads a team of over 150 people across 10 countries. Bebe prioritizes talent development, diversity and inclusion through co-creation of high performance culture to help her teams realize their fullest potential. In so doing, Bebe and her team build partnerships by helping customers, industry key stakeholders and consumers buy what they value.Since joining Johnson & Johnson 10 years ago, Bebe has worked in country and regional roles in both Vision Care and One Johnson & Johnson Singapore with the Consumer, Diabetes and Pharmaceutical OTC businesses. Bebe established strong partnerships with Government, Institutions of Learning, Industry Partners and customers. Her dedication to helping consumers live vibrant, longer, healthier lives by making informed decisions through education and personalized engagement drives impactful outcomes. As a result, Bebe and her team are recipients of multiple Government and industry Awards. Bebe has over 18 years of experience in the FMCG businesses like Adidas & Coca-Cola where Bebe built strategic partnerships with industry key stakeholders through strong understanding of consumer & customer insights. Leadership and innovation driven by this consumer and customer centricity led to several award winning global breakthroughs. Dedicated to community impact, Bebe was the Business Sponsor of Johnson & Johnson Asia Pacific Community Committee for over 6 years. She also chairs the Singapore Manufacturer Association for Vision Care Industry Group and sits on the Optometry Advisory Panel of Parkway College, Singapore Polytechnic and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Bebe, her husband Dominic and their daughter, Darrilyn are based in Singapore.

    Moderator: Prof Wong Tien Yin, Medical Director & Senior Consultant, Singapore National Eye Centre; Chairman, Board of Directors, Singapore Eye Research Institute

    Professor Wong Tien Yin completed medical school at the National University of Singapore (NUS) as a President’s scholar, residency training in ophthalmology at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), and retinal fellowships at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA and University of Sydney, Australia. He has a MPH and PhD from the Johns Hopkins University, USA. In his role as Vice Dean, Office of Academic and Clinical Development, Duke-NUS Medical School, he coordinates clinical and translational research strategy and execution across the SingHealth-Duke-NUS Academic Medicine Centre. As Head of the Academic Medicine Research Institute, he facilitates and plans the development and support of clinician scientists and clinician-investigator across the campus. Professor Wong is concurrently the Medical Director of SNEC, one of the largest tertiary eye hospitals in Asia, with a faculty of more than 70 ophthalmologists. The Centre manages more than 300,000 outpatient visits and some 27,000 major surgeries annually. SNEC’s research division, the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), is one of the world’s leading eye research institutes. Prof Wong was previously SERI’s Executive Director (2009-13) and is now the Chairman of its Board. Prior to his current appointments, Prof Wong was Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, NUS and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, the University of Melbourne, Australia. Professor Wong balances clinical practice in Ophthalmology, focusing on retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, with a broad-based research program comprising epidemiological, clinical and translational studies of Asian retinal diseases, and on the use of retinal imaging to predict disease risk. He has published over a 1,000 peer-reviewed papers, including papers in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet, gave more than 300 invited plenary, symposium and named lectures globally, and received over US$50 million in grant funding as Principal Investigator.


    Dr. Mark Blumenkranz, HJ Smead Professor Emeritus, Stanford University School of Medicine

    Mark S. Blumenkranz, M.D., MMS, is HJ Smead Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ophthalmology at Stanford University. He received his Undergraduate, Master’s degree in Biochemical Pharmacology, and MD at Brown. He completed his surgical internship and ophthalmic residency training at Stanford and a fellowship in vitreoretinal diseases at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute where he was appointed a member of the faculty following completion of his training in 1980. In 1985 he founded the Retinal Fellowship Training Program at the William Beaumont Eye Institute in Royal Oak Michigan and served as the Fellowship Director until 1992. He returned to Stanford in 1992 as head of the vitreoretinal service and was appointed to serve as the Department Chairman in 1997. He served in that capacity until 2015. He completed the Stanford Executive Program at the Graduate School of Business in 2004 He played a leading role in the planning, fundraising and construction of the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford and served as founding Director from its opening in September 2010 through June 2015.Dr. Blumenkranz has served on the Editorial Boards of The American Journal of Ophthalmology, Retina, Ophthalmology, and Graefe’s Archives for Ophthalmology. He is a past President of the American University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO), and a past President of the Retina Society and the Macula Society. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Audacious Goals Initiative of the NEI, and was a Trustee and Fellow of the Corporation of Brown University from 2002 until 2019 where he was the Chair of the Corporation Medical School Committee for eleven years. Dr. Blumenkranz was an early innovator in vitrectomy techniques to treat complex forms of retinal detachment, and helped to usher in the modern era of intravitreal and surgical adjuvant drug therapy with laboratory and clinical studies identifying 5- fluorouracil and low molecular weight heparin as potent agents to inhibit ocular scarring. These studies led to subsequent trials for these agents in glaucoma and proliferative vitreoretinopathy. He was a member of the group that first reported the herpetic etiology and successful acyclovir treatment of acute retinal necrosis, the use of bioerodible polymers to deliver intraocular steroids for macular edema and published the first human safety study of ranibizumab (lucentis) and gene therapy based anti-VEGF therapy for age related macular degeneration. He has published more than one hundred and sixty papers in peer-reviewed journals and multiple book chapters, abstracts and patents in the field.Dr. Blumenkranz has a longstanding interest and expertise in university corporate technology. He was a director and principal trial designer at Oculex Pharmaceuticals for their successful phase 2 Ozurdex study, leading to its acquisition by Allergan in 2003. He served as a co-founder, Director and Chairman of the SAB of Macusight, an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company developing proprietary mTor inhibitors for ophthalmic disease, which was acquired by Santen in 2010. He was a founder and director of Peak Surgical, an innovator in pulsed plasma mediated electro-surgery that was acquired by Medtronics in 2011. In 2004 he co-founded Optimedica Corporation for which he co-wrote the foundation IP for the PASCAL and Catalys lasers, and which was acquired by AMO and more recently J&J in 2013. In 2006 he co-founded and served as Chairman of the Board of Adverum Biotechnologies (ADVM:NASDAQ) until October 2016. He was a co-founder and director of Oculeve, a dry eye company employing a neuro-modulatory approach to therapy, which was acquired by Allergan in August of 2015. He is a co-founder and serves as a director of Verana Health a digital medicine and health analytics company and since 2015 as founder and Managing Director of Lagunita Biosciences LLC, an early stage biotechnology and medical investment company based in Menlo Park CA.
    Mr Biten Kathrani, Head of R&D for Asia Pacific, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care

    Biten Kathrani is the Head of R&D for Asia Pacific for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. Based in Singapore, he represents APAC region in the Vision Care R&D Leadership team and is responsible for developing and leading R&D programs, partnerships and innovation in eye health in the APAC region. He is also responsible for leading for J&J Vision Care’s strategic Myopia Research Collaboration program with SNEC / Singapore Eye Research Institute. Biten has been in the healthcare / medical device industry for 25+ years leading R&D, Innovation and new ventures in APAC (China and India) and USA. He has led medtech R&D organizations in Asia Pacific for Johnson & Johnson (between 1999 to 2014), Boston Scientific (between 2014-2018) and a start-up (1994- 1999). He has been instrumental in setting up APAC R&D centers for J&J’s surgery businesses in India and China and Boston Scientific’s Global R&D Center in India. He has lead R&D programs and talent teams to deliver 15+ diverse medical devices and 50+ patents covering single use disposable devices, capital equipment & instruments and software & connected health platforms for Class III implantables. He has had the opportunity to work across 8+ disease states including General Surgery & Endoscopy, Orthopedic surgery, Diabetes, Interventional Cardiology, Neuromodulation, Nephrology and most recently Vision Care. He has been proponent of Clinical needs & Insights driven innovation and has been associated with the Stanford Biodesign program since 2009. He is also a member of the Founders Forum, a volunteer organization setup by Stanford Biodesign alumni to support medtech startups through their commercialization and scale up journey. Biten holds an MBA from the ivy league Wharton Business School, an M. Tech in Biomedical Engineering from IIT Mumbai; and he is a certified Patent Agent with the India Patent Office. He has launched more that 15 products and has several granted patents in this name.
    Mr Lai Teik Kin, Founding CEO, EYRIs

    Earlier in his career and before co-founding the Nova MSC Group, Mr Lai Teik Kin was in involved in implementation of large scale & regional e-government projects. Since 1999, Teik Kin has served as both Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of novaHEALTH Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nova MSC Bhd, spearheading the Group’s foray into healthcare industry. In May 2019, he was promoted to head the whole Group. From 2005-2012, Teik Kin also served as an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Board of MTouche Berhad, a public-listed company in Malaysia which is a forerunner and leader in wireless network technologies, mobile messaging services and interactive media applications. In 2016, Teik Kin was appointed Business Mentor to the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator to provide business insights and guidance. In 2018, Teik Kin spearheaded a spin-off of EyRIS jointly with Singapore Eye Research Institue (SERI) and National University of Singapore-School of Computing (NUS-SoC) to develop and commercialize the artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for the healthcare industry. SELENA+, our first AI solution, performs automated image analysis for eye diseases such diabetes retinopathy with add-on modules for glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.
    Ms Richel Liu, Founder & CEO, Rimonci Capital

    Richel is Founder and CEO of Rimonci Capital,the member of the fund investment committee. She is responsible for Rimonci overall strategies and transactions control. Prior to founding Rimonci at start of 2016, Richel served as CEO of a comprehensive IT group in China with 1.5 billion USD in sales, and also Executive Director of HK listed company and chairman of Shanghai listed company in this group. With more than 17 years of investment, mergers and acquisitions, business operation and management experience, she has distinguished tracking record on setting up new business and grow business from earlier stage to mature stage either by organic growth or through investment. Richel also have abundant cross-board working experience, competent for multiple board governance structure and management. Richel earned MS degree in economics and BS degree in engineering, also Received Senior Leadership Training Certification from Yale School of Management. Acquired the certification of Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat Innovation by Biodesign of Stanford and Byers Eye Institute. With the qualifications for securities and funds in China. Be the member of Singapore National Eye Center Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator Venture Capital advisory panel.
    •      Innovation Fellows Profile

      Mr David Chen

      David is trained in mechanical engineering and design-thinking. He currently works in Resmed as a manufacturing engineer. He first set foot into design-thinking at the slums of Cambodia, tackling open defecation. To understand the locals’ context and habits, he conducted interviews and observation. This enabled him to design a latrine that suited their lifestyle and processes waste into fertilizers. The design was open-sourced to NGOs and won the NUS Innovation Award. In 2017, he directed the Hipportable project to ease patient transfers by enabling a nurse to safely carry a patient alone. David invented a device that redirects loads off the spine and enables the usage of stronger muscles for lift. With the team, David won the Medical Grand Challenge and provisionally-patented the device. David’s drive for excellence extends to research. His paper on utilizing air-propulsion for stroke rehabilitation won the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Prize, awarded for the best project from each faculty. His enthusiasm spurred him to join ResMed to learn to design for manufacturing and understand the regulations in producing medical devices. Seeking to enrich the lives of those after him, David now guides 6 students, and mentors an intern through their design projects. A passionate, creative leader, David is never afraid to take on challenges. He believes building a start-up is a great way to push a developed idea out to the market where people can benefit from the innovation. SSB’s pathway provides the opportunity to innovate quality products and eventually bring them to enhance people’s lives. Chen Tao Yi David are based in Singapore.

      Ms Hee Jia Yun

      Ms. Hee Jia Yun has been working for two years as a mechanical engineer in a company that makes a surgical robot for targeted prostate biopsies and focal prostate cancer treatment. As part of a small team working on new product development, she was in charge of designing an actuated subassembly, consumables, and servicing tools. She has actively participated in the design control process – including understanding the clinical needs, generating product requirements and specifications, design, prototyping and verification. She has also been involved in a range of other activities, such as preparing cleaning and sterilization instructions, and streamlining engineering processes. She graduated with a First Class Honours in mechanical engineering (Master of Engineering) from Imperial College London. Her Final Year Project was a smart object for hand therapy of stroke patients, in which she designed and made the mechanical and electronic components, and programmed the software for the electronics as well as the user interface in the form of an Android app. She is intent on working in the medical device sector, where she believes she will be able to maximize her potential to make a positive difference in others’ lives. She aspires to be a leader in medical device product development, with deep technical skill and a strong understanding of the broader context of medical device development. She is keen to gain a deeper understanding of how to address clinical needs through the Biodesign Fellowship programme, and to learn from other fellows and mentors.

      Dr Bryan Ho

      Dr Bryan Ho is the current Chief Resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore. Besides managing the clinical care of cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy, his work involves overseeing the other Registrars and Medical Officers in the department and coordinating with his colleagues in other Oncologic specialties. His clinical and research interests include breast, lung and hematological malignancies, advanced radiotherap modalities, targeted therapeutics, bioimaging and radiomics. Bryan’s interest in biomedical technology innovation stems from his roots as an undergraduate in NUS Bioengineering prior to his medical training. Having trained both as an engineer and clinician, he sees a vast space for innovation in the field of Oncology, with great potential for engineering solutions to improve all aspects of cancer care, ranging from the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of cancer to improving cancer research. Bryan hopes that the SSB Fellowship would be able to bring him together with a team of other like- minded and innovative individuals to translate an idea into clinical practice, and to build relationships with mentors and peers working in academia and industry. In the long run, he endeavours to spearhead technology innovation in the field of Oncology within Singapore and the Southeast Asian region, and to establish collaborations between oncologists, engineers and industry leaders.

      Ms Preeti Mohan

      Preeti Mohan works as a Senior Clinical Engineer at Singhealth medical technology office where she provides strategic guidance to product development teams in areas of design development, commercialisation pathways, assess regulatory impact for product, assist with submission of technical files for grant applications. She set up and manages the ISO 13485:2016 quality management system for the office as well as handles risk management of projects based on the ISO 14971 protocol, focusing on early design risk control and mitigation. She also manages the Singhealth Foundation-National Health Innovation Centre funded projects. She started her career on the design and development of an ultrasound based robotic device for prostate interventions at the proof of concept stage, conducted pre-clinical verification tests and participated in the clinical validation of the device. She has experience working in sales and marketing of medical devices in United Arab Emirates. Preeti is very passionate about working in the medical technology development and proactively engages with clinicians and engineers from various departments to identify unmet clinical needs and to develop commercially viable solutions. She hopes to broaden her knowledge and hone her market understanding through the Biodesign Fellowship.
    •      Ophthalmology Technology Showcase
      Johnson & Johnson Vision

      Being part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies - our goal is to change the trajectory of health for humanity. Eyesight is undervalued and undertreated—and we believe that it is our responsibility to help change this.At Johnson & Johnson Vision, we are united in our aspiration to partner with eye care professionals and help more people around the world preserve and restore sight for life.
      EyRis Pte Ltd

      EyRIS develops and deploys artificial intelligence systems to automatically screen retinal images for diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration - diseases that lead to preventable blindness. Jointly developed by the Singapore Eye Research Institute and National University of Singapore, the technology can significantly reduce public health care cost while maintaining standard of care.

      Plano was developed with a clear purpose; to save sight and empower lives. plano's solutions include an eye health application, an optometry referral system, children's books, consultation services and outreach programs. With a culture of disruptive thinking grounded in scientific research, plano uses innovative technology to provide solutions to help manage the global epidemic of myopia.

      PlenOptika combines excellent engineering, creative innovation, and a steadfast focus on human-centered design to meet the global challenge of vision impairment. Our flagship product, QuickSee™, is the world’s most accurate handheld autorefractor, offering an unprecedented combination of clinical power and usability suited equally for the modern clinic or global health mission.
      Vitreogel Innovations Pte Ltd

      Endotamponade agents used in vitreo-retinal surgery, like inert gases and silicone oil, are associated with many disadvantages. Patients have to adopt a prolonged face-down position, have air travel restrictions and need to undergo a second silicone oil removal surgery. Vitreogel Innovations presents a disruptive advance in vitreo-retinal surgery. Its thermosensitive, biodegradable hydrogel seeks to improve surgical outcomes and overcome current limitations.