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Student exhibition explores what our healthcare system could look like in 2030

An exciting exhibition at National Design Centre offers visionary possibilities for distributed healthcare spurred by emerging technologies.

  • Student exhibition explores what our healthcare system could look like in 2030

    Healthcare 2030: The Future of Distributed Healthcare exhibition at National Design Centre. Photography by Joanne Wong.

What if insects could help us manage diabetes? What if every neighbourhood could be dementia friendly? What if you could travel from airport to airport for healthcare? These questions form the premise of Healthcare 2030: The Future of Distributed Healthcare exhibition, showing at National Design Centre till 7 May 2022.

Produced and presented by the students of the Division of Industrial Design and Department of Architecture at the National University of Singapore (NUS), the exhibition showcases five design solutions – ranging from an airport-medical facility to physiotherapy at parks – created as part of their coursework for the Philips-NUS Studio in 2021.

By tapping on increased globalisation and lower cost of travel, HealthAir rethinks the current medical tourism and imagines a network of health systems amongst countries with medical facilities attached to airports for greater access to affordable and high-quality services. A medical wing is introduced to Terminal 4 of Changi Airport, while a medical app better facilitates patients’ onboarding process.

A close-up model for HealthAir which reimagines healthcare system
A close-up model for HealthAir. Photography by Joanne Wong.
HealthAir reimagines healthcare with dedicated treatment and rehab facility attached to Changi Airport Terminal 4
HealthAir, a dedicated treatment and rehab facility. Render by HealthAir.

Meanwhile, Forget Us Not is sparked by Singapore’s rapidly ageing population and increased risk of dementia, wherein one in ten people above the age of 60 suffers from it. The project seeks to create inclusive dementia-friendly neighbourhoods using sensors that collect environmental data, which help with detection, diagnosis and progression of the neurological disease.

Reimagining healthcare with sensors used as detection against going to the wrong block in Forget Us Not
Sensors are used as a detection against going to the wrong block in Forget Us Not. Render courtesy of Forget Us Not.
Dementia-friendly HDB in Forget Us Not.
Dementia-friendly HDB in Forget Us Not. Render by Forget Us Not.

Similarly, The Nest promotes mental health well-being and identifies early symptoms of depression through the constant collection of data in our environment. The project has three interventions that complement one another: ‘Bao’ the smart companion; Artificial Intelligence (AI) trained mood support; and a series of flexible social spaces around the neighbourhood which are curated for different kinds of engagements.

Reimagining healthcare with The Nest featuring a Roof Corner Pavilion for small group heart-to-heart
The Nest features a Roof Corner Pavilion for small group heart-to-heart. Render by The Nest.
The Nest
The Nest comprises ‘Bao’ the smart companion, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) trained mood support and a series of flexible social spaces around the neighbourhood. Render by The Nest.

“These interdisciplinary design solutions were conceived as we researched and worked to address the challenge to explore healthcare as a distributed system in different contexts such as in transit spaces, in the community and in homes,” says Joanne Wong, exhibition organiser and a Year 5 Student at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Architecture. “With the guidance of Philips’ experience designers who co-taught at the Philips-NUS Studio and our lecturers, we’re envisioning a human-centred healthcare system which traverses different scales and experiential touchpoints.”

Wong’s exhibit, The Diabetic Care Hub attempts to offload diabetic prevention and management from hospitals to interconnected satellite care hubs within Singapore’s Park Connector Network. AI and augmented reality technology, inform, incentivise and promote active living and personal involvement.

The Diabetic Care Hub reimagines healthcare
The Diabetic Care Hub comprises five main components. Each hub features a collection of passive and active lifestyle management services for diabetes. Render by The Diabetic Care Hub.
The Diabetic Care Hub features a centralised diabetic clinic with vertical farming stations and a new typology of a healthy cafe to reimagine healthcare
The Diabetic Care Hub features a centralised diabetic clinic with vertical farming stations and a new typology of a healthy cafe. Render by The Diabetic Care Hub.

Another project that sees parks as an ideal environment for decentralising healthcare is FYSIO; simply by reframing physiotherapy as something fun and interactive while tapping into neighbouring communities and healthcare providers as a source of social support.

FYSIO Park is an open playground with different zones designed for the needs of physiotherapy patients
FYSIO Park is an open playground with different zones designed for the needs of physiotherapy patients. Render by FYSIO
Models of FYSIO's technologies to aid with physiotherapy needs in the future
Models of FYSIO’s technologies to aid with physiotherapy needs in the future. Photography by Joanne Wong.

“The innovation and empathy expressed by these students in their healthcare solutions are inspiring and promising,” says Mark Wee, executive director of DesignSingapore Council. “Through this exhibition, we hope that the public would discover how design can transform healthcare and improve lives.”

Admission to Healthcare 2030: The Future of Distributed Healthcare is free from 9am to 9pm daily.

Related: Jiahui Hospital By NBBJ: Shanghai’s Hospital In A Garden


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