Healthcare showcase features 28 projects, including bath system for wheelchair users

SINGAPORE: Taking a bath is no easy business for people who need to use wheelchairs.

A new wheelchair automated bathing system, however, allows people who are not mobile to take baths privately without the help of caregivers.

With the TUTTI Wheelchair Automated Bathing System, caregivers can wheel patients directly into the bathtub, and let automation take care of the bath itself.

This bathtub was the main attraction, out of 28 high-tech projects from 19 companies on display at a showcase by the Centre for Healthcare Assistive and Robotics Technology based in Changi General Hospital on Friday (Feb 19).

A rapidly ageing population and tighter manpower resources have made productivity the main focus in healthcare.

To aid this, MOH started a $130 million fund in 2012, and has assisted more than 140 projects, ranging from job redesign to automation.

The showcase on Friday was designed to raise awareness and promote the adoption of technology in healthcare.

Apart from the automated bathtub, other projects included the patient transfer chair, designed for wheeling heavier patients to the washroom, for instance, without lifting them and risking back injuries for the caregiver.

Minister of State for Healthcare, Mr Chee Hong Tat, said at the event on Friday: "Enhancing productivity is key to building a more sustainable healthcare system for the future."

"We aim to achieve two objectives. First, to improve patient care while reducing the need to increase manpower. Second, to provide a better working environment for our healthcare workers, including measures to reduce the manual effort needed."

He added this could also allow older workers to continue caring for patients, and make it more attractive for those joining the industry.

Most projects are currently on or about to undergo trial. The public can view these projects at The Future of Us exhibition from Feb 24-28.