Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) has officially launched the Centre for Connected Care (CCC), which will train nurses for an increasingly ageing population in Singapore.
The centre's primary targets are seniors and those living with dementia.
One in four Singaporeans will be aged 65 and above by the year 2030, and the number of people with dementia is expected to hit 103,000 by then.
As Singapore's first and largest nursing school, NYP's School of Health Sciences (SHS) is investing in pedagogy as well as facilities to ensure that graduates keep up with future demands.
It will leverage on technology and advances in telemedicine to come up with new and innovative ways for nursing care in homes.
An estimated 1,000 nurses will be trained at the CCC annually.
In her welcome address during the official launch event yesterday, NYP principal and chief executive officer Jeanne Liew said: "NYP's School of Health Sciences seeks to continually innovate their pedagogy to ensure that future healthcare and social care professionals will be able to function effectively within a hi-tech environment."
NYP will work with 10 partners at the CCC. They include companies that design toys and activities for the elderly and those that provide digital infrastructure and smart technology.
Among them is StarHub, which signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NYP at the CCC's launch.
Dr Chong Yoke Sin, chief of the Enterprise Business Group at StarHub, said it hoped to address the issue of Singapore's rapidly ageing population and the shortage of manpower in the long-term care sector with this collaborative effort.
"As a telco, we are well-placed to advance connected care to better the lives of people," she said.
She added that NYP's drive to harness advanced technologies in its curriculum and research resonated with StarHub.
The CCC has introduced the Smart Home, which includes innovations such as mobile beds, elder-friendly cupboards and open-concept designs. These innovations allow for people with dementia to live with dignity and also allow their caregivers to better engage with them.
Mr Jason Foo, CEO of the Alzheimer's Disease Association, said that it was important for Singapore to consider technological advances to help in caregiving, adding that relying on foreign manpower was unsustainable.
"We have to prepare ourselves to be able to cope with less resources," he said.