kopi-C with AJJ Medtech’s CEO: ‘AI is our future, and we all need to keep innovating’

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By Feng Zengkun • 29 May 2024 • 0 min read

As Singapore and other markets aim to use artificial intelligence to boost healthcare, medical technologies firm AJJ Medtech is targeting to be a leader in the field. Its CEO Alice Zhao explains.

AJJ MedTech CEO Alice Zhao
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With Singapore’s ageing population – about a quarter of its population is expected to be aged 65 and older by 2030 – the nation’s healthcare spending could account for up to nine per cent of its gross domestic product by 2029. This could be a huge opportunity for medical technology firms, says Alice Zhao, Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Exchange-listed AJJ Medtech.

The company has over 6,000 products spanning medical devices, in-vitro, point-of-care and laboratory diagnostics, ultrasound machines and dental innovations. “We have the breadth and depth to serve Singapore’s need for medtech that can help deliver cost-effective precision healthcare, combat chronic diseases and solve other medical challenges.”

AJJ Medtech's offers turn-key supply chain solutions, which involve collaborating with top-tier global partners to enhance its product offerings. In the diagnostics imaging sector, the company distributes Samsung ultrasound systems in Singapore, which leverage deep learning AI technology to improve diagnostic accuracy and healthcare effectiveness. 

In Southeast Asia, AJJ Medtech provides accessible diagnostic imaging solutions through partnerships with other renowned industry leaders. Zhao notes, “We work with partners who value technological innovation as the basis for sustainability and positive ESG efforts, including industry leaders and universities, to strengthen our research and development.”

Last year, AJJ Medtech acquired a 70 percent stake in Quest Asia Technologies (QAT) to move into the diagnostics imaging industry. Zhao elaborates, "QAT is backed by Samsung as the only distributor of the Samsung Medison Ultrasound system in Singapore. We look forward to future cooperation with Samsung in expanding the use cases in AI technology."

Forging ahead in digital technologies and AI

Another product that Zhao cites as an example of its technological innovation is the On Call Sure Sync blood glucose monitoring device. Zhao explains, "This product, set to supply over 40 public healthcare institutions in Singapore from 2024 to 2027, with a potential two-year extension, offers significant savings for diabetes patients in Singapore—over 40 percent compared to other brands." 

The device pairs with a digital app, ensuring reliable and accurate blood sugar readings and improving diabetes management. “For chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension, the key is in monitoring and control, not just treatment.” 

Zhao adds that the agreement highlights AJJ Medtech’s leadership in the fast-growing field of digital healthcare. “It not only demonstrates our commitment to providing advanced medtech solutions, but also positions us as pioneers in integrating digital technologies with traditional healthcare practices. This is crucial to improving outcomes and efficiency in patient care.”

The On Call Sure Sync device also features an integrated digital monitoring application, enabling remote patient tracking by healthcare practitioners. "I think that in the near future, visits to the doctor will be very different," Zhao adds. “with real-time access to your data, your doctor or care team can keep an eye on you remotely and may even discover your blood sugar or other problems before your next doctor’s appointment”. 

Zhao adds that the agreement highlights AJJ Medtech’s leadership in the fast-growing field of digital healthcare. “It not only demonstrates our commitment to providing advanced medtech solutions, but also positions us as pioneers in integrating digital technologies with traditional healthcare practices. This is crucial to improving outcomes and efficiency in patient care.”

The company’s CareX project, for its part, develops bedside-care robotics. The first product in the CareX series is an ErgoClean portable patient hygiene system that allows in-bed showering for those with mobility challenges. Zhao shares that upcoming solutions will increase patient autonomy and allow caregivers to dedicate more time to personalised care.

She notes that AJJ Medtech is collaborating with a wide variety of partners, including industry leaders and universities, to strengthen its research and development. “Our goal is to establish a robust foothold in Singapore’s public healthcare system and next-gen laboratories, and gradually expand regionally into Southeast Asia.”

Attracting and empowering diverse talent

To realise this ambition, AJJ Medtech has assembled a team with a range of expertise. “Building the right team has always been our priority. We embrace diversity and believe that each individual is unique. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important that we complement one another. I want a team where we can help each other to learn faster and work together better.”

For instance, to support its push into AI, its chief strategy officer, Zhang Yulei, is a former management consultant from McKinsey & Company who led various projects and had a focus on digital and AI-related initiatives. Zhao adds that its five-member board of directors comprising two executive directors and three independent directors brings extensive expertise in corporate management, strategic development, finance, medical technologies, and legal compliance.

The 70 per cent stake in QAT to move into the diagnostics imaging industry also brings channel expansion and experience onto the table. “Besides the immediate profit-related benefits, we saw potential in two other ways. Its founder and managing director, Chua June Gay, who is now our director of corporate partnerships, has more than 35 years of experience, including management roles in Philips and Hitachi. His expertise in diagnostics imaging and regional operations will be invaluable as we establish a foundation to venture into the region and eventually expand internationally. “

As AJJ Medtech grows, it will hold fast to its core values of fairness, integrity, transparency and professionalism, Zhao adds. "This includes treating employees equally based on performance and partnering only with organisations that meet globally recognised standards. Our customers and business partners trust us because we uphold these high standards, putting us in a strong position to collaborate and innovate, especially in AI.”

About AJJ Medtech Holdings Limited

AJJ Medtech Holdings Limited, SGX: 584, formerly OEL (Holdings) Limited, is at the forefront in the healthcare technologies, providing integrated medtech solutions across Singapore and Southeast Asia. The company delivers a comprehensive product ecosystem that improves healthcare affordability, efficiency and effectiveness along the patient care pathway, thereby improving the experience for patients and healthcare practitioners. AJJ Medtech focuses on the development, manufacturing, sales and distribution of technology-driven healthcare equipment and single-use devices. In addition, AJJ Medtech develops and integrates complementary digital, artificial intelligence, and robotics solutions, designed to optimise diagnostics and clinical support. 

The company’s website is at https://www.ajjmedtech.com.sg

About kopi-C: the Company brew

kopi-C is a regular column by SGX Research in collaboration with Beansprout that features C-level executives of leading companies listed on SGX. These interviews are profiles of senior management aimed at helping investors better understand the individuals who run these corporations.

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