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Ageing Gracefully into the Future

Editor’s Letter 

Is it human nature to fear ageing? Perhaps, the thought of growing old means having to face up to the many ailments and diseases that come with ageing. It means drawing a step closer to the hour of our death. While in this life, it is important to recognise that everything ends, we can perhaps rest easy that science has got us, at least for a little while more.

In preparing this issue, I have read countless uplifting articles on breakthroughs in dementia, diabetes, and stroke, among many others. Suddenly, the future does not seem so bleak. We rest in the arms of individuals at the forefront of this industry, who are making headway and taking us further than our ancestors ever did.

In this issue, we look at how we can make society a more age-friendly place for our elderly. Here, we speak to Asst Prof Tim Xu and Assoc Prof Wee Shiou Liang from the Singapore Institute of Technology to learn more about how they plan to tackle urban ageing so that our elderly do not get left behind (p. 18). Next, we have an article contribution by Dr Daniel Tan, Director and Senior Radiation Oncologist at Asian Alliance Radiation & Oncology, on a new treatment option for patients with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumour (p. 22).

With the advancement of technology, we step into the future of digital therapeutics as Hema Thiagarajah, Vice President and Client Partner for Appnovation APAC, shares with us the many ways digital therapeutics can deliver better patient outcomes (p. 14).

In our Spotlights section, we have SingHealth Polyclinic to reveal how being on more medications can be counter-productive (p. 26), and an interview with Eric Mansion, General Manager of Asia Zone for Sanofi Pasteur, to elaborate more on the value of life-course immunisation and how Sanofi plans to improve vaccine access in Asia (p.28).

Finally, in our News section, we have lined up some research highlights in the study of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (p. 7, 46), sensorineural hearing loss (p. 48), and cardiovascular disease (p. 56).

These are truly exciting times as we continue to age and push the limits of our human lifespan. The world is greying, but the future has never seemed brighter.

Carmen Chan