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New Technologies for Healthy Ageing

Editor’s Letter

Across the board, life expectancy has increased dramatically since the early 19th century, with the global average lifespan above 70 years old. By 2030, 1 in 6 people in the world will be aged 60 years or older. This will inevitably mean a higher healthcare burden on countries as incidents of cancer, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases increase.

In this bumper issue, we explore some of the cutting-edge research in cell and molecular biology that are helping us pave the way towards a healthier future.

Firstly, we have Dr Matthew Moulton and Dr Hugo Bellen from the Bellen Lab at Baylor College of Medicine and the Duncan Neurological Research Institute to share their findings on the novel links between Alzheimer’s disease risk genes and the build-up of lipids due to mitochondrial dysfunction (p.34). Then, Dr Ross Macdonald, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Cynata Therapeutics tells us about stem cell technology and the different clinical trials underway at Cynata that could potentially prolong our healthspan so we can live better for longer (p.38). Next, we have an article contribution by our editor Vanessa Lunardi on age-related macular degeneration and the potential treatments we can look forward to in the future (p.44).

However, even with new technologies and treatments available, there still lies the problem of health inequalities between developed and developing nations. How are lower- and middle-income countries preparing for the challenges that lie ahead? Here, Liz Henderson, Regional Vice President, Asia-Pacific Region at Merck Healthcare, shares her insights into cancer preparedness in emerging markets (p.50).

In Columns, Hamish Thrum, Senior Director of Myopia Asia Pacific at CooperVision sheds some light on myopia in Asia and calls for the implementation of standard of care in treating myopia (p.14). Then, we explore some of the challenges and solutions to drive vaccine access with Dr Gajendra Singh, Public Health Consultant (p.18).

Focusing on cancer, we have Dr Rebecca Dent, Senior Consultant at National Cancer Center Singapore to highlight the importance of medical innovation to enhance patients’ access to better cancer drugs (p.24), and Jennifer Cho, Vice President & Managing Director of Singapore/Malaysia sub-region at Medtronic, adds on with how artificial intelligence can improve cancer management (p.30)

In Spotlights, we speak to Dr Ronald Ling, Chief Executive Officer at ConnectedHealth, on how we may utilise technology to better manage diabetes (p.58). Finally, we end off with a conversation with Dr Ellis Douek, a cochlear implant pioneer, as he shares his life as an Ear, Nose & Throat surgeon (p.62).

Carmen Chan