<Facebook post by Yee Jenn Jong>
PM spoke about fighting diabetics and Smart Nation. I recall my speech in 2014 when speaking on the Medishield Life Bill. Diabetics is a growing problem here, and so are other chronic but silent illnesses like hypertension. Prevention is a good way but we should also put effort on managing those already diagnosed with these conditions cos with proper medication and control, these need not develop into complications.
On Smart Nation, we are unfortunately not innovative enough in our adoption. We have good infrastructure but not enough bright ideas and people with guts to maximise their use. We have GLCs and large companies controlling the infrastructure or payment systems who guard their turf and put hurdles or threaten those who try to create innovation that will eat into their profitability. For example, 3 years ago, Singtel wanted regulators to give telcos the right to charge communication apps like Whatsapp and Skype for using their network.
China's payment system came about through private innovation that allowed electronic payments cheaper and more convenient than those charged by banks and credit cards.
Unfortunately, too often we wait for the government to tell us what to do and the arms of the government is very long in businesses. Some of these are quite fixated on the old ways of doing things and even try to kill innovation that threatens them.
Healthcare is a laggard in the use of technology. Some reasons behind the slow adoption are due to regulations and reimbursement practices. Since healthcare is becoming a big issue due to our ageing population and unhealthy lifestyles, we should try more creative ways to provide better healthcare at lower cost through technology (full post here).