Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

AIA and Konica Minolta launch digital health accelerator in Singapore

Steve Rogerson
December 2, 2015
Asian insurance group AIA and Japan-based Konica Minolta have jointly launched a digital health accelerator in Singapore. The 12 week programme is designed to support entrepreneurs and businesses to deliver innovative services through integrating data to healthcare delivery.
Rising healthcare cost has been an ongoing concern across Asia and in Singapore. The government’s spend on healthcare in Singapore is expected to double to SG$8bn by the end of 2015, from SG$4bn in 2011. Digital health presents one of the most promising growth segments in the healthcare sector, as innovations empower people to manage and improve their health and provide better diagnostics and treatment options using sensors, data and imaging that are now within the consumer ecosystem.
The accelerator is a collaborative effort between two major players in their industries – a pan-Asian life insurance group and a global leader in digital imaging, printing and medical diagnostics. It aims to create opportunities to groom and nurture start-ups and support the Singapore government’s push on adopting information and communications technologies to develop an integrated healthcare delivery system in the country.
“This launch is yet another extension of AIA’s strong belief in the power of collaborative innovation to help manage healthcare costs in Singapore and create value for families here,” said Patrick Teow, chief executive officer at AIA Singapore. “The protection gap in Singapore is estimated to be US$305bn, and healthcare spending is expected to increase with government health spending expected to increase to SG$12bn annually by 2020. Digital health can play a meaningful role in addressing both these issues as we seek to ensure the well-being of families in Singapore.”
The programme will be run by Nest, an investment incubator that has successfully worked with large corporations to operate customised accelerator programmes. Start-ups with innovative ideas and technology around digital healthcare are invited to apply for the programme. Participating start-ups will be able to take advantage of access to resources, expertise, markets and mentor network spanning across industry, education, research and government that the programme has assembled.
Following the review, up to ten companies will be guided through their business growth and development plans, culminating in a formal demo day in Singapore in June 2016 when they will demonstrate their progress and seek investor support.
“Konica Minolta has long embraced open innovation, and combined our expertise in optics, sensing and nanotechnology to create cutting-edge medical field products for more than 30 years now,” said Yuji Ichimura, executive officer at Konica Minolta. “Since 2014 we have opened five business innovation centres in Silicon Valley, London, Tokyo, Singapore and Shanghai to work with customers, collaboration partners, start-ups, research institutions and even with crowdsourcing channels throughout the world. This accelerator programme is yet another open innovation step to reach out to promising start-ups and Konica Minolta will make available R&D assets and go-to-market channels to accelerate their entry into the digital health space.”
Applications will be accepted from December 1, 2015 till January 31, 2016. The 12-week programme will commence on February 22, 2016.
Nest is a full service early-stage venture capital firm focused on helping start-ups and talented founders from around the world build businesses that apply and commercialise innovation. Nest partners with corporations to run mentor-driven accelerators. Designed to support the needs of high potential and fast growth start-ups, these programmes include a mix of resources that enable entrepreneurs to build and scale their businesses rapidly. Nest was founded in Hong Kong and has a presence in Singapore, Nairobi, London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles.