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Innovation Stories

C-Pass project


Duke-NUS Medical School, GenScript and Agency for Science Technology (A*STAR) have launched first-in-the-world SARS-CoV-2 serology test to detect neutralising antibodies without the need of containment facility or specimen.

As a first-in-the-world "rapid smart test kit", the cPass™ which can measure neutralising antibodies in an hour will be a huge boost to current COVID-19 investigations, from contact tracing, sero-prevalence survey, and assessment of herd immunity, longevity of protective immunity and efficacy of different vaccine candidates. The global community will be able to use the cPass™ instead of conventional test kits as it does not require live biological materials or biosafety containment for testing. This test would be instrumental in vaccine and therapeutic development as it is suitable for all antibody isotypes and can be used to determine antibodies in different animal species without any modification.

PI: Prof Wang Lin-Fa

Professor, Emerging Infectious Disease Programme, Duke-NUS Medical School



CarbonCool® technology is a system utilising a highly thermal conductive carbon-based cooling medium(HypoCarbon™) to absorb heat from the body. The system consists of a wearable suit made of neoprene and thermoplastic polyurethane (CarbonCool Suit®) that can hold 20 reusable cooling pads (MPad™) which are filled with a carbon-based medium.

The MPad™ operates passively after pre-cooling for 24 hours in a freezer. The result is a low-cost and portable, rapid body cooling system.

PI: Prof Marcus Ong

Head, Health Services Research Center (HSRC), SingHealth 

Stroke Buddy


1 in 4 people will have a stroke in their lifetime. In Singapore, stroke is the 4th most common cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability. The Stroke Buddy application project started as a way to help stroke survivors cope during the COVID pandemic as many services were halted or curtailed. However, the project evolved to developing the Stroke Buddy app as a tool for stroke survivors beyond the pandemic.

Stroke Buddy is a one-stop app for stroke survivors and their caregivers. The key features include setting individualised profile and targets, checklist for post-stroke issues with personalised advice, exercise and wellness programmes which can be set up and tracked, medication reminder, blood pressure tracker, as well as a wealth of stroke information and resources.

PI: Assoc Prof Deidre Anne De Silva,

Senior Consultant, NNI 



Surgeon-innovators from the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and Duke-NUS Medical School have partnered with Biobot Surgical, a firm specialising in medical robotics technology, to develop the SwabBot. The robot was created to address the limitations of manual COVID-19 swabbing by reducing swabbers’ risk of exposure to the virus, reducing the need for trained manpower, standardising the consistency of swabs taken and providing greater throughput of swab tests.

SwabBot is entirely patient-controlled and has a built-in sensor feature which retracts the swab stick if there is resistance encountered during the nasopharyngeal swab. It has also been proven to be much more comfortable than a manual swab performed by a human or healthcare professional.

PI: Dr Rena Dharmawan

Consultant Surgeon, Head & Neck Surgery, Division of Surgery & Surgical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS)
Assistant Professor (Clinical Innovation) & Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Duke-NUS Medical School

SG - Inspire Ventilator


Clinician innovators from SingHealth hospitals – KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), Singapore General Hospital (SGH), Changi General Hospital (CGH) and Sengkang General Hospital (SKH), in collaboration with clinical innovation engineers from the SingHealth Medical Technology Office (MTO) and industry collaborators, have developed an innovative ventilator prototype for patients requiring breathing support due to the COVID-19 infection.

The locally-designed ventilator, SG-Inspire (Singapore Invasive/non-invasive support for effective respiration), was developed to supplement the supply of ventilators in Singapore should the need arise. Designed using readily available components with short production lead time, SG-Inspire can be scaled up and mass produced swiftly as and when needed, at a cost that is about five times less than that of conventional ventilators. It can also serve as a resource for regions that are less equipped to handle the pandemic.

PI: Assoc Prof Derrick Chan

Deputy Director, Medical Technology Office, SingHealth

PI: Dr Judith Wong

Consultant, Children's Intensive Care Unit, KK Women's and Children's Hospital