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Team of ITE staff develops device to simplify kidney stones removal

Team of ITE staff develops device to simplify kidney stones removal

SINGAPORE: A new innovation to simplify the process of removing large or complex kidney stones has been developed by a team of staff from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), said a joint press release on Tuesday morning (Sep 19).

The team, in collaboration with the National University Hospital (NUH), the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Invivo Medical, created a mechanism called a Percutaneous-Access-to-Kidney-Assist Device (PAKAD) that can reduce X-ray exposure, risks of complications and shorten recovery periods for the patient.

Traditionally, the surgery is done by inserting a long and hollow needle through the skin to reach the kidney stone, before an endoscope surgical instrument is inserted through the aid of the needle passage to fragment and remove it.

This procedure is complex, as the surgeon has to use free-hand techniques to locate the stone and, according to the press release, is usually carried out by a senior surgeon.

With the help of the PAKAD, the needle is systematically adjusted, guided and stabilised into alignment with the targeted stone.

This device was one of the innovations showcased at this year's edition of TechInnovation, an event which convenes technology providers and seekers to explore collaborative opportunities through open innovation. 


Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran, who gave the opening address, said that in order for Singapore to compete and thrive, enterprises need to build differentiating capabilities, leverage technology to innovate, scale up and internationalise.

"While we lay the groundwork and infrastructure for collaboration, ultimately Singapore enterprises must seize the initiative to tap on each other's technology capabilities and exploit adjacencies in production processes, to access new opportunities and address complex business challenges," said Mr Iswaran.

He also cited how the formation of Enterprise Singapore will help SMEs develop networks and collaborations to deepen their capabilities and innovate.

He added that the PACT Programme was enhanced, allowing SMEs and startups to collaborate with government agencies to co-develop and test-bed innovative solutions. 

Executive director for IPI Singapore Prof Lam Khin Yong said that SMEs have the internal resources to develop new products and services in today's competitive business climate.

"They are beginning to recognise the benefits of looking beyond its organisational boundaries, and collaborating with complementary technological capabilities," Prof Lam added. 

TechInnovation, was organised by IPI Singapore, an affiliate under SPRING Singapore. The event was expected to showcase over 400 technologies for commercialisation and partnership opportunities.

Some 3000 delegates from 40 countries are expected to attend.   


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