Ms Sylvia Lim (Aljunied): Sir, across the world, we see exciting innovations catering to the needs and well-being of seniors. These range from technology to monitor health conditions at home, to senior-friendly food, to robotic pet dogs that keep lonely seniors mentally and emotionally engaged.
Singapore is one of the most rapidly ageing societies in the world and faces a manpower shortage in the care sector. While various agencies such as the MOH, GovTech and IMDA have led the way in certain areas, can more be done to collaborate with the private sector and encourage local enterprises and startups to expand into such technology?
There is some evidence that the testing and tailoring of aged care innovations could bring about profits for local businesses. For example, a Singaporean-based company called SilverActivities designs and evaluates games, applications and devices suited primarily for seniors. Their products are designed to stimulate, train and preserve the seniors’ cognitive functions such as memory, problem-solving, language and learning.
Nursing homes have given glowing testimonials of their products. Companies such as SilverActivities have the potential to expand out into international markets when the time is right. In a recent blog article published by Enterprise Singapore entitled “Silver economy: Is the business of ageing a sunrise industry?”, the author pointed out that in the Asia Pacific region, the silver economy market was projected to be worth US$4.6 trillion by 2025, just two years from now. Market opportunities were identified to be in telemedicine, healthtech, elderly nutrition and assisted living.
There are opportunities for Singapore to pioneer, pilot and grow silver industry players that may in time export these goods and services to other countries facing the same demographic challenge. How is the Government catalysing the potential of the Silver Economy?
Ministry of Trade and Industry
28 February 2023