Designed in Singapore, AirSone seeks to improve the diagnosis of asthma and efficacy of the treatments that follow
The World Health Organisation reports that around 235 million people are living with asthma globally, while the respiratory condition affects 5 per cent of adults and 20 per cent of children in Singapore, according to current figures from the Ministry of Health. Having suffered from asthma as a child, Adrian Ang understands the effects of the disease and hopes to improve the way care and treatments are dispensed to patients.
After reconnecting with associate professor Ser Wee, his mentor from the Nanyang Technological University School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the duo founded AEvice Health in 2016 to “develop technologies that can help patients with chronic respiratory diseases”. Adrian is the start-up’s CEO, while Ser is its chief scientist.
Four years on, the firm has invented a smart wearable device, AirSone, for children. To be launched later this year, it uses a series of algorithms to record and analyse asthma symptoms. With the data recorded and interpreted in an app in real-time, parents can track their children’s vitals during their sleep, while doctors can refer to the information when the patient visits the clinic to better diagnose and come up with a treatment plan.
Here, Adrian shares his journey as an entrepreneur thus far.
Fulfilling a childhood dream
"I’ve always dreamed of building something to benefit people one day. Having suffered from childhood asthma myself, I can immediately relate to the anxiety that parents go through to keep their child’s condition under control. Perhaps this was what led me to my calling as a health-tech entrepreneur."
Setting a new benchmark
"Professor Ser and I saw great potential in how our technology could add tremendous value to the current cycle of asthma control. We want to help improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital admissions. In the near future, we want to see our product become the new standard of asthma control, in the same way the thermometer is used to measure one’s temperature."
Testing out the product
"To bring our invention to fruition, we have worked with many dedicated parents and clinicians. From time to time, we would receive encouraging messages from the community expressing their excitement about our technology, which gives our team a great sense of purpose and motivates us to keep going. By this year, we aim to complete our clinical study on AirSone with a local hospital and acquire clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration, before we start piloting the technology with our partners."
The part and parcel of start-up life
"The pace of running a start-up can be extremely intense. Our prototypes may fail multiple times before we get it right; we may receive multiple rejections before striking gold; and working an average of 12 hours every day is a norm. To be an entrepreneur, one needs to be mentally strong in order to cope with the constant pressure to deliver."