Founded in 2018, Meracle’s mission is to improve the management and control of chronic respiratory conditions for patients, their caregivers and healthcare providers, by providing them the tools to optimize the delivery of medication and the platform to monitor their intake, condition and progress.
Our inspiration to bring this innovation to patients first arose when we were directors of MERCI (Medical Engineering Research & Commercialization Initiative), a core facility of National University of Singapore (NUS). There, pediatric doctors highlighted the unmet need of patients with unchanged or worsen conditions, due to seemingly elementary problem of incorrect technique and suboptimal compliance. Thus, instead of tackling the issue by prescribing higher dosages or stronger medication, the solution is as simple as providing patients with an easy to use tool that simplifies their medication taking routine, while providing doctors with accurate and objective data to evaluate progress.
Meet our founders
I founded my first company in 1993 in the plastic pipes and fittings industry. Through perseverance, I managed to grow the company and listed it on the Singapore stock exchange in 1998. I then had the opportunity to manufacture Laryngeal masks for a well-known intubation brand, at a time when Singapore’s Medtech ecosystem was still in its nascent stage. While being a pioneer in this sector was challenging, I managed to gain the trust of the customer and soon after was awarded the sole manufacturer for their global distribution.
Since then, the drive to make an impact through my expertise in medical devices has only grown stronger, which was why I jumped at the opportunity to lead Meracle. With a rapidly aging society, we need to focus on providing adequate care to patients with asthma and COPD, especially the elderly. Digital health solutions like ours can bring about a new era in healthcare, especially in the new COVID-19 normal where mobility is restricted and social distancing is critical.
I have a personal experience with asthma in my own family. My elderly mother suffers from severe and chronic asthma. Her condition did not seem to get better even while taking her medication diligently. Whenever she starts to feel breathlessness and takes her medication, she usually ends up with trembling hands and will be rushed to the emergency department. We later found out that she was experiencing the side effects of overdosing on inhaled medication as her lack in technique caused the drugs to be deposited at the back of her throat.
This gave me the impetus to spin off the Whizz technology, to provide patients like my mother with a solution that works. She is now our first user and I am relieved that her condition has improved tremendously.
I led and managed the innovation and commercialization of medical devices with 11 successful commercialized products as Director of Medical Engineering Research and Commercialization Initiative (MERCI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). There, I introduced efforts to broaden MERCI’s capabilities in the medical device value chain and achieved ISO 13485 accreditation for MERCI’s facility, the first in NUS. I also formed strategic alliances and partnerships through interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration as well as with Medtech companies. I drove innovation in strategic areas such as digital health solutions and functional aging and secured competitive research grants for medical device projects, worth over S$30mil and funding for MERCI’s operation and expansion. Prior to MERCI, I had operational experience in manufacturing, having set up plants in Singapore and China.
As the Director of MERCI, I had the privilege to work with passionate and innovative doctors, to invent and develop novel medical devices that improve the lives of patients. I quickly realized real impact is derived from addressing unmet needs. This entails getting input from multiple stake holders, including patients, their caregivers, doctors, nurses and health systems. With an engineering background, I went on to invent multiple medical devices, spanning from neurovascular implants to wearable technologies.
The best part of my job is to see first hand how these technologies impact patients directly. With the Whizz, I’ve seen relief in the eyes of mothers, seeing their child coping better with their condition. It provides them peace of mind and a sense of control over a difficult situation. In an age where digital technology improves every aspect of our lives, it is time for our health to be optimized too.
I was the Co-director of Medical Engineering Research and Commercialization Initiative (MERCI), a core facility of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and National University Health Systems (NUHS). There, I led the product development team in the design and creation of novel medical devices for various applications including vascular and gastrointestinal implants, as well as wearable technologies. I developed and managed a portfolio of over 21 medical device projects for Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and initiated interdisciplinary collaboration between clinicians with scientist and engineers from Faculty of Engineering, NUS and A*STAR research institutes. I am proficient in intellectual property matters and regulatory and clinical affairs. My early experience was as Senior R&D engineer at Merlin MD, a Singaporean start-up solving the treatment of neurovascular diseases, where I was instrumental in the development and subsequent regulatory approval of its class 3 devices.