Singapore is taking proactive measures to address the escalating cybersecurity concerns associated with the integration of medical devices into its health system. Concerns about the growing risks have led to a significant development—a $20 million grant from the National Research Foundation (NRF), Singapore. The grant has been awarded to Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, and Imperial College London for collaborative research aimed at enhancing the protection of health data and wearable devices.
Imperial’s newly established overseas research center, Imperial Global: Singapore, is partnering with NTU researchers on the IN-CYPHER program. The initiative focuses on tackling existing security challenges and safeguarding emerging sensing technologies and their data from potential compromises. The four-year grant, totaling $15 million, aims to position Singapore as a global leader in health cybersecurity and AI for healthcare.
Professor Anil Anthony Bharath from Imperial, co-leading the IN-CYPHER program with Professor Liu Yang of NTU Singapore, highlighted the need for heightened cybersecurity measures as healthcare embraces more data and technology. The research will specifically address security concerns related to various medical devices, including continuous glucose monitors, smart electronic skin patches, and activity monitors.
With around 15% of medical devices in Singapore’s public health facilities connected to networks, the increased connectivity raises cybersecurity risks, potentially compromising patient data and disrupting treatment protocols. To counteract these risks, Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency introduced the Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme for Medical Devices, encouraging a security-by-design approach among manufacturers.
A recent report by the Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association and L.E.K. Consulting emphasized the importance of a customized assessment of medical devices for remote care based on their risk level. The cybersecurity landscape in the Asia-Pacific region is evolving, prompting the need for tailored frameworks to support remote care management and protect patient data.
The market for cybersecurity in medical devices is anticipated to grow, projected to reach $1.1 billion by 2027. Meanwhile, the IN-CYPHER program marks a significant step for Imperial Global: Singapore, contributing to the rapid scaling of scientific breakthroughs and technology for commercialization across Southeast Asia. The research center builds on the longstanding partnership between NTU Singapore and Imperial College London, further strengthening academic ties in healthcare and technological innovation.