Research Focus

Our age-related research, programmes and activities aim to provide older adults with an interactive lifeline to the world, empowering them to live more robust, healthful and independent lives.

Research Projects

​​Thrust 1: Ageing Medicine

Title Of Project​ ​​Principal Investigators
​1Rejuve​​nation of the Aged Brain: Optical Inte​​rrogation of Cortical DynamicsAssistant Professor Hiroshi Makino
2The respiratory microbiome – a predictor of healthy ageing?​Assistant Professor Sanjay Haresh Chotirmall 
3Identification of the molecular mechanisms that ameliorate the progression of Huntington disease-like syndrome and age-dependent neuronal dysfunction
Assistant Professor Yasunori Saheki 
4A novel drug target to prevent the protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases 
Assistant Professor Miao Yansong 
5Improving Influenza Vaccination among Older Adults in Singapore
Assistant Professor Christopher Cummings 
6Non-invasive neuroimaging measurements combined with physiological, neurocognitive and biota-based biomarker measurements as predictors of health outcome in ageing 
Professor Balazs Gulyas Zoltan 
7Exercise medicine as a core strategy for ageing health: Bridging the evidence-gaps between Community and Clinical Exercise Programmes for chronic disease prevention and treatment in older population
Associate Professor Fabian Lim 
8Exercise and Diet adapted microbiome: a novel approach to sustain health and support healthy ageing for Singaporeans 

Professor Sven Pettersson 
9Functional Food Based Gut Microbiome Engineering: An Approach Toward Healthy Lifespan Extension 
Professor Jorgen Schlundt 


Thrust 2: Social Integration and Education

​​Uberising Health Coaching Addressing the Increasing Demand for Just-in-Time, Bite-Sized and Affordable Health Coaching for Older Adults

PI: Prof Theng Yin Leng


Motivation & Objectives

With a growing population of older adults aged 65 years and above, challenges from age-related disabilities and diseases, caregiver stress, and reductions in the number of available family caregivers due to factors such as declining fertility rates, has led to elderly care via the informal system to be insufficient. Hence, caregiving services are an increasing need for the rapidly ageing population of Singapore. This project aims to address the increasing demand for caregiving services for older adults especially in the management of diabetes and psychosocial care by proposing an ecosystem to “uberise” health coaching to harness innovative and smart technologies to deliver technology-enabled, just-in-time, bite-sized and affordable training modules on caregiving. In this project, we will design and develop an ecosystem, which we will call the “Uber Coaches for Health Services and Knowledge (UCHESK) system to uberise caregiving services through co-ordinating and managing just-in-time and bite-sized caregiving services training, as well as affordable and efficient health coaching to aid the elderly to better manage their diabetes conditions.


The training curriculum for health coaches will be evaluated in stages. First, a baseline focus group study will be conducted to understand needs of caregiving with a focus on diabetes management and psychosocial issues. Second, a systematic review of existing curricula and training methods for effective health coaching will be conducted. Third, a focus group study will evaluate the proposed curriculum road map for health coaching of older adults with diabetes. Drawing upon theoretical models and empirical data, we will design and develop the UCHESK prototype. Feasibility data will be collected to test the usability and perceived effectiveness of the prototype. Using the case of health coaching for diabetes care management, an efficacy study using a randomized control trial design will be conducted to measure the UCHESK prototype in the way of productivity, effectiveness and satisfaction of the UCHESK prototype, an ecosystem delivering health coaching for older adults with diabetes.

Novelty and Contributions

We envisage that trained health coaches could support older adults to monitor and manage their personalized care plans developed by their primary care providers. Retrained older adults will experience a meaningful career that allows them remain engaged and productive as well as financially independent and active. Retrained older adults will also be healthier from the nature of their practice as formal caregivers, encouraging overall wellness as they age. We hypothesise that care recipients could experience better management of diabetes, decreases in social isolation and overall improvements to psychosocial wellness and wellbeing.


Thrust 3: Ageing-in-Place

​ ​Title Of Project​Principal Investigators
1Robotics for Caregivers: a feasibility study on the use of robotics in community centres for geriatric care 
Associate Professor Domenico Campolo
2Home-based diagnostic dressing for automatic detection of infected chronic wounds in elderly patients 
Assistant Professor Dang Thuy Tram 
3ADL+: A Digital Toolkit for Cognitive Assessment and Intervention
Professor Miao Chunyan 
4Semi-Autonomous Assistive Shelver: Aged Worker Enabling Technology at Supermarkets 
Professor Chen I-Ming 
5Audiological rehabilitation for speech perception in noise difficulty
Professor Wong Chun Kit 
6Robotic Technologies for Fall PreventionProfessor Ang Wei Tech 
7An AI, Data Analytics and IoT Framework for Smarter Walking Aids 
Dr Shen Zhiqi 

Thrust 4: Care and Lifestyle Enhancement

​​ ​Title Of Project​Principal Investigators
1Can perspective taking in virtual worlds reduce negative attitudes towards the e​​lderly? 
Associate Professor Qiu Lin
2Active Aging Lifestyle with Healthy Cognition: A Pilot Study for an ExCITE SolutionAssociate Professor S.H. Annabel Chen/Assistant Professor Kawabata Masato  
3Perspectives On Old Age Support: Implications For Intergenerational Relations In Singapore And China 
Associate Professor Xiao Hong 
4Personalized Wearable Active Compression Device with 3D-Printed Stretchable Sensor for Venous Disease Prevention and Treatment in the Elderly Patients
Assistant Professor Zhang Yi 
5WhatsApp-delivered lifestyle intervention in Singaporeans with prediabetes: a feasibility study
Assistant Professor Lorainne Tudor Car 
6Developing a global assessment framework for health apps targeted at elderly users with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Associate Professor Josip Car 
7Uberising Health Coaching Addressing the Increasing Demand for Just-in-Time, Bite-Sized and Affordable Health Coaching for Older Adults
Professor Theng Lin Yeng