Mr. Jason Feng is re-engineering the healthcare industry.
What’s your story?
I am an engineer at heart. I enjoy the process of problem solving and have been actively developing innovative solutions to existing problems. Me and my co-founder settled on the problem of poor medication adherence among the elderly. This was a problem which struck a chord with us because we all have loved ones who have to take multiple medications on a daily basis. The complex medication regimen, coupled with declining cognitive abilities of the elderly tend to exacerbate the lack of medication adherence, which may lead to disease relapse and hospital readmissions, ultimately increasing the burden to caregivers and the society.
What excites you most about your industry?
The problem of medication adherence is not a new one in the healthcare industry. In fact, lack of medication adherence is a well-researched problem in many countries. Solutions which have been developed to address this problem face three major issues:
- Entrenched mindset within the healthcare system, many of which are used to and unwilling to change from the legacy systems which were implemented decades ago.
- Complex nuances in healthcare delivery across different countries, making it hard to “copy” and “paste” solutions which have worked well in other areas.
- Because poor medication adherence is multifactorial, and many solutions focus solely on a few aspects, and do not employ a holistic approach.
Nevertheless, entering this industry at this time excites me because we are in the midst of a global shift in healthcare models; one where the industry is moving away from a service-based model, towards a more value-based model. This shift means that traditional players such as insurance companies and pharmaceuticals are under increasing pressure from patients and payers to demonstrate the value of their products under real-world use. Medication adherence data is one crucial missing link in this puzzle to deliver better care to patients. Being able to build a business around these incumbents and pioneer a new way of care is something which I look forward to.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I am a Singaporean. Most of my experiences throughout my life have been in Asia.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I have not worked in other Asian countries outside of Singapore, so I can’t comment on other Asian countries too much. Singapore has a relatively low barrier for starting a business, and all business rules and regulations are clear and transparent. The startup ecosystem is also rather comprehensive and easily accessible. Being a small country, Singapore has a very limited market for products and services. However, due to its size and efficiency, it serves as an excellent test bed for new ideas. Being a travel hub, travelling to other Asian countries is cheap and easy.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Fail fast, fail often. The greatest lessons are never learnt through success.
Who inspires you?
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Successful launch of Falcon Heavy and the recovery of the 2 side cores. The way the 2 cores landed was like something you’d only see in CGI. Very well calculated.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Applied for NOC (NUS Overseas College)
How do you unwind?
Go rock climbing.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Nepal. I’m an outdoors guy. Being able to trek around the Himalayas is probably the best form of relaxation for me.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Creative confidence, by the Kelly Brothers
Shameless plug for your business:
Pillpresso is an award-winning health-tech startup that aims to improve medication adherence. We’re developing a medication management system that empowers seniors to manage their medicines independently and deliver proactive healthcare in the community through technology. Comprising individuals with complementary skills across business, engineering and medicine, our team is driven by a desire to improve healthcare and the human condition.
Grand Prize Winner of the 2017 Tech Factor Challenge
Grand Prize Winner of the 2015 Modern Aging
How can people connect with you?
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.