MSIG awards research grants on senior citizen welfare

16 January 2014

Singapore, January 16, 2014 – Leading regional general insurance company, MSIG and its affiliated non-profit organization, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation (herein after “MSIWF”) awarded 3 grants of up to S$10,000 each at its 7th Award Grant Ceremony held at the Copthorne King’s Hotel today.

This year, grants were presented for the following research which aims to enhance the quality of life for senior citizens.

1. The development of low-cost outpatient hand rehabilitation solutions for the elderly post-injury/ stroke (National University of Singapore)

Applying ethnographic study principle and Design Thinking methodology, Dr Andi Sudjana Putra from NUS hopes to develop and test the efficacy of low-cost daily-use outpatient rehabilitation solutions for the elderly recovering from stroke/ injury. The research investigates the efficacy of such solutions through hospital observation and clinical trials.

2. Measuring and collecting hand strength data which will be useful in the designing of assistive devices – A novel approach (Singapore General Hospital)

Adults 70 years and above are more likely to face difficulties performing daily task like opening jars and turning door knobs as hand strength diminishes with age and disease. Dr Vincent Tay from SGH hopes that by measuring and collecting normative data for concurrent grip-torque and pinch-torque hand strength of older adults, his research will yield results that can contribute to better assistive devices to enhance the life quality of older adults.

3. Using a mobile application to provide caregivers of dementia patients with psycho-educational intervention support - A randomized controlled trial (Singapore General Hospital)

Studies have shown the correlation of caregiver distress to early nursing home placement. Therefore, by helping family caregivers reduce the stress and address its negative impact with psycho-educational intervention delivered through a mobile application, this could enable them to remain in the caregiver role longer and delay costly early nursing home placements. Dr Dennis Seow from SGH is testing the efficacy of such a solution in improving the caregiver’s psychosocial health and dementia patients’ quality of care.

Mr. Alan Wilson, Regional CEO of MSIG Holdings (Asia) said, “I’m delighted that we can support such promising research that will be applying the latest scientific knowledge and technology to benefit senior citizens in their daily lives. We at MSIG serve to protect people’s interests and what they value. Funding our current awardees through the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation Research Grant is one of many avenues through which MSIG gives back to local communities in a tangible way.”

Mr. Yasuhiro Imamura, Executive Director of MSIWF added, “The Foundation hopes to nurture a generation of researchers who are attuned to the current needs of the local community and participate actively to meet them.”

Through MSIWF, MSIG has been supporting research initiatives in the areas of traffic safety and senior citizen welfare since 1975. More than 1,830 grants with a total value of more than JPY2,172.2 million have been disbursed to-date, including the 43 MSIWF Research Grant beneficiaries this year.

The grant focuses on projects that typically face challenges in securing the necessary funding due to their interdisciplinary and/or emerging nature, or due to the lack of a significant track record of a new researcher.

Of the 43 research grants handed out this year, 36 go to researchers in Japan, three to those in Singapore and four to those in Thailand. In Singapore, each grant carries a maximum value of S$10,000. Since the projects from Singapore and Thailand were first eligible for the grants in 2007 and 2008 respectively, a total of 26 projects from Singapore and 23 projects from Thailand have benefited from the MSIWF research grant.

For more information, please contact the MSIG Asia communications team.