plano highlighted in one of the episodes of Ethiroli, a series from Vasantham (Mediacorp).

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(Singapore, August 19th 2020) Plano Pte Ltd (hereinafter, Plano), a Singapore-based health technology startup, and one of the world’s leading providers of interactive entertainment, YOOZOO, have inked a Memorandum of Understanding to address the global burden of myopia in Singapore, the region and beyond.

Myopia (short-sightedness) is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time and is one of the most common health problems in the world, affecting an estimated 2 billion people today and projected to increase to 5 billion (half of the world’s population) by 2050.1 In Singapore, which is often labelled as the myopia capital of the world, almost 80% of young adults have myopia upon completing college education.2

Whilst YOOZOO is best known for its work in global development and publishing, in recent years they have built upon their expertise in games to develop an AI Innovation Lab, focusing on healthcare, wellness and education.

Plano is a health technology company that specializes in myopia management through education, awareness and science-based technological interventions, which include the planoApp and planoEyecheck, an online optometry booking platform. In less than 3 years since its inception, Plano is considered as one of the world leaders in raising awareness and educating the public on myopia, its risk factors and management strategies.

Through this partnership, YOOZOO and Plano aim to address and combat the myopia epidemic by sharing both company’s technical and professional expertise with the common vision of improving the quality of life and providing a myopia-safe environment for families worldwide.

“It is truly encouraging to see YOOZOO, a world-renowned gaming company, taking notice and action to address the global problem of myopia in children and teenagers. I strongly believe that this partnership will set an example and create a strong foundation upon which future novel interventions for myopia will be developed,” said Plano’s Founding Managing Director Associate Professor Mohamed Dirani.

 “We firmly believe in the power of AI to improve the quality of lives and this partnership with Plano will allow us to do so by tackling an emerging medical problem. We are very excited about what we can achieve with this partnership.”  Added Chi-Keong Goh, YOOZOO’s AI Technical Director, with more than 15 years experience in developing and leading data-driven innovation.

About Plano

Plano was developed with a clear purpose; to save sight and empower lives. With a culture of disruptive thinking grounded in real scientific research, Plano promotes the use of innovative technology to provide a solution to help mitigate the public health, societal and economic issues posed by excessive device usage. Plano’s founding Managing Director, Associate Professor Mohamed Dirani, has dedicated his life to the study and research of myopia, and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School and an Honorary Principal Investigator at the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA). In July 2020, Plano announced its strategic alliance with global ophthalmic leader, Santen. 

Official Site

LinkedIn

Media Contact: Thanveer Ali

T: 90082972

E: media@plano.co

About YOOZOO Games

YOOZOO Games is a global entertainment company specializing in game development and distribution. The company is headquartered in Shanghai with offices across Asia, Europe, and the US. Since its founding in 2009, YOOZOO has forged a strong global distribution network and launched over 40 highly successful titles including Game of Thrones Winter is Coming, the League of Angels series and Saint Seiya Awakening: Knights of the Zodiac.

Official Site

LinkedIn

Media Contact: Sean Young

E: SeanAY@yoozoo.com

References:

1.         Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, et al. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology 2016;123(5):1036-42.

2.         Seet B, Tien Yin W, Tan DTH, et al. Myopia in Singapore: Taking a public health approach. British Journal of Ophthalmology 2001;85(5):521-6.

June 30, 2020, Osaka, Japan and Singapore — Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (hereinafter, Santen) and Plano Pte. Ltd (hereinafter, Plano) today announced a strategic alliance to tackle the global burden of myopia. Under this strategic alliance, Plano has secured an investment from Santen. Santen, through Plano, will initiate to tackle the burden of myopia using both a holistic approach and innovative technological solutions.

Santen, as a leading company in the field of ophthalmology, has cultivated expertise and capabilities specializing in ophthalmology based on a thorough customer orientation, including patients and healthcare professionals. In recent years, we have focused our attention on medical devices and digital technologies, and have continued to take on the challenge of contributing to the health of the eyes of people around the world through activities that meet the needs of customers in each region, as well as offering products and solutions that cover a wide range of disease fields.

Plano is an eye health tech company launched in 2017, founded by Associate Professor Mohamed Dirani. It is the first spin-off from the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) – Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator Programme, dedicated to accelerating highly promising ophthalmic R&D projects towards commercialisation and medical deployment. The key products in the company’s ecosystem include the plano application and the online optometry booking system, Plano Eyecheck. The science-based plano application has been adopted by more than 250,000 households. In less than 3 years, Plano is considered as one of the world leaders in raising awareness and educating the public on the prevention, detection and risk factors of myopia.

Myopia is one of the most common health problems in the world, affecting an estimated 2 billion people, or about 28% of the world’s population. The number of people with myopia is expected to increase to 5 billion by the year 2050, which will be half of the world’s population1. Myopia affects people of every age, gender and race in every country. However, some countries have been affected more than others. Developed countries in East and Southeast Asia have the highest rates of myopia in the world. As many as 80-90% of teenagers and young adults in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and 96.5% of 19-year-old men in South Korea have myopia2. Just 60 years ago, only 10-20% of people in China had myopia3. Myopia has also become more common in Europe, and the United States where it now affects up to 40% of people4. Treating myopia costs Asian economies US$328 billion every year5, with Singapore alone spending US$755 million annually6.

Shigeo Taniuchi, President and CEO of Santen said “I am pleased to have a strategic alliance with Plano.  Santen will, through Plano, by this strategic alliance, initiate in Singapore to raise awareness and support prevention and management of myopia in everyday life, as well as to expand the novel solutions to the region and beyond. With a recognition of rapid increase of myopia as a social issue, as a global leader in ophthalmology, Santen will work closely with Plano to resolve social issues related to myopia and to improve QOL of the patients around the world.”

“This funding and strategic alliance with Santen will play an instrumental role in growing Plano’s user engagement, strengthen its big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, and drive its international expansion plans. The strategic alliance with Santen, who recognize myopia as a material issue, is very important as we collectively embark on our future objectives to advance Plano’s products and services, expand its myopia-centered ecosystem into the region and introduce new and people-centered products for the management of myopia. We are eager to get to work with the excellent team at Santen,” said Plano’s Managing Director Associate Professor Mohamed Dirani. “To align with Santen, who have shown leadership in ophthalmic care for over 130 years, is a humbling one. This alliance will provide the team at Plano with the added confidence, mentorship, and new opportunities to more effectively deliver its pioneering services in Singapore and the region. I am honored to be part of this journey and believe that this alliance will take Plano to even greater heights.”

Professor Wong Tien Yin, Medical Director of the Singapore National Eye Centre said, “Myopia is a major public health problem in Asia and globally. We need to continue to raise awareness of the impact of the disease, its major risk factors and how we can slow its progression to prevent visual impairment. In children, a combination of increasing opportunities for outdoor activities and reducing excessive near-work activities are important strategies. We are very happy to see this strategic alliance being created between Plano, a startup company which was created within SERI/SNEC’s incubator framework and Santen, a leading ophthalmic company with whom we have been working for several years on a broad strategic research and development collaboration. Plano’s growth is a testament to the ability of Singapore’s clinical centers to create internationally competitive and successful startups.”

Plano users can look forward to a series of exciting announcements which include a new app interface for both parents and children, improved product functionality, and for the first time in the world, an AI-driven calculator for the development, progression and stabilization of myopia in children and teenagers.

1. Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, et al. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology. 2016;123(5):1036-42.

2. Dolin E. The myopia boom. Nature. 2015;519(7543):276-8.

3. Morgan IG, French AN, Ashby RS, Guo X, Ding X, He M, et al. The epidemics of myopia: Aetiology and prevention. Progress in Retinal & Eye Research. 2017.

4. Vitale S, Sperduto RD, Ferris FL, 3rd. Increased prevalence of myopia in the United States between 1971- 1972 and 1999-2004. Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127(12):1632-9.

5. World Health Organization. The impact of myopia and high myopia: Report of the Joint World Health Organization – Brien Holden Vision Institute Global Scientific Meeting on Myopia. University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia: 2015.

6. Zheng YF, Pan CW, Chay J, Wong TY, Finkelstein E, Saw SM. The economic cost of myopia in adults aged over 40 years in Singapore. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 2013;54(12):7532-7.

About Santen

As a specialized company dedicated to ophthalmology, Santen carries out research, development, marketing, and sales of pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter products, and medical devices. Santen is the market leader for prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals in Japan and its products now reach patients in over 60 countries. With scientific knowledge and organizational capabilities nurtured over a nearly 130-year history, Santen provides products and services to contribute to the well-being of patients, their loved ones and consequently to society. For more information, please visit Santen’s website (www.santen.com).

About Plano

Plano was developed with a clear purpose; to save sight and empower lives. With a culture of disruptive thinking grounded in real scientific research, Plano promotes the use of innovative technology to provide a solution to help mitigate the public health, societal and economic issues posed by excessive device usage. Plano’s founding Managing Director, Associate Professor Mohamed Dirani, has dedicated his life to the study and research of myopia, and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School and an Honorary Principal Investigator at the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA). www.plano.co

Santen Forward-looking Statements

Information provided in this press release contains forward-looking statements. The achievement of these forecasts is subject to risk and uncertainty from various sources. Therefore, please note that the actual results may differ significantly from the forecasts. Business performance and financial conditions are subject to the effects of changes in regulations made by the governments of Japan and other nations concerning medical insurance, drug pricing and other systems, and to fluctuations in market variables such as interest rates and foreign exchange rates.

Contact

Akiko Yoshikawa, Corporate Communications Group, Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

E-mail: ir@santen.com   Tel. : +81-6-4802-9360

Thanveer Ali, Head of Communications, Plano Pte. Ltd

E-mail: media@plano.co   Tel. : +65-9008-2972

(Singapore, 9 APRIL 2020) Local health tech company, Plano Pte Ltd today announced plans to deliver hundreds of its bestselling children’s book series, The Plano Adventures, to children in Singapore. 

Plano has partnered with local charities and social service agencies in Singapore that work with children, including the Singapore Children’s Society and Singapore Muslim Women’s Association or PPIS. Beyond that, Plano is also distributing the books to parents across Singapore.

“As the world adjusts to the new normal, be it mass quarantines, lockdowns or self-isolations, parents may find it challenging to engage their children in fun, device-free activities at home. We want to work with families in need to provide them with more options for such activities,” said Plano’s Founding Managing Director, Associate Professor Mohamed Dirani.

The Plano Adventures are early chapters books based on scientific research. Shifting the power to the next generation, it was written to educate children on avoiding the pitfalls of excessive device use and establish a healthy relationship with emerging technology. 

The team behind book series is former local TV news journalist/editor and author Hwee Goh, renowned illustrator who is the artist behind many of Singapore’s bestselling book series, David Liew and Academic and global myopia authority Associate Professor Mohamed Dirani. The books, published by Marshall Cavendish International, are in all major bookstores and available in the US, UK and Australia. 

The company has made various efforts in recent years to form new partnerships to help children in need worldwide. In 2019, Plano had worked with The Fred Hollows Foundation to raise funds for the delivery of eye care services to the millions of Africans that suffer from debilitating vision loss. 

Dr Dirani said that the donation of the books is an initial step Plano will be taking to reach out to families in need in this period of time. 

“COVID-19 knows no geographical or social boundaries. We pledge to commit our time and resources towards helping Singaporean parents. In these uncertain times, we hope to spread joy, especially to children through the magic of our books.” 

About Plano: Plano was developed with a clear purpose; to save sight and empower lives. With a culture of disruptive thinking grounded in real scientific research, Plano promotes the use of innovative technology to provide a solution to help mitigate the public health, societal and economic issues posed by excessive device usage. Plano’s founding Managing Director, Associate Professor Mohamed Dirani, has dedicated his life to the study and research of myopia, and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School and an Honorary Principal Investigator at the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA). www.plano.co

The complete bestselling book series, The Plano Adventures proudly joins the Health Promotion Board in its drive to fight myopia in primary schools. Academic and global myopia authority Associate Professor Mohamed (Mo) Dirani collaborated with Singapore’s award-winning creatives, Hwee Goh and David Liew to produce this engaging, readable series to prep children for this new digital world.

The Health Promotion Board supports Plano, a healthtech Singapore-based startup led by Assoc Prof Dirani, to spread its message of myopia prevention in schools. In 2019 alone, Plano visited 50 schools including Methodist Girls’ Primary School, Rosyth Primary School and Lakeside Primary School.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Yeah right. Unless you have extremely thick skin, I’m pretty sure you would have been hurt by something someone said about you at some point in your life. This is why I’m really glad that ‘Attack of the Cybugs’ dealt with the very real issue of cyberbullying. 

IPG Mediabrands the global media arm of Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), have today launched a national pro-bono campaign in collaboration with their CSR partner plano, strategy-led design agency fst, and with the support of industry partners. The campaign aims to drive awareness in Singapore, a country which has been become known as ‘the myopia capital of the world’. 

The striking campaign which will run across OOH, Print, Digital, Television, Radio and Social Media for the 8 weeks commencing Monday 25th February; dramatises the square eyes parable to drive home the message that excessive/unhealthy device usage has been scientifically linked to a myopia (short-sightedness) epidemic.

IPG Mediabrands the global media arm of Interpublic Group has launched a national pro-bono campaign in collaboration with their CSR partner plano, strategy-led design agency fst, and with the support of industry partners. The campaign aims to drive awareness in Singapore, a country which has been become known as ‘the myopia capital of the world’.

The striking campaign which will run across OOH, Print, Digital, Television, Radio and Social Media for the 8 weeks commencing Monday 25th February; dramatises the square eyes parable to drive home the message that excessive/unhealthy device usage has been scientifically linked to a myopia (short-sightedness) epidemic.

IPG Mediabrands and plano, a device management software that restricts screen time for children, have come up with a campaign that aims to change the reputation of Singapore as “the myopia capital of the world”.

Titled #SeePastTheScreen, the corporate social responsibility campaign aims to get children off screens and will play out across OOH, print, digital, television, mobile, radio and social media for eight weeks starting February 25.

IPG Mediabrands has launched a national pro-bono campaign, called #SeePastTheScreen, to drive awareness in Singapore which was named “the myopia capital of the world”.

The campaign which will run across OOH, print, digital, television, radio and social media for eight weeks. Strategy-led design agency fst produced the creative concept and all media assets, with retouching from Pop-35. The campaign messaging was developed in collaboration between IPGMB, fst and CSR partner plano. plano partnered with the agency last year to aid in its expansion and boost brand awareness across the region.