Adrian was once an asthma patient when he was a child and experienced first-hand the difficulty to describe his symptoms to a physician for a meaningful assessment. It was both physically and emotionally straining on his parents.
There are more than 300 million asthmatic patients in the world today.
In 2016, Adrian made a bold decision to take a year-long leave from his masters to work on AEvice Health. The journey has been intense yet fulfilling, and his life has literally taken a 180 degree turn since the day he embarked on this wonderful journey. He started AEvice Health together with Professor Ser Wee (Nanyang Technological University) to create a wearable medical device that can equip doctors with hard fact data to assess and diagnose asthma earlier. It also detects early warning signs of asthma attack in patients.
In 2018, Adrian was also nominated for Forbes 30 under 30.
1) Share with us the activities you partook in while studying engineering in NTU.
During my second year in NTU, I went on an exchange programme in Linkoping, Sweden. Despite having a population slightly larger than Singapore’s, I was amazed by how innovative the Swedish were to create successful companies like H&M, Ikea and Saab. When I returned to Singapore, I decided to take on a Minor in Entrepreneurship (MIE) to learn more about creating a successful business. While MIE was really intense, it became one of my best decisions made in my university days. In fact, 2 of my co-founders today were my classmates back in MIE.
2) What was the inspiration behind AEvice Health?
My childhood asthma. My last incident was when I was eight years old. I was playing with sparklers and I could feel an asthma attack emerging, but I didn’t tell anyone. It got pretty bad in the middle of the night and my parents had to rush me to the emergency room. Today, we are seeing children succumbing to asthma attacks. That’s why I want to help parents detect and manage asthma symptoms in their children early.
3) Did your internships and other job experiences help you in setting up AEvice Health?
They certainly did! When I was still an undergraduate at NTU, I started my first e-commerce start-up in 2013 with a close friend of mine. Through this journey, I learnt a lot about digital marketing and using analytics to understand consumer behaviours. I have also met mentors who are still guiding me today. The skills that I acquired and the people that I have met have played an important role in AEvice Health today.
4) Where do you see yourself ten years down the road?
I hope to see AEvice Health become a successful medical device and analytics MNC that can help patients around the world reduce long-term medical costs, reduce death associated with respiratory diseases, as well as improve a patient’s outcome.
5) Growing up, did you have a role model you look up to?
My dad. An entrepreneur himself, he started his construction company back in 1982. In 1997, the financial crisis took a heavy toll on his business. I remember that at least 2 of his clients defaulted on their payment, and his company was on the brink of collapsing. As a child then, I remembered that my dad had to sell everything he could and borrow money to finance his staff. Eventually the risk he took, and his perseverance, paid off. This left a very strong impression on my impressionable and young mind; thus I look up to him as my role model.
6) What are your hobbies?
I love to watch movies and spend time with my family.
7) Do you have a quote you live by?
“We only live once and we decide how to make the best out of it”.
8) What advice do you have for young undergraduates who are still looking for their meaning, purpose and calling in life?
Looking back in time, I really would not have imagined that I’d embark on a start-up journey one day. My advice to young undergraduates would be to try to create a start-up or join one while you’re still a student. Success or failure is secondary. What’s more important is the experiences that you will get.
9) If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently?
I would probably want to start AEvice Health 2 years earlier!
If you are a healthcare professional, or know someone with asthma, please feel free to drop Adrian a message on Linkedin! He would love to connect with you and find out more about the problems in childhood asthma.