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FTE APEX Asia Expo 2022 in pictures – ‘Transforming Tomorrow’s Journey’

The following article was published by Future Travel Experience
FTE APEX Asia Expo returned to the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Singapore,…



The following article was published by Future Travel Experience

FTE APEX Asia Expo returned to the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Singapore, on 9-10 November 2022. Here is a selection of the main highlights.

FTE APEX Asia Expo made a successful return to the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Singapore, on 9-10 November 2022 after a three-year hiatus. Firmly established as Asia-Pacific’s biggest free to attend passenger experience and business performance expo, the event was delivered with the support of headline partners Changi Airport Group, Singapore Airlines, Star Alliance and Onboard Hospitality.

It truly was the comeback show for the region to demo the very latest products and services, share learnings and ideas, and for those from further afield to better understand the APAC market, which will see the fastest growth in the coming years.

The event featured a free to attend end-to-end exhibition of the industry’s most progressive companies, a high-level Premium Conference Stage, complimentary Expo Stage sessions, the Onboard Hospitality Forum Asia, expanded ‘Innovation & Tech Briefings’, an FTE Baggage Innovation Working Group meeting, guided tours of the renovated T2 at Changi Airport, and the FTE Airline/Airport Transformation Power Lists Asia-Pac 2022 and APEX Regional Passenger Choice Awards ceremonies. Here is a selection of the main highlights.

CEOs of Changi Airport Group, Jetstar Asia, AirAsia Malaysia and Star Alliance help to get FTE APEX Asia Expo underway

FTE APEX Asia Expo 2022 got underway with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony performed by Jeffrey Goh, CEO, Star Alliance; Tan Lye Teck, Executive Vice President – Airport Management, Changi Airport Group; Barathan Pasupathi, CEO, Jetstar Asia Airways; Dr. Joe Leader, CEO, APEX and IFSA; Ali Loving, Head of Events, Future Travel Experience; Craig McQuinn, Exhibition Director, Onboard Hospitality Forum Asia; Riad Asmat, CEO, Air Asia Malaysia; Ryan Ghee, Chief Operating Officer, Future Travel Experience; and Daniel Coleman, Founder & CEO, Future Travel Experience.

The high-level audience also included a number of other CEOs and C-suite executives from across the industry, including Tony Fernandes, CEO, Capital A, pictured here with APEX/IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader.

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Innovative airline and airport solutions – from digital identity to baggage and more

The free to attend exhibition at FTE APEX Asia Expo provided a major showcase of progressive solutions, products and services from technology giants and the most innovative startups from across Asia and beyond. They highlighted innovations created to help airlines and airports improve end-to-end customer experiences, reduce costs, increase revenues and enhance operational efficiency on the ground and inflight.

Among the major companies present was Collins Aerospace, which highlighted its Connected Aviation Solutions business that is uniquely positioned to provide revolutionary digital solutions to its airline and airport customers, enabling them to bring forth their vision of a fully connected digital aviation ecosystem.

SITA similarly had a prominent presence on the expo floor, where it showcased its SITA Flex solution. SITA Flex goes beyond traditional common-use – it is a next-generation platform that facilitates innovation via APIs and gives passengers greater control of their journey.

Snowfall offered demos of Junction – a single, multimodal travel operating platform that unifies access to the travel ecosystem. It means travellers can enjoy greater choice, flexibility and a seamless, personalised experience, from door to door. Airlines and providers can simplify and amplify their distribution and unlock ancillary revenue opportunities.

Automation and self-service technologies have been a continued priority for airports and airlines post-pandemic, and these were prominent on the Expo floor. Visitors to the Gunnebo stand experienced mobile enrolment for passenger boarding with a demonstration of a biometric-enabled boarding gate; they also experienced the complete passenger One ID journey using facial biometrics. Amadeus showcased a complete end-to-end biometric passenger flow from check-in through to boarding. Meanwhile, Elenium presented its Automated Bag Drop with advanced camera-based dimensioning technology.

Among the other innovations highlighted was Airport Dimensions’ Connecta In-Lounge – a one-stop e-commerce and traveller relationship platform that enhances and personalises the airport lounge experience. Baggage was another key focus area, with BAGTAG giving product demos and allowing visitors to try out its Electronic Bag Tags.

Inflight-focused showcase – IFEC, digital engagement, 5G, communications and more

The exhibition featured an impressive line-up of inflight-focused suppliers, including Inmarsat Aviation, AERQ, AirFi, Ditto, Exail, Intelsat, Viasat, and many more.

Visitors to the AERQ booth experienced how the company’s open IT platform AERENA can boost digital cabin innovations throughout the travel journey and facilitate greater passenger engagement onboard the aircraft. showcased its ‘In-Seat Ordering’ solution, which is now live on airlines including Scoot, easyJet, Corendon and Binter Canarias, and is the backbone of its ‘Mall in the Sky’ platform. The company also introduced visitors to ‘LEO’ – its innovative, lightweight and low-cost connectivity solution using patented window-mounted antenna technology.

Ditto offered live, cross-platform, real-time demos of its Intelligent Edge Platform, with use-cases such as real-time meal order, cabin crew collaboration, maintenance collaboration, and baggage scanning. Meanwhile, Inflight Dublin highlighted Everhub – a one-stop-shop for airlines, incorporating content, design, hardware and software into a single wireless IFE offering.

Inmarsat Aviation launched its ‘APAC Passenger Experience Survey 2022’ during FTE APEX Asia Expo. David Coiley, Asia Pacific Regional Vice President, Inmarsat Aviation, shared details of the survey as part of his presentation in a conference session focused on ‘Successfully digitalising the aircraft cabin’. He explained that the new research among 4,000 APAC airline passengers finds that 74% value inflight Wi-Fi, and 83% would rebook with an airline if high-quality connectivity was available on the flight. “Passenger demand for fast and reliable Wi-Fi has never been higher, so providing access to such services is absolutely essential for airlines,” said Coiley.

Onboard Hospitality Forum Asia – a showcase of inflight catering, customised cabin essentials, well-being and sustainability

The Onboard Hospitality Forum Asia once again took place as part of FTE APEX Asia Expo 2022. Onboard Hospitality invited inflight catering, well-being, design and innovation specialists to meet within a dedicated, free to attend zone in the exhibition, with a strong focus this year on sustainability onboard. The forum combines targeted inflight hospitality, peer to peer networking, and conference sessions.

A number of leading inflight wellness and catering companies showcased their latest products and services, including SATS, Bayart Innovations, Coffee Planet, FORMIA, Global-C, Linstol, Unilever, Zibo Rainbow Airline Appliance, and more.

During the two-day Onboard Hospitality Forum Asia, attendees also had the chance to hear inspiration from a number of leaders in the hospitality sector, such as SAUDIA, En Route International, Aviation Sustainability Forum, APEX and IFSA.

Startup Zone and Startup Pitch Session – a hotbed of innovation

The Startup Zone at FTE APEX Asia Expo 2022 was a hotbed of innovation, featuring progressive companies such as Ariadne Maps, Shabstec Limited and ubiZense Limited.

Ariadne Maps presented its advanced, real-time passenger analytics enabled with award-winning accuracy and certified privacy compliance. Shabstec offered demonstrations of its TagForLife technology – a very low-cost permanent bag tag. Using all existing international standards, passengers will be able to purchase the tags from Amazon, airlines and airports. ubiZense Limited – an AIoT company – showcased how it leverages IoT sensors to monitor operations and uses AI to provide management insights. ubiZense turns existing sensors, such as CCTV or GPS modules, into real-time tracking devices.

The Expo Stage conference agenda also featured the ‘Startup Pitch Session Powered by the FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub’. This showcased a diverse range of startups with a selection of pioneering products and services – from advanced artificial intelligence (AI) solutions through to the latest inflight concepts – including Airsiders, Ariadne Maps, Avvinue, Ditto, Shabstec, ubiZense, and Virspatial Technologies.

‘Innovation & Tech Briefings’ and One-to-One Meetings

The popular ‘Innovation & Tech Briefings’ on the exhibition floor returned bigger and better this year. Attendees had the opportunity to join guided tours and meet exhibitors with relevant products, services and concepts across six areas: Airport Technology, Airline Technology, Baggage, Automation & Self-service, IFEC & Inflight Innovation, and Sustainability in Action Onboard.

Attendees were also able to use the One-to-One Meeting system prior to and during the show to connect with companies and individuals and arrange meetings. The system again proved a great success.

Inspirational keynotes by Fiji Airways, Capital A, SAUDIA, Changi Airport,, and much more

The theme of FTE APEX Asia Expo 2022 was ‘Transforming Tomorrow’s Journey’ and was reflected throughout the agendas on both the Premium Conference and Expo stages, which highlighted the transformative and collaborative approaches being taken for the benefit of the industry.

Daniel Coleman, Founder & CEO, Future Travel Experience, and Dr. Joe Leader, CEO, APEX and IFSA, opened the Premium Conference Stage before moving into the Opening Keynote Panel featuring Barathan Pasupathi, CEO, Jetstar Asia Airways; Jeffrey Goh, CEO, Star Alliance; Tan Lye Teck, Executive Vice President – Airport Management, Changi Airport Group; Sumesh Patel, President, Asia Pacific, SITA; and Riad Asmat, CEO, Air Asia Malaysia. They shared their perspectives on successfully scaling back up, attracting, empowering and retaining workforce, collaboration, innovation, passenger experience, digital transformation, sustainability, lessons learned from the pandemic, and post-pandemic health and travel requirements.

The Expo Stage opened with two keynotes from Yudong Tan, VP, CEO of the Flights BG, Group (a global travel services company that owns and operates, Ctrip, Skyscanner and Qunar) and Colin Currie, President (Commercial), Capital A.

Tan shared his insights into the future of travel in Asia-Pac and how Group is evolving to serve that. Commenting on the global recovery of flights by region in September 2022, he noted that Asia-Pacific is currently at 40% of 2019 levels compared with 79% in Europe and North America, 86% in the Middle East and 90% in Africa. Currie followed with a fascinating keynote on how AirAsia is transitioning into a digital travel and lifestyle company and revolutionising its commercial activities along the way.

The Premium Conference Stage also featured a truly inspirational Keynote Session on ‘Leadership perspectives in the vibrant Asia-Pac market’. In Part 1, Azman B. Ahmad, GM Product Management, SAUDIA, was interviewed by Dr. Joe Leader, CEO, APEX and IFSA and offered an exclusive look at the airline’s new business class product. In Part 2, Andre Viljoen, Managing Director & CEO, Fiji Airways, then delivered a keynote address on the airline’s journey to success. Viljoen explained that Fiji Airways’ “game-changer strategies” include investment in its leadership and culture transformation, growing its female workforce (currently 41%), modernising its aircraft fleet (Airbus A350 XWBs and Boeing MAX 8s), building “remarkable service quality”, and “a deep commitment to strategic purpose”.

Premium Conference Stage – innovation for airlines and airports

The Premium Conference Stage provided insights into how the world will evolve over the short, medium and long-term, and how effective utilisation of technology, design, hospitality and collaboration can reimagine travel for the better post-pandemic.

Among the many highlights on the Premium Conference Stage was a session focused on ‘Innovative technology utilisation by airlines and their partners’. Moderated by Tomi Maaniemi, Vice President, Snowfall, the session featured two fantastic case studies: Travis Lim, Principal Digital Strategist, Singapore Airlines, delivered a presentation on ‘Singapore Airlines’ digital journey’, while Christine Wang, Managing Director, Lufthansa Innovation Hub, gave a presentation on ‘Pushing the limits of the travel industry’.

Advancing onboard digitalisation efforts to enhance operational, CX and revenue performance was a key focus. Stefan List, Head of Cabin Market Insights, Airbus, moderated a session on ‘Successfully digitising the aircraft cabin’, featuring David Coiley, Regional Vice President Asia Pacific Aviation Sales, Inmarsat; Andre Sousa, Senior Director & Head of Sales and Account Management – APAC, Panasonic Avionics; and Jonas von Kruechten, Head of Strategy and Business Development, AERQ.

Continuing the theme of digitalisation, Carolijn Schoofs, Head of Innovation, Royal Schiphol Group, outlined the steps by which Schiphol will achieve a fully autonomous airside operation by 2050, while Bob Kwik, Global Head of Airports, Amazon Web Services, highlighted the technologies that airports should really be focusing on to transform the passenger experience, operations and revenues.

Focusing on future airports, the transformative approaches being taken to reimagine the ways in which airports are developed, managed, leverage technology and realise potential were addressed by Jayne Wear, Head of Commercial Products & Transport, Auckland Airport, and Jan Michael Wicki, Head Program Development and Coordination, Noida International Airport (by Flughafen Zürich AG).

A prominent theme was airport automation and digital identity efforts, and these were explored by Steven Greenway, President, Commercial, Pangiam; Hideharu Miyamoto, Senior Executive Officer / Deputy Executive Divisional Director of Corporate Planning Division, Narita International Airport Corporation; and Javed Malik, Managing Director APAC, Vision-Box & FTE Advisory Board Member.

Other highlights on the Premium Conference Stage included a special presentation by Gordon Chu, Digital Manager, Conversational Platforms, Cathay Pacific Airways, on ‘Building a strategic mindset in conversational AI driven digital transformation’, plus ‘The FTE Premium Passenger Symposium’ and ‘The FTE Emerging Markets Symposium’.

Expo Stage – free education for all

Attendees benefited from complimentary access to the Expo Stage. ‘The future of e-commerce, ancillaries & loyalty in air transport’ was addressed in a panel led by Apple Ignacio, Director, Ancillaries, Cebu Pacific Air, and featuring Renato Ramos, Director Loyalty, Star Alliance; Jayne Wear, Head of Commercial Products & Transport, Auckland Airport; and Vimal Kumar Rai, EVP Global Sales & Marketing,

Highlights on the Expo Stage also included ‘The FTE Self-Service & Biometric Summit’, which heard from Jesse Jalleh, Director Travel Experience, Star Alliance; Jonathan Good, Chief Technology & Marketing Officer, Auckland Airport; Rob Bowring, CCO, Elenium Automation; and Richard Dinkelmann, CEO, ICM Airport Technics, an Amadeus company.

‘Strategic Perspective & Disruptive Approaches’ were explored by Gunardi Minah, GM Marketing, Lion Air, and Member of the FTE APEX Asia Expo Advisory Board; Dr Spencer Dando, VP Middle East & Africa, Snowfall; and Hon Lung Chu, Head of APAC, Volocopter.

A session focusing on ‘Making Sustainability Work Onboard’ brought together Azman Ahmad, GM Product Management, SAUDIA; Nick Wiley, Global Managing Director, En Route International; and Matt Crane, Group Head, SATS Food Solutions Global Innovation Centre and Founder of the Aviation Sustainability Forum, and provided insights into what each organisation is doing today to make the industry greener, followed by a candid discussion on what steps need to be taken to ensure the industry can improve environmental performance going forward.

The Expo Stage agenda concluded with an insightful session on ‘Strategies to simultaneously better serve the passenger, and the business’, with presentations from Deacon Konc, Director, Innovation & Solutions, United Airlines; Yerzhan Akhmetzhanov, Senior Manager Innovation, FlyArystan (Air Astana Group); and Stephen Hay, Global Strategy Director, Airport Dimensions.

In a fitting finale to the conference, Hay delivered an exclusive research unveiling: ‘Understanding Tomorrow’s Traveller and Shaping the Future Airport Experience’. Among the fascinating insights shared, Hay outlined some key trends for airports, including the need to “embrace, understand and engage the new experiential traveller”, “for more travellers, the lounge will become the heart of the revenue journey”, and the need to “pivot towards more relevant incentives and smarter engagement”.

FTE Baggage Innovation Working Group meeting at Changi, plus FTE Baggage Innovation Summit

Members of the FTE Baggage Innovation Working Group (BIWG) met at Changi Airport on 8 November 2022, where they received an exclusive, guided tour of the airport’s baggage areas before receiving an update on BIWG activities and POCs from Darin Juby, Director Baggage Services, Greater Toronto Airports Authority, and Head of Baggage Transformation, Future Travel Experience.

This was followed by the FTE Baggage Innovation Summit, which took place on the Expo Stage on 9 November 2022. Led by Juby, the session featured fascinating contributions from Jasper Quak, Managing Director, BAGTAG; Paige See, Manager, Customer Experience (Baggage), Star Alliance; David Cho, Senior Manager, Incheon International Airport Corporation; and Dennis van Kleef, Programme Lead Baggage, Royal Schiphol Group.

FTE Airline/Airport Transformation Power List Asia-Pacific 2022 and APEX Regional Passenger Choice Awards 2023 winners announced

The most transformative change enablers within the industry in Asia-Pacific were recognised at the Future Travel Experience Airline/Airport Transformation Power List Asia-Pacific 2022 awards ceremony during FTE APEX Asia Expo. Six winners received ‘Outstanding Achievement’ trophies: Colin Currie, President (Commercial), Capital A; George Wang, Senior Vice President Information Technology, Singapore Airlines; Kenneth Chang, Executive Vice President, CMO (Marketing & IT Division), Korean Air; Jonathan Good, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer, Auckland Airport; Rama Iyer, Head – Innovation, GMR Group; and Hideharu Miyamoto, Senior Executive Officer / Deputy Executive Divisional Director of Corporate Planning Division, Narita International Airport Corporation. Six of the nominees were also presented with ‘Highly Commended’ certificates. View the full report here.

In addition, APEX took to the stage to honour the airlines from across the region that recently achieved 4 star, 5 star, and World Class status in the APEX Official Airline Ratings. Winners of the 2023 APEX Regional Passenger Choice Awards were also announced during the show.

FTE APEX Asia Expo Reception & Awards After Party

The FTE Airline/Airport Transformation Power List Asia-Pacific 2022 awards ceremony was followed by the FTE APEX Asia Expo Reception & Awards After Party, sponsored by Intelsat, which took place on Level 4 of the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre. The event provided a perfect opportunity for attendees to network in a relaxed environment following a busy first day and culminated with a viewing of the spectacular Spectra outdoor light and water show.

Changi Airport Terminal 2 tour

FTE APEX Asia Expo 2022 headline partner Changi Airport Group also facilitated guided tours of the renovated Terminal 2. Attendees experienced a refreshed terminal design and gained insights into the T2 Expansion project, newly upgraded facilities, and revamped areas of the terminal, which includes a variety of self-service and automated processes designed to enhance efficiency and the customer experience.

Mark your diary for FTE APEX Asia Expo 2023 – Singapore, 8-9 November

The free to attend FTE APEX Asia Expo will return to the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Singapore on 8-9 November 2023. Mark your diary today! Find out more information about the event here.

Article originally published here:
FTE APEX Asia Expo 2022 in pictures – ‘Transforming Tomorrow’s Journey’

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EUR/AUD bearish breakdown supported by additional China fiscal stimulus and AU inflation

Weak PMI readings from the Eurozone, an increase in China’s budget deficit ratio, and renewed inflationary pressures in Australia may trigger a persistent…



  • Weak PMI readings from the Eurozone, an increase in China’s budget deficit ratio, and renewed inflationary pressures in Australia may trigger a persistent bearish sentiment loop in EUR/AUD.
  • Watch the key short-term resistance at 1.6700 for EUR/AUD.
  • A break below 1.6250 key medium-term support on the EUR/AUD may trigger a multi-week bearish impulsive down move.

The Euro (EUR) tumbled overnight throughout the US session as it erased its prior gains against the US dollar recorded on Monday, 23 October; the EUR/USD shed -104 pips from yesterday’s intraday high of 1.0695 to close the US session at 1.0591, its weakest performance in the past seven sessions.

Yesterday’s resurgence of the USD dollar strength has been attributed to a robust set of October flash manufacturing and services PMI data from the US in contrast with weak readings seen in the UK and Eurozone that represented stagflation risks.

Interestingly, the Aussie dollar (AUD) has outperformed the US dollar where the AUD/USD managed to squeeze out a minor daily gain of 21 pips by the close of yesterday’s US session. The resilient movement of the AUD/USD has been impacted by positive news flow out from China, Australia’s key trading partner.

China’s national legislature has just approved a budgetary plan to raise the fiscal deficit ratio for 2023 to around 3.8% of its GDP which was above the initial 3% set in March and set to issue additional sovereign debt worth 1 trillion yuan in Q4. This latest round of additional fiscal stimulus suggests that China’s top policymakers are expanding their initial targeted measures to address the ongoing severe liquidity crunch in the domestic property market as well as to reverse the persistent weak sentiment inherent in the stock market.

In addition, the latest set of Australia’s inflation data surpassed expectations has also reinforced another layer of positive feedback loop in the Aussie dollar which in turn may put Australia’s central bank, RBA on a “hawkish guard” against cutting its policy cash rate too soon.

The less lagging monthly CPI Indicator has risen to an annualized rate of 5.6% in September, above consensus estimates of 5.4%, and surpassed August’s reading of 5.2% which has translated into a second consecutive month of uptick in inflationary growth.

In the lens of technical analysis, a potential bearish configuration setup has emerged in the EUR/AUD cross pair from a short to medium-term perspective.

Major uptrend phase of EUR/AUD is weakening


Fig 1: EUR/AUD medium-term trend as of 25 Oct 2023 (Source: TradingView, click to enlarge chart)

Even though the price actions of the EUR/AUD have been oscillating within a major ascending channel since its 25 August 2023 low of 1.4285 and traded above the key 200-day moving average so far, the momentum of this up movement is showing signs of bullish exhaustion.

Yesterday (24 October) price action ended with a daily bearish reversal “Marubozu” candlestick coupled with the daily RSI momentum indicator that retreated right at a significant parallel resistance in place since March 2023 at the 65 level which suggests a revival of medium-term bearish momentum.

EUR/AUD bears are now attacking the minor ascending support

Fig 2: EUR/AUD minor short-term trend as of 25 Oct 2023 (Source: TradingView, click to enlarge chart)

The EUR/AUD has now staged a bearish price action follow-through via the breakdown of its minor ascending support from its 29 September 2023 low after a momentum bearish breakdown that was flashed earlier yesterday (24 October) during the European session as seen from the 4-hour RSI momentum indicator.

Watch the 1.6700 key short-term pivotal resistance (also the 50-day moving average) for a further potential slide toward the intermediate supports of 1.6460 and 1.6320 in the first step.

On the other hand, a clearance above 1.6700 invalidates the bearish tone to see the next intermediate resistance coming in at 1.6890.

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GigXR partners with NUS Medicine to deliver holographic clinical scenarios for gastroenterology training

GigXR, Inc., a global provider of holographic healthcare training, announced today its partnership with the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University…



GigXR, Inc., a global provider of holographic healthcare training, announced today its partnership with the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), one of the world’s leading medical schools, to introduce a new gastrointestinal module for the award-winning HoloScenarios application. Created to better prepare medical and nursing students in diagnosing and treating acute gastrointestinal diseases, HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal delivers evidence-based, robust clinical simulations that present hyperrealistic holographic simulated patients and medical equipment to be used in any physical learning environment, accessed anywhere in the world.

Credit: Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), and GigXR

GigXR, Inc., a global provider of holographic healthcare training, announced today its partnership with the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), one of the world’s leading medical schools, to introduce a new gastrointestinal module for the award-winning HoloScenarios application. Created to better prepare medical and nursing students in diagnosing and treating acute gastrointestinal diseases, HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal delivers evidence-based, robust clinical simulations that present hyperrealistic holographic simulated patients and medical equipment to be used in any physical learning environment, accessed anywhere in the world.

Going beyond linear step-based training traditionally seen with virtual reality (VR), HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal uses mixed reality (MR) to simulate the entire patient journey, while including branching logic to catalyze variance in learning experiences. From taking basic medical history to performing invasive testing and emergency procedures, the new module empowers learners to master vital medical decision-making and manual skills as they would see them in real-life clinical scenarios and patient care.

HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal is created in collaboration with renowned medical professionals and educators from NUS Medicine who specialize in the fields of Gastrointestinal (GI) Surgery and holographic medical training. The module is delivered by the Gig Immersive Learning Platform, the enterprise-scale platform enabling the creation, curation, and sharing of immersive training applications and modules made by the world’s preeminent healthcare institutions and MR developers.

“Gastrointestinal pathologies can be complex and challenging to diagnose. This module will allow learners to form a deeper understanding and appreciation of the gastrointestinal tract, especially the three-dimensional understanding of anatomy and body functions,” said Associate Professor Alfred Kow Wei Chieh from the school’s Department of Surgery and Assistant Dean (Education) at NUS Medicine. “We believe mixed reality is the next evolution in healthcare training, and collaborating with immersive platform innovators like GigXR helps us to bring this vital content to more learners globally and, ultimately, improve patient care.”

With international medical and surgical credentials that include MBBS (S’pore), M Med (Surg), FRCSEd (Gen Surg), FAMS, and FACS, Associate Professor Kow has trained thousands of healthcare professionals and advanced surgical fellows. He received the 2023 REAL Advancing in Liver Transplantation Award for his contributions to global liver transplantation education and is a founding member of The Holomedicine® Association.

“GigXR has one of the most advanced and comprehensive platforms in mixed reality, especially in medical training, and enables the exchange of developments, innovation, and expertise with a wider community across Asia and beyond,” added Associate Professor Kow. He is also the Head and Senior Consultant of the Division of Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Surgery, Department of Surgery, at Singapore’s National University Hospital (NUH), the teaching hospital of NUS Medicine.

The new module also delivers enhanced realism in training learners to more accurately diagnose and treat acute gastrointestinal diseases. Whereas VR has been widely used in gastroenterology training for linear step-based skills, such as in endoscopic procedures, it is limited in its ability to simulate fully realized clinical scenarios. Holographic patient simulation in MR merges hyper-realistic holograms in physical learning spaces that accurately reflect the clinical environment and tools with which learners will care for real patients.

With HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal, learners can interact with the holographic simulated patients, holographic medical equipment, instructors, and each other. This allows them to master both technical and soft skills, such as patient empathy and team communication, in hyper-realistic, safe-to-fail environments that reduce cognitive load. If the holographic patient displays the need for further care, such as a definitive surgery, learners can discuss a definitive treatment plan.

To gain a deeper evaluation of outward symptoms, co-located learners can safely walk around the patient hologram that is displayed on top of their real-world surroundings. Whereas VR locks learners into a virtual “box,” MR enables clear visibility and awareness of physical surroundings. This allows learners to move freely without fear of physical collisions and safety so they can fully focus on learning key gastrointestinal treatment, diagnostic, and communication skills with peers and instructors.

“In healthcare, educators are not only trying to help learners master and retain vital knowledge, but recall and apply it when a patient’s life may be at risk,” said Dr. Gao Yujia, MBBS (S’Pore), MRCS, FRCSEd, Consultant and Assistant Group Chief Technology Officer at Singapore’s National University Health System, and Vice Chairman of The Holomedicine® Association. “With HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal, learners will have the ability to not only visualize the presentation of a given disease in 3D but better understand how to apply key learnings in the clinical context and within team environments.” Dr Gao is also the Director of Undergraduate Medical Education for Surgery at NUS Medicine.

With scenarios across gastrointestinal pathologies that include gastrointestinal bleeding, intestinal obstruction, and chronic liver failure, learners can master complex and potentially critical situations. They can learn, for example, how to stabilize patients who are dehydrated, bleeding, or septic, as well as the types of diagnostic procedures that may then be required to get a definitive diagnosis. Using mixed reality headsets or any Android, iOS smartphone or tablet, learners can access HoloScenearios: Gastrointestinal from anywhere for remotely distributed, yet highly immersive simulation.

“Immersive technology has accelerated the sharing of expertise for teaching, training, and simulation. Mixed reality, with its natural propensity to facilitate hyperrealistic, safe, and collaborative learning, continues to accelerate both the quality and scale of training outcomes,” said Jared Mermey, CEO of GigXR. “We are immensely proud to partner with NUS Medicine which has been at the forefront of adopting mixed reality in both clinical and educational use cases. By bringing their esteemed expertise onto our platform with the co-creation of HoloScenarios’ newest module, we believe clinical breakthroughs in diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal diseases will take a giant leap forward.”

Designed specifically for pedagogy, the Gig Immersive Learning Platform is trusted by over 70 enterprise-scale healthcare institutions across four continents to build full immersive curricula utilizing a robust content catalog – all of which is managed from a single dashboard. Third-party content developed by leading 3D medical partners, including DICOM Director, 3D4Medical by Elsevier, and ANIMA RES, seamlessly integrates with the platform to provide complementary, in-depth anatomy applications that empower learners with a broader physical context for the pathologies that they study.

“The Gig Immersive Learning Platform has quickly become the premier educational, social network for sharing healthcare training expertise in the immersive format, spanning global healthcare institutions and the Department of Defense to content developers and enterprises large and small,” said David King Lassman, Founder of GigXR. “HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal marks the latest milestone in our rapidly expanding catalog, which now boasts a dozen different licensable training modules that span holographic simulated patients, clinical scenarios, anatomy, pathophysiology, and 3D medical imaging.”

NUS joins the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) NHS Foundation Trust, University of Michigan, and Morlen Health, a subsidiary of Northwest Permanente, P.C., as the world-class institutions partnering with GigXR to co-create holographic healthcare training. These simulations include modules centered around Respiratory diseases, Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Neurology scenarios, and now, with NUS, Gastrointestinal diseases.

GigXR and NUS Medicine plan to launch HoloScenarios: Gastro in Spring 2024. For more information on GigXR, visit or email For more information on NUS, visit

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Public support for extending the 14-day rule on human embryo research indicated by foundational dialogue project

The findings of a foundational UK public dialogue on human embryo research are published today, Wednesday 25th October 2023, as part of the Wellcome-funded…



The findings of a foundational UK public dialogue on human embryo research are published today, Wednesday 25th October 2023, as part of the Wellcome-funded Human Developmental Biology Initiative (HDBI). The HDBI is an ambitious scientific endeavour to advance our understanding of human development. The dialogue project, which was co-funded by UKRI Sciencewise programme, engaged a diverse group of the public to consider how early human embryo research can be used to its fullest, the 14-day rule and the fast-paced field of stem cell-based embryo models.

Credit: Dr Matteo Molè (Babraham Institute)

The findings of a foundational UK public dialogue on human embryo research are published today, Wednesday 25th October 2023, as part of the Wellcome-funded Human Developmental Biology Initiative (HDBI). The HDBI is an ambitious scientific endeavour to advance our understanding of human development. The dialogue project, which was co-funded by UKRI Sciencewise programme, engaged a diverse group of the public to consider how early human embryo research can be used to its fullest, the 14-day rule and the fast-paced field of stem cell-based embryo models.

Headline findings include:

  • Appetite for review of the 14-day rule: Participants recognised that extending the 14-day rule could open up ways to achieve benefits in fertility and health, with participant support for reviewing this, including national discussion.
  • Confidence in regulation: There was a high level of confidence in how human embryo research is regulated, despite a low level of awareness of the regulators and statutes themselves. This included strong desire to see robust regulation governing any changes to the 14-day rule and further regulation for the use of stem cell-based embryo models.
  • Support for improved fertility and health outcomes: The strongest hopes for future human embryo research were where new knowledge would deliver improvements in understanding miscarriage, preventing health conditions such as spina bifida and raising the success rates of IVF procedures.
  • Concerns about genetically engineering humans: The public expressed concerns on the application of developments in this field to genetically alter or engineer humans.

The dialogue engaged a group of 70 people broadly reflective of the UK population in over 15 hours of activities including a series of online and face-to-face workshops with scientists, ethicists, philosophers, policy makers and people with relevant lived experience (such as embryo donors from IVF procedures).

Dr Peter Rugg-Gunn, scientific lead for the HDBI and senior group leader at the Babraham Institute, said: “Recent scientific advances bring incredible new opportunities to study and understand the earliest stages of human development. To ensure this research remains aligned with society’s values and expectations, we must listen and respond to public desires and concerns. This public dialogue is an important first step and as a scientist I am reassured by the findings but there is still a long way to go to fully understand this complex issue.” 

The report is exceedingly timely, following notable scientific advances in human developmental biology presented at conferences and in leading scientific journals in recent months. As well as generating excitement in scientific fields and with the public, announcement of these breakthroughs also prompted some concerns and criticisms, with the view that these findings raised significant ethical issues. The dialogue provides insight into public considerations following deliberation on early human embryo research. The hope is that it will act as a foundational reference point that others in the sectors can build upon, such as in any future review of the law on embryo research.

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, co-chair of the HDBI Oversight group, senior group leader and head of the Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics at the Francis Crick Institute, said: “We have learnt a lot about human development before 14 days, but there are areas of investigation that could change how we understand development, and associated diseases, that lie beyond our current window of knowledge. Despite low awareness of current laws, members of the public quickly recognised many of the critical issues researchers are keenly aware of when it comes to growing embryos beyond the current limit. This dialogue also reinforced the fact that the public are in support of research that will yield better health outcomes, and in this case, increase the success of IVF procedures.

Other countries will be looking to the UK to see how we deal with the 14-day rule; we are not there yet with any mandate to make a change, but this does give a strong pointer. The next step will be to delve deeper into some of the topics raised through this dialogue as they apply to specific areas of research, as well as feeding into policy changes.”

The 14-day rule and the regulation of stem cell-based models

When considering the regulation of research involving human embryos, the dialogue explored participant’s views on the 14-day rule. Introduced in 1990, the 14-day rule is a limit enforced by statute in the UK. It applies to early human embryos that are donated by consent to research and embryos that are created for research from donated sperm and eggs. It limits the amount of time early human embryos can be developed in a laboratory for scientific study to 14 days after fertilisation. Due to technical advances, it is now possible to grow embryos in the lab past 14 days, but researchers are not allowed to by the law. If the law changed, it would open up this ‘black box’ of development with researchers able to investigate this crucial time in development from 14-28 days after fertilisation.

Professor Bobbie Farsides, co-chair of the HDBI Oversight group and Professor of Clinical and Biomedical Ethics at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, said: “It has been a fascinating experience to support HDBI in the undertaking of this exercise.  I commend the participants for the care and mutual respect they have shown throughout. Their engagement and commitment to a subject few of them had previously considered allowed for a wide range of views to be expressed and considered. I hope the scientists involved will be encouraged by the high level of interest in their work, and will want to keep the public conversation going around these important subjects.”

The dialogue included participant discussion on what a change to the 14-day rule might look like, and identified points that should be considered, such as defining what the benefits of extending the rule would be and potential mis-alignment with human embryo research regulations in other countries.

Participants acknowledged the astonishing possibilities of stem cell-based embryo models. The majority of participants would like to see these models further regulated. Work in establishing potential governance mechanisms is already underway. In recognition of the need for additional guidance and regulation in this area, the Cambridge Reproduction initiative launched a project in March 2023 to develop a governance framework for research using stem cell-based embryo models and to promote responsible, transparent and accountable research.

Future steps

A key outcome from the public dialogue is the identification of areas for further exploration, with participants proposing how future national conversations might be shaped. It is hoped that the project acts as a reference base for both widening engagement with the subject and also prompting deeper exploration of areas of concern.

Dr Michael Norman, HDBI Public Dialogue coordinator and Public Engagement Manager at the Babraham Institute, said: “This dialogue shows that people want the public to work closely with scientists and the government to shape both future embryo research legislation and scientific research direction. It is crucial that others in the sector build on these high quality, two-way engagement methodologies that allow for a genuine exchange of views and information to ensure that the public’s desires and concerns are listened to and respected. Transparency and openness around science is vital for public trust and through this we, as a society, can shape UK research in way that enriches the outcomes for all.”

Public Participant (Broad public group, south) said: “I do think that an extension of this public dialogue, and educating a wider society has a benefit in itself. This is really complex and sensitive and the wider you talk about it before decisions are made, the better.”

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