Research and Development in Wellness Technology

ABOUT WELLNESS TECHNOLOGY

WHAT IS WELLNESS?

Wellness is a modern word with ancient roots. The key tenets of wellness as both preventive and holistic can be traced back to ancient civilizations from the East (India, China) to the West (Greece, Rome). In 19th-century Europe and the United States, a variety of intellectual, religious and medical movements developed in parallel with conventional medicine. With their focus on holistic and natural approaches, self-healing and preventive care, these movements have provided a firm foundation for wellness today. Wellness-focused and holistic modalities have gained more visibility since the 1960s/1970s under the writings and thought leadership of an informal network of US physicians and thinkers (such as Halbert Dunn, Jack Travis, Don Ardell, Bill Hettler, and others). As these have evolved, proliferated, and gone mainstream, they have informed the healthy-living, self-help, self-care, fitness, nutrition, diet, and spiritual practices that have become a flourishing wellness movement in the 21st century.

Benefits of Digital Health

For clinicians, it means more informed decision making through access to pertinent patient information when it’s needed, the convenience of an e-consult with a specialist or enhanced patient safety through electronic prescribing. For patients, digital health means the confidence of accessing your own lab results and health information online, the convenience of a virtual visit or the ease of booking medical appointments electronically. Additionally, the ability to gain timely access to lab test results and personal health information is an important part of patient engagement and empowerment, which are directly linked to improved chronic disease management.

 CURRENT PROJECT

Welltech Utopia Sdn. Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of HB Global Limited has collaborated with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Taylor’s University, Monash University Malaysia and My Cytohealth Sdn. Bhd. to develop a wellness R&D Project known as “Characterize The Cargo of Exosomes Secreted by Wharton’s Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells”. This R&D project is expected to be completed by 2023. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were known to secrete exosomes that are rich in miRNAs. Currently, MSC-derived exosomes have been found to be beneficial in treating a number of diseases. However, the differences in the miRNA profile of exosomes secreted by the MSCs at early and late passages in vitro have yet to be elucidated. Understanding of the miRNA profile is very crucial in understanding the functionality of the exosomes in regenerative medicine. In this study, we will compare the miRNA profile of exosomes secreted by Wharton’s jelly-derived MSCs (WJ-MSCs) at the early and late passages. Subsequently, functional enrichment analysis will be performed to predict the ideal passages in culture for the collection of exosomes with better therapeutic potential to treat myocardial infarction. The results of functional enrichment analysis will be validated using an in vitro cardiac ischemic model. We are hoping that through this study, we can shed some light on the differences in the miRNA profile of exosomes secreted by the WJ-MSCs at the early and late passages. At the same time, we will identify the best WJ-MSC passages in vitro for the collection of exosomes with the highest capability to treat myocardial infarction.

Wharton’s jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs) have been experimented for the treatment of a myriad of immune-related and degenerative diseases as well as tissue injuries. Recently, it has been reported that exosomes secreted by WJ-MSCs exhibited similar therapeutic potential as the cells. Thus, many researchers have shifted their focus from using stem cells to exosomes to treat diseases. However, there is a lack of understanding of the differences between the miRNA profile of exosomes secreted by the WJ-MSCs at the early and late passages. Elucidating these differences is very important to identify the right passages of WJ-MSCs for exosome collection. At the end of the day, the findings from this study will help to shed some light on the miRNA profile of exosomes secreted by the WJ-MSCs at the early and late passages. Subsequently, functional enrichment analysis will be performed to predict the ideal passages in culture for the collection of exosomes with better therapeutic potential to treat myocardial infarction.

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