The attitude of millennials towards the adoption of precision medicine in Singapore

  • Nicholas Tan

    Student thesis: Professional Doctorate


    Singapore is an ethnically diverse island city-state in Southeast Asia with a high-income economy, a robust health system, and strong investment in biomedical research. It has invested in developing precision medicine via comprehensive programs, to understand health outcomes and address diseases in its population. Precision medicine (PM) is defined as medical treatment targeted to the needs of individual patients by tailoring healthcare on the basis of a person’s genes, lifestyle and environment. The foundation of PM lies in the diversity of the local population, catalogued in a reference database. Due to underrepresentation of non-European individuals in human genetic studies, many countries with under-represented cohorts and diverse populations must embark on their own journey of building their very own reference database. There are a lot of benefits that stand to be reaped in implementing PM programs in public health, such as improved outcome of treatment for patients, better management of costs due to better patient outcomes, and economic benefit via the stimulation of industry, job creation and knowledge transfer upon implementation. Despite the potential that PM can bring as a new healthcare technology, there are many concerns towards PM, such as ethical, social and legal issues, which may lead to a negative attitude towards its adoption. This study will investigate a population sub-group to better understand the factors impacting its attitude towards PM adoption in Singapore. The target population group in this study is the millennial generation, consisting of residents who are Singapore citizens and permanent residents born between the years 1981 to 1996 (both years inclusive). As a generation, millennials are motivated to take care of their health and wellbeing and choose healthy living to avoid high medical costs in the future; however, research on the attitude of millennials towards a novel healthcare technology like PM is scarce. This study seeks to address this gap in research and will explore variables that impact technology adoption and may affect the attitude of millennials towards PM in Singapore. The research framework developed for this research proposes new constructs to modify the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), to measure attitude towards PM based on the lack of empirical factors in existing literature. The constructs are: objective and subjective technical knowledge; social influence from social media and subjective norms; trust in doctors and government; perceived data sensitivity; security, and perceived usefulness (PU). This study explores the attitude of the millennials in Singapore toward PM via a quantitative online survey, based on a proposed theoretical framework of the TAM. A total of 377 validated responses were captured from 471 responses to the survey, filtered by residence and age. The results were analyzed using the structural equation modelling technique grounded in the research framework. The results supported the proposed model and indicated a good fit. The results showed perceived data security, data sensitivity and usefulness influenced the attitude of millennials to adopt PM in Singapore. This finding is relevant for improved insights on successful implementation of similar PM programs in the future. Understanding this will allow subject matter experts in the public health and research sectors improved insights to encourage this healthcare technology adoption and improve the successful implementation of PM programs in the future.
    Date of Award2023
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorIrfan Khan (Supervisor) & Abu Saleh (Supervisor)

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