Alexandra Hospital opens world’s first Healthy Longevity Clinic in a public hospital

With access to clinical trials and repurposed drugs, new clinic aims to increase Singaporean healthspan by three years.

The National University Health System in Singapore and Alexandra Hospital have launched the world’s first Healthy Longevity Clinic in a public hospital with the aim of increasing Singaporeans’ healthspan by three years in the next ten years.

Longevity.Technology: The Healthy Longevity Clinic at Alexandra Hospital translates healthy longevity research into evidence-based medicine and makes it available to a wider group. Co-located with the NUHS Centre for Healthy Longevity, where new longevity treatments and technologies are being tested, the clinic will generate opportunities for people at the clinic to participate in ongoing clinical trials of supplements and repurposed drugs – in fact, the first human clinical trials involving lifestyle interventions and nutritional supplements began last year and the first human clinical trial for repurposed drugs will start next year.

The clinic also aims to be a valuable resource for the community, providing education and outreach on topics related to aging, optimising health and preventing and reducing the burden of age-related diseases.

A year after the official launch of the Centre for Healthy Longevity (CHL), the National University Health System (NUHS), National University of Singapore (NUS) and Alexandra Hospital (AH) announced today that the Healthy Longevity Clinic is now open to the general public – the first clinic of its kind in the world in a public hospital.

The new Healthy Longevity Clinic aims to delay biological aging, optimising functionality and resilience and increasing healthspan through evidence-based diagnosis and intervention. Using aging biomarkers specific to the Singapore population, the clinic will leverage breakthroughs from the NUHS CHL and incorporate advances in geroscience and healthy longevity medicine towards precision medicine.

AH’s doctors, nurses, exercise physiologists, dietitians and health coaches are now accepting appointments to provide diagnoses and interventions for individuals between 35 and 70 years old with a maximum of one stable chronic disease. The aim is to optimize health by targeting aging processes throughout the life course, as early as possible. The clinic also aims to establish the cost-effectiveness of the service in optimizing health and increasing healthspan and integrating implementation science into the framework. The ultimate goal is to make evidence-based healthy longevity medicine accessible to everyone.

The clinic’s co-location in the public healthcare system both timely and beneficial as Singapore is shifting its healthcare paradigm towards preventive healthcare for the broader population, trying to ensure a larger fraction of the population is healthy and disease-free. It is co-located with the NUHS CHL, which is led by Professor Andrea Maier, an internal medicine specialist renowned for translational research in aging and age-related diseases, diagnostics and pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in aging humans.

Professor Maier is also the Founding President of the Healthy Longevity Medicine Society, an international medical society for healthy longevity medicine, promoting the highest standards of clinical practice and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Prof Andrea Maier, Health Longevity Medicine Society
Professor Andrea Maier

She told Longevity.Technology that the clinic’s joined-up approach is key.

“Singapore has the highest life expectancy worldwide and a low fertility rate. Together with a long period of time living with age related diseases, investment in optimizing health is crucial economically, socially and on individual level,” she explained.

“The world’s first healthy longevity medicine clinic is being established at a publicly funded hospital to optimize health, brining diagnostics measuring biological age and interventions lowering biological age together. The clinic is enabled by the latest research of the Centre for Healthy Longevity to close the loop between latest developments and clinical implementation.”

The clinic, led by Clinical Director and Clinical Assistant Professor Laureen Wang, will use the hospital’s existing infrastructure and resources, such as laboratory, imaging and medical specialists. The Healthy Longevity Clinic, which falls under the auspices of AH’s Well Programme (preventive health screening, women’s health and sports medicine), will integrate with complementary services within the hospital, and should any abnormalities be identified during the service that are best handled by other specialities, participants will be referred accordingly to ensure comprehensive and specialised care.

With a comprehensive approach to health and longevity, starting with a thorough baseline assessment using a range of tests from blood biomarkers for aging, to measuring exercise capacity, the clinic will deploy advanced techniques such as epigenetics and AI to measure biological age.

The detailed assessment will identify the individual’s biological age and risk factors for chronic disease and functional decline, and assessment tools include:

  • Clinical biomarkers such as arterial stiffness, cardiac age, body composition analysis, cognition, physical and functional performance.
  • Biological biomarkers such as blood age, epigenetic age and microbiome analysis.
  • Digital biomarkers to track physical activity, sedentary behaviour, sleep and physiological parameters.

Following the comprehensive baseline assessment, a multidisciplinary team including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and health coaches will review each individual’s health status and develop a Personalised Care Plan (PCP) tailored to their needs and goals and which includes diet, exercise, sleep and medical interventions, such as medication and supplements, if necessary.

The clinic provides regular health coaching sessions, telemonitoring and access to digital health monitoring tools to ensure ongoing support and aims to set itself apart from traditional healthcare models with its focus on continual care and monitoring; individuals will have repeat assessments between 6 and 12 months and up to 24 months, if need be, to assess their progress.

The clinic aims to achieve specific clinical indicators and targets to demonstrate the effectiveness of the interventions. Targets for key indicators include:

  • HbA1c (average blood glucose levels): Aim for a reduction of 0.5%.
  • LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol (an indicator of heart disease and stroke): Aim for a reduction of 30-40 mg/dL.
  • HS-CRP (indicates the risk of heart disease and stroke in people who are not predisposed): Aim for a 33% reduction.
  • Vo2 max/peak (maximum amount of oxygen an individual can consume during peak exercise): Aim for an increase of 3-5 mL/kg/min.

These clinical indicators are tangible measures of the participant’s progress in managing their health and slowing the ageing process. Achieving these goals will mean improved metabolic health, inflammation and cardiovascular fitness.

Photos courtesy of National University Health System / Alexandra Hospital. Main image L-R: A/Prof Jason Phua, CEO AH; Prof Yeoh Khay Guan, Chief Executive, NUHS; Prof Kenneth Mak, Director-General of Health, Singapore; Clinical Asst Prof Laureen Wang, Director of AH’s Healthy Longevity Clinic and Well Programme and Consultant, Cardiology (AH, NUH, NUHCS); Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Social and Family Development and Culture, Community and Youth) and Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC (Queenstown); Dr Shyam Bishen, Head of the Centre for Health and Healthcare and Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum; Prof Andrea B. Maier, Director, Centre for Healthy Longevity, NUHS; Prof Chong Yap Seng, Dean, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine; and Mr Chua Song Khim; Deputy CE, NUHS