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OEL Holdings enters the medtech sector

Candace Li
Candace Li • 9 min read
OEL Holdings enters the medtech sector
OEL helps to distribute a wide range of medtech products such as Samsung ultrasound machines / Photo: Samsung Medison
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OEL Holdings is a leading medical technology integrated solutions provider based in Singapore, dedicated to advancing healthcare through innovation. It is committed to deliver a comprehensive medical ecosystem to enhance healthcare effectiveness and efficiencies, thereby improving the experiences of both patients and healthcare practitioners in Singapore.  

1. Describe OEL’s latest business segments post restructuring and incorporation of subsidiaries.

OEL, through our subsidiaries AJJ Healthcare Management and Quest Asia Technologies (QAT), generates revenue by providing medtech integrated solutions to the Singapore healthcare sector. We supply medical devices, along with complementary digital, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics solutions to our customers and supplying partners. 

OEL underwent a strategic restructuring to penetrate the healthcare segment in 2020. Within 1½ years, we received full-suite certifications as a medical device manufacturer, importer and wholesaler. 

Our product portfolio encompasses around 6,000 items, of which over two-thirds are registered with the Health Sciences Authority. In FY2023, we acquired QAT to extend our product portfolio to include the Samsung Medison Ultrasound.

Through AJJ and QAT, the healthcare business is organised into four major revenue lines to meet the needs of Singapore’s healthcare system along the patient care pathway: 

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In-vitro diagnostics: This is point-of-call diagnostics, focusing on at-home monitoring and diagnostics (for example, blood glucose monitoring system and single-use test kits); as well as laboratory diagnostics and bio-banking solutions, focusing on providing solutions on diagnostics and academic research (for example, portable diagnostics equipment, reagents and consumables). 

Medical devices: These range from clinical-stage cancer treatment devices — high-intensity focused ultrasound, general and plastic surgery devices (for example, staplers, cutters and catheters, surgery-drapes and tools) — to ward-side consumables. 

Ultrasound: Through our subsidiary QAT, we are the only distributor for the global leading Samsung Medison Ultrasound in Singapore. 

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Dental: We provide a one-stop collection for our customers on dental supply and intra-oral scanners.

2. What are some of OEL’s unique capabilities and competitive strengths? 
OEL primarily serves public healthcare and academic institutes through long-term government tenders, ensuring a recurring revenue stream for the next three to five years. This market is heavily influenced by the Singapore government’s budgets and policies, with mid-single digit growth. Such strategic initiatives include the Healthier SG strategy designed to safeguard the well-being of Singapore’s ageing population. 

Consequently, we believe that our revenue streams exhibit both resilience and stability, supported by government strategic directives and continuous investment in the market. This is supplemented by our unique capabilities: 

Turn-key supply-chain solutions: We provide comprehensive supply-chain solutions to our customers, leveraging our portfolio of 6,000 products and partnerships with 35 global partners. 

Digital, AI and robotics solutions: We offer bespoke digital, AI and robotics solutions to both our suppliers and customers. This includes providing digital and connectivity solutions with cybersecurity assurance and collaborations to enhance generative AI research and local deployment. We also incubate robotics projects to improve the experience of healthcare practitioners and efficiencies in patient care. 

Service and experience standards: We aspire to set new industry standards in service and experience, aiming to improve patient experiences and enhance the satisfaction of healthcare practitioners.

3. Can you elaborate on any future roadmap or key milestones that OEL envisions to ensure continued expansion and market presence?
We have recently been awarded a master agreement to supply blood glucose monitoring and digital solutions to public health institutes pharmacies for the next three years with the option to extend for another two years till 2029, and a framework agreement to supply laboratory solutions to public academic institutes for the next three years till 2026. These agreements are a testament to the robust capabilities we have developed since our restructuring three years ago. 

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Going forward, these agreements serve as a launchpad for our continued expansion. We aim to harness the momentum these partnerships provide to further penetrate the healthcare and academia sectors in Singapore. 

Our roadmap is clear, which is to deepen integration into the healthcare sector, expand reach and enhance services offering, thereby reinforcing our market leadership and delivering sustained value to our stakeholders.

4. How is OEL leveraging healthcare trends to strengthen your businesses?
Embracing digital transformation: Our investment in digital, AI and robotics solutions positions us at the forefront of healthcare’s digital transformation and allows us to redefine efficiency and precision in healthcare delivery, directly addressing the industry’s push towards digitisation and technological integration. 

Catering to an ageing population: We respond to the ageing population challenge with robust solutions. Our blood-glucose monitoring systems are designed to combat diabetes, one of the primary chronic diseases faced by seniors. Our “CareX” robotics solutions cater for those with mobility challenges and in nursing-home settings. 

Rising medical spending: AJJ is strategically positioned to address the significant rise in Singapore’s medical spending. We utilise our extensive network of over 35 international partners, including leading manufacturers from China, to provide cost-effective, high-quality healthcare solutions.

5. How does OEL plan to leverage emerging trends in medtech to enhance the efficacy of its business?
The rapid advancement of AI and machine learning is revolutionising the healthcare industry. Through our subsidiaries, AJJ and QAT, we are strategically positioned to capitalise on these trends in several key areas: 

Digital solutions: Our medical devices are specifically designed to facilitate the future adoption and development of digital healthcare in Singapore. For example, to prepare for telemedicine, our point-of-care diagnostics devices (for example, the blood glucose monitoring system) feature integrated digital applications and monitoring systems, enabling healthcare practitioners to remotely track patients’ blood glucose levels. 

Artificial intelligence: We are actively collaborating with MedTech partners and practitioners such as Samsung Medison to customise a suite of generative AI applications for the Singapore context. Our aim is to create AI solutions that integrate seamlessly with our devices, thereby improving healthcare delivery and diagnostics.

Robotics: Our “CareX” project focuses on bedside-care robotics. The first product to launch in the series is the “ErgoClean” patient hygiene system, which enables in-bed showering for patients with mobility challenges. Future expansion will focus on robotics solutions that increase patient autonomy and allow caregivers to dedicate more time to personalised care.

6. Would the subsiding of Covid-19 pose a headwind for OEL? 
The reduction of Covid-19 risks does not represent a headwind for OEL. Unlike our incumbents, who may have focused predominantly on the pandemic in the past years, our strategy over the past two years has been to proactively address enduring healthcare market trends. 

We have committed our efforts to prepare for the long-term challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing population, the escalating costs of healthcare, and the transformative impact of digital technology, AI, and robotics in the medical field. We believe that this forward-looking approach positions us to continue our growth trajectory independently of the fluctuating Covid-19 situations. 

In partnership with our global network, we also equip Singapore with robust supply chain resilience and prepare for unforeseen events such as the recent Suez Canal disruptions and rising rate of inflation.

7. What criteria do OEL use to evaluate potential investment and acquisition opportunities? 
We adhere to three criteria, which reflect our mission, “All for the commitment to life”: 

Alignment with our mission: Each investment and acquisition must embody our commitment to enhancing the value and quality of the healthcare industry through unwavering adherence to our value: fairness, transparency, professional and integrity.

Technological advancement: We prioritise opportunities that align with technological advancements which include precision diagnostics that integrate seamlessly into the healthcare workflow, clinical decision support systems, and innovations in robotics and automation that can significantly improve efficiency. 

Scalability and accessibility: Given the challenges posed by an ageing population and the imperative of healthcare affordability, we focus on technological advancements that can be scaled effectively, ensuring widespread accessibility to and affordability for high-quality healthcare.

8. Could you share some of the key ESG factors that are material to OEL and how that can create long-term value for your stakeholders?
OEL’s commitment to ESG principles is demonstrated through its adoption of a circular economy. We contribute to this by offering biodegradable medical and laboratory disposables, aligning with Singapore’s Zero Waste Masterplan and reducing our carbon footprint. In addition, our dedication to being an equal-opportunity employer reflects our commitment to social responsibility. 

These initiatives not only adhere to international guidelines but also underscore OEL’s dedication to sustainability. We aim to build long-term stakeholder value by enhancing our environmental responsibility and societal contributions.

9. What is OEL’s value proposition? What do you think investors have overlooked?
OEL is not only a healthcare device manufacturer and distributor. We also position ourselves as an integrated medtech solutions provider in Singapore’s healthcare sector. Our diverse portfolio of over 6,000 products with complementary digital, AI and robotics solutions demonstrate a deep commitment to holistic healthcare delivery. 

Our competitive advantage is evident in our success at securing major contracts just three years after restructuring. We believe that this reflects our robust operational and investment capabilities as well as keen market acumen. It also demonstrates strong margin recovery potential and signals untapped value. 

In addition, OEL distinguishes itself through its focused partnerships in digital, AI and robotics, specifically tailored for Singapore’s healthcare demands. It highlights our capacity for innovation as well as forward-thinking approach and operations.

10. Why should investors take a closer look at OEL? 
Contrasting with the traditional industry-focused portfolios, OEL operates in the rapidly expanding segment of Singapore’s AI-healthcare market, with higher growth rates that outpace the general healthcare sector’s mid-single digit growth. 

OEL emphasises multi-disciplinary healthcare goals, focusing on improving efficiency, effectiveness and experience. This involves strategic collaborations with global frontrunners in digital AI and robotics, a sector known for its high-entry barriers and potential for substantial returns. 

OEL’s strategy involves securing government tenders through our turn-key supply chain solutions, providing long-term recurring revenue, and is a testament to the company’s resilience amidst market fluctuations. By sourcing quality products, both regionally and globally, we fortify our supply chain and play a critical part in supporting Singapore’s ageing demographic while meeting the country’s need for cost-effective healthcare solutions.  

Candace Li is an associate director, research, at the Singapore Exchange S68 -

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