Taiwan's vision for a Precision Health future unveiled at BIO Asia-Taiwan 2021
TAIPEI, Aug. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- To encourage Taiwan's ICT industry to invest in precision health and to boost cross-domain cooperation and international exchange, the recently concluded BIO Asia–Taiwan 2021 Online Conference held a session entitled Public-Private Partnership in Precision Health, featuring speakers from across Taiwan's government, academia, and research spectrum. Sponsored by Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), hosted by Deputy Minister Minn-Tsong Lin of MOST, the session showcased the Precision Health Strategy Development Program of Taiwan, with ten key opinion leaders discussing how public and private sectors can work together to achieve the program's goals.
Hong-Chen Chen, Director General, Department of Life Sciences, MOST, introduced the government's efforts to promote biomedical industries.
"We hope through the integration of biomedicine with ICT industries we will be able to establish strong biomedical industries in Taiwan and benefit people with healthier and happier lives," said Hong-Chen Chen, while stating that the implementation of precision health in Taiwan will be a three-step process. "First is perfecting the precision health ecosystem. Second is fostering the supply chain. Third is integration with the global health community." Chen also mentioned that the country's National Health Insurance Database and Taiwan Biobank resources were invaluable to the cause of advancing precision health.
President of the Development Center for Biotechnology, Chung-Hsiun Wu, discussed how Taiwan's high-flying Information Communications Technologies (ICT) industries gave it a unique advantage in its quest to develop precision health.
"Taiwan ICT strengths can function as a catalyst to move faster towards this vision," he said.
Wu also highlighted several local-developed precision health products, including Easy Doctor, developed by Inventec, which monitors a patient's vital signs and connects in real-time to a hospital; DeepCT, developed by Deep01, to detect stroke risk; a personalized screening test for carbamazepine developed by Pharmigene to screen out those that are not suitable to use this common analgesic drug; and Nanome, an AI virtual reality (VR) system developed by HTC to assist in the development of new drugs.
Shih-Feng Tsai, Director, Department of Research Planning and Development, National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) in his presentation "Strategy and Plan for Developing Precision Health Industry in Taiwan" talked about the Precision Medicine Flagship Program, the goal of which is to build genome sequence libraries for use in diagnostics and treatment. Since 2017 genome sequences have been completed for rare diseases, cancer, epilepsy, hearing loss, etc. Tsai expressed his hope that the resource will be an important future component of the precision health body of knowledge.
In a cross-domain cooperation, Chieh-Liang Wu, Chief of the Department of Critical Care Medicine of Taichung Veterans General Hospital, announced that his hospital had cooperated with both Tunghai University and Advantech Co., Ltd. to develop the "AI+HI Smart Critical Care System". Trained using 2015-2019 data, the system can effectively manage hospitals' ICU operations. Connecting patient bedside, nursing station, and central control center, the system is expected to herald a new era of remote hospital ICU control.
Cheng-Yu Chen, Vice President of Taipei Medical University, introduced a cooperation with aetherAI Co., Ltd. for the Deep Rad AI CT imaging pulmonary nodule diagnostics system, for use with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with EGFR mutations. The system can screen for pulmonary nodules within 20 seconds, can help the clinician distinguish benign from malignant nodules, and can automatically produce international standard clinical treatment reports.
Division Director Hsin-Hsin Shen from the Biomedical Technology and Device Research Laboratories of ITRI announced a cooperation led by Ossaware Biotech together with Shinkong Synthetic Fibers, Taiwan Paiho, Ingrowth Biotech, Renax Biomedical Technology; a cross-corporate R&D team to jointly implement the "High value-added biomaterial technologies for implantable tissue repair product development" providing complete tissue material engineering solutions for tendon and ligament repair.
In conclusion, the speakers agreed that Taiwan's comprehensive healthcare system, its extensive links to ICT industry supply chains, coupled with growing expertise in artificial intelligence, were together strongly driving BIO*ICT cross-domain innovation. With these advantages, through software and hardware integration, and through local advances in the treatment and diagnosis of new diseases, Taiwan indeed has a bright future in store for precision health.
SOURCE Taiwan Bio Industry Organization
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