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Taiwan’s AI-based Early Medical Warning System a Lifesaver for ICU Patients

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is of great help to man’s quest for greater innovation. However, there may not be a greater use for AI than to save lives. A new AI-based product deployed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in one of Taiwan’s major hospitals is a true lifesaver.

Taipei Veteran’s General Hospital (TVGH), one of Taiwan’s first-class medical centres and teaching hospitals, was founded years ago in 1958. TVGH and a major electronics brand have joined forces in AI-based precision medicine to create an intensive care early warning system for shock and an individualised precision cancer treatment system.

Together, the hospital-private sector collaboration announced their results in the field of AI-based precision medicine recently. They have successfully established an early warning system for shock in intensive care patients. The AI machine can predict the likelihood of shock among critically ill patients 7 hours in advance. Thus, this system will allow physicians to seize precious opportunities for saving lives.

In addition, they completed the similarity analysis of patients with rectal, gastrointestinal, and hepatobiliary cancer, which can be used to accurately predict the patient’s disease duration and treatment outcomes. This will assist physicians in clinical decision-making and provide patients with a reference. These findings should serve as a basis for creating personalised medical care, to achieve the goal of shared decision-making between physicians and patients.

TVGH stated that these were the results from the first phase of the research agreement signed with the major brand in 2019, which aimed to jointly develop AI-based precision medicine by combining medical Big Data with AI. Furthermore, TVGH officially founded a medical AI development centre in 2021, to fulfil its goal of becoming a smart hospital of the future.

As for the treatment of rectal, gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary cancer, the private sector research team used data from the TVGH Cancer Registry to compare the similarity between individual patients and historical patients based on the relationship between key patient parameters and treatment prognosis. Groups of similar patients were established, which provided more accurate and individualised predictions of disease duration and prognostic analysis of treatment outcomes.

By accessing the similarity analysis data platform in the TVGH Cancer Registry, patients can select key parameters (e.g., disease stage, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), primary site, initial treatment, tumour pathological stage, and several regional lymph node invasions) to search for similar patient groups through AI assistance. This will help them understand their treatment methods and prognosis (including recurrence and death).

Therefore, this platform can assist physicians in their clinical decision-making, while also providing patients with a reference for their treatment, thus allowing both physician and patient to jointly determine the best treatment option.

Digital innovation is definitely on the rise in Taiwan and is looking to let the latest technology change its health care system for the better. A good example is the launching of a digital system for the submission of medical device patents to the government. That should spur the process of getting new medical innovations out to the people.


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