National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH), the Taoyuan City Government and local technology companies unveiled a blood oxygen monitor platform and mixed reality headsets to help medical workers combat silent hypoxia in COVID-19 patients. The equipment that was developed to facilitate “zero contact” treatment methods and reduce hypoxia deaths, would be deployed in six municipal quarantine facilities.
One-third of COVID-19 patients with mild or moderate symptoms might experience rapidly deteriorating health conditions in the late stages of the disease. This makes early detection of health downturns crucial. However, the deployment of manual vital sign monitors puts medical workers at increased risk of contracting the disease. Moreover, getting repeatedly in and out of personal protective equipment also causes fatigue.
The new real-time blood oxygen monitoring platform utilises Artificial Intelligence (AI) and is equipped with a thermometer and blood oxygen and blood pressure measuring devices. The platform automatically alerts medical personnel when a patient’s blood oxygen concentration drops to 95% of normal levels, which makes rapid medical intervention necessary.
The mixed-reality sick room system uses headsets to Livestream patient images to doctors, who can assess their condition through the teleconference software. The program then collects and applies big data analytics to patients’ vital signs. This would help medical workers assess disease risks and warn doctors of complications before they occur.
Intelligent medicine helps hospitals detect complications accurately with fewer personnel and can even benefit preventive care. The equipment is expected to reduce medical staff’s exposure to COVID-19 and lead to significant care quality improvements under pandemic conditions. Taoyuan City and Taoyuan General Hospital collaborated on the project because the city, as a national gateway, is in a good position to impede the virus.
Digital health has great potential to transform healthcare in Taiwan through delivering a better patient experience, with improved results, at lower costs. This trend is attracting the growing attention of firms operating at the intersection of technology and medical science, as well as encouraging tie-ups and collaborations between medical facilities and businesses involved in innovative sectors such as AI and the Internet of Things.
In Taiwan, the digital health trend is attracting the growing attention of businesses and new start-ups operating at the intersection of technology and medical science. Renowned hi-tech companies aim to transform not only Taiwan’s healthcare system but also the world’s. The focus is on integrating advanced technologies with the latest medical applications to enable connected and smart healthcare. This development is expected to have a synergistic impact on Taiwan’s emerging biomedical industry.
As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the transformation of information technology in the medical sector, Taiwan has been inventing many advanced technologies to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 infections. As reported by OpenGov Asia, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) utilised thermal Image Body Temperature Detection Technology together with AI and infrared thermal image colour displays to enable the detection of forehead temperatures for multiple individuals concurrently.
Supported by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), the technology offers a non-contact, high-precision, full-colour detection solution that can improve contact tracing and thus contain the spread of COVID-19. The new feature of colour imagery greatly improves entry and exit controls, addressing the needs of government agencies and private companies that have large numbers of people passing through their doors.
In practice, ITRI has helped companies integrate the body temperature detection system with the company’s employee ID data for the access control at its Hsinchu facility. This also meets the requirements of the real-name system by the Central Epidemic Command Center, while reducing monitoring time and manpower needs by over two-thirds compared to manual temperature measurement.
ITRI’s Thermal Image Body Temperature Detection Technology combines AI to enable automated detection of forehead temperatures, avoiding errors caused by interference from other heat sources. Temperature compensation technology is utilised in conjunction with the Internet of Things (IoT) to sense the distance between detection device and heat source, along with ambient temperature and humidity levels.
Researchers from the Brookhaven National Laboratory of the US Department of Energy have developed a novel machine learning (ML) framework that can pinpoint which phases of a multistep chemical reaction can be adjusted to boost productivity.
The method could aid in the development of catalysts, which are chemical “dealmakers” that speed up reactions. It was created to investigate the conversion of carbon monoxide (CO) to methanol using a copper-based catalyst.
The reaction is made up of seven relatively simple elementary steps and was used as an example by the researchers in their ML framework method. The goal was to determine which elementary step or subset of steps in the reaction network controls the catalytic activity.
Traditionally, researchers attempting to improve such a reaction would calculate how changing each activation barrier one at a time might affect the overall production rate. This type of analysis could determine which steps were “rate-limiting” and which steps determined reaction selectivity—that is, whether the reactants proceeded to the desired product or via an alternate pathway to an undesirable by-product.
The new machine learning framework is intended to improve these estimates so that scientists can more accurately predict how catalysts will affect reaction mechanisms and chemical output. The scientists began by collecting data to train their machine learning model. The data set was created using “density functional theory” (DFT) calculations of the activation energy required to transform one atom arrangement to the next over the course of the reaction’s seven steps.
The scientists then used computer simulations to see what would happen if they changed all seven activation barriers at the same time – some going up, some going down, some individually, and come in pairs.
They generated a comprehensive dataset of 500 data points by simulating variations in 28 “descriptors,” which included the activation energies for the seven steps as well as pairs of steps changing two at a time. This dataset forecasted how individual and pairwise tweaks would affect methanol production. The model then ranked the 28 descriptors in terms of their significance in driving methanol output.
The scientists retrained the ML model using only the six “active” descriptors after identifying the important descriptors. Based solely on DFT calculations for those six parameters, this improved ML model was able to predict catalytic activity.
The model, according to the team, can also be used to screen catalysts. The model predicts a maximum methanol production rate if it can design a catalyst that improves the value of the six active descriptors.
When the researchers compared their model predictions to the experimental performance of their catalyst—as well as the performance of alloys of various metals with copper—the predictions matched the experimental findings. Comparisons of the ML approach to the previous method for predicting alloy performance revealed that the ML method was far superior.
The data also revealed a lot about how changes in energy barriers might affect the reaction mechanism. The interaction of the various steps of the reaction was of particular interest—and importance. For example, the data showed that lowering the energy barrier in the rate-limiting step alone would not improve methanol production in some cases. However, increasing methanol output by adjusting the energy barrier of a step earlier in the reaction network while keeping the activation energy of the rate-limiting step within an ideal range.
Through Budget 2022, the Government has announced NZ$ 40 million to create an RNA Technology Development Platform connecting what happens in the lab with what is needed in the field. This will look to build domestic capabilities, bring together those already working on RNA, address issues such as technology transfer, strengthen international research and development collaborations, and build commercial partnerships in areas such as production.
As a next step, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will seek agreement from Ministers on a set of high-level priorities that the Platform will be tasked to deliver. This will reflect the needs of the region’s research community as well as industry partners while contributing to the objective of supporting future pandemic preparedness for New Zealand.
Following this, MBIE will run an open and transparent procurement process which will identify a host or hosts to manage the Platform on a day-to-day basis. The host will be expected to engage with a wider consortium of partners to determine how to deliver on the identified priorities. Further details on this process are expected in due course.
Researchers and businesses working in the rapidly developing field of RNA technology will benefit from a new research and development platform, funded in Budget 2022.RNA is a potentially transformative technology. Its significant impact has already been observed through the development of safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19 to protect those who live here in Aotearoa New Zealand.
There is also a lot of potential to produce new vaccines, treatments and diagnostics that support well-being and better health outcomes in other areas such as cancer, and autoimmune and neurological disorders.
The New Zealand Minister of Housing stated that RNA technology offers an opportunity to develop applications in animal health, agriculture and aquaculture. Thus, this investment is especially important to build our ability domestically to respond to future pandemics should we need to.
An investment of NZ$ 40.7 million over four years will allow New Zealand to:
- develop its emerging strengths in this field, identify and address gaps in terms of capability and create high-value jobs
- bridge engagement between researchers and industry partners to test and commercialise new approaches
- support clinical testing
- facilitate linkages with partners and institutions overseas.
It was noted that an RNA platform will enable New Zealand researchers to be at forefront of global efforts by increasing domestic and international collaborations. The aim is to ensure that New Zealand begins investing in this now, bringing together key players across the industry, and unlocking and developing international relationships. This will complement the investment the Government has already made in managing infectious diseases.
Occasionally, New Zealand needs vaccines that can’t be sourced from global suppliers, such as for meningococcal disease or rheumatic fever. Developing domestic RNA capability will help the nation better respond to the health needs of New Zealanders. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Strategic Science Investment Fund will support the RNA platform.
Earlier this week, two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were renewed at the 7th India-Canada Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC) meeting. The MoUs were signed by the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and National Research Council Canada (NRC), respectively, under the 2005 Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation.
According to a press release, the focus areas of the collaboration include national missions, quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and cyber-physical systems, among others. An official at the event pointed out that a large number of Indian students are studying in Canadian universities and the renewal of the MoUs would help intensify the exchange of ideas and expertise between the two countries. Representatives from several ministries and research institutions from both countries attended the meeting.
India and Canada benefit from strong bilateral relations and are committed to deepening ties, with science, technology, and innovation being key pillars of the relationship, the release noted. Under the terms of the agreement made in 2005, the JSTCC meets every two years to review ongoing collaborations between Canadian and Indian researchers and set priorities for the next period in fields like agriculture and food security, healthcare and healthtech, clean technologies and environmental research, marine and polar research, quantum tech and AI, and human capacity development and researcher mobility. Both countries agreed to continue monitoring progress on key priorities in bilateral science, technology, and innovation projects during the 2022-2024 period.
India plays an active role in the global technology research and development ecosystem by facilitating academic and scientific relationships with other countries. In March, India and Finland worked out a detailed plan to establish an Indo-Finnish Virtual Network Centre on Quantum Computing, for which India has already identified the three institutes that will work with Finnish counterpart institutions. Last month, India and Israel held a two-day workshop that explored photonics-based quantum computing, sensing, encryption, quantum magnetometry, atomic clocks, and free-space quantum communication.
At the beginning of May, the Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC) proposed setting up a joint AI initiative for start-ups, research, and applications in healthcare and sustainability. The two sides are already collaborating on electric mobility, cyber-physical system, quantum technologies, future manufacturing, green hydrogen fuel, and deep ocean research.
Most recently, India and Japan held a working group meeting to discuss enhancing cooperation in 5G, Open Radio Access Networks (O-RAN), telecom network security, submarine cable systems, massive MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output), connected cars, quantum communications, and 6G innovation.
OpenGov Asia reported that the countries recognised the need to nurture cooperation to grow the digital economy through joint digital transformation projects in areas like the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI. They also discussed providing opportunities to Indian IT professionals to work with Japanese firms. 2022 marks the 70th anniversary of India-Japan Diplomatic relations. Being a key driver of development, ICT provides opportunities for the countries to jointly build a robust digital foundation for the present and future world. The 7th JWG agreed to enhance cooperation in ICT areas under a memorandum of cooperation (MoC).
Singapore and the African Union have collaborated to establish a framework for the reciprocal acceptance of digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates using the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This will make it easier for people to travel back and forth between Singapore and the countries of Africa.
Beginning on May 23, fully vaccinated travellers with digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates issued in the African Union via the Africa CDC’s Trusted Travel (TT) and Trusted Vaccines (TV) platforms (trustedtravel.panabios.org) can upload and validate their certificates to verify their vaccination status through the Vaccination Check Portal (VCP) or the Singapore Arrival Card (SGAC). Because of this, they will be allowed to enter Singapore without being required to go through any kind of testing or quarantine as part of the Vaccinated Travel Framework.
In the same vein, fully vaccinated passengers who possess digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates generated in Singapore like HealthCerts are eligible to get Vaccination Passes on the AU TT and TV platforms safely and reliably.
The TT and TV platforms are based on the African Union standard for unifying digital passes and health-related screening criteria throughout Africa to facilitate smooth travel. The TT ecosystem provides access to a network of systems for health credential issuing, border risk management, digital public health monitoring, and lab, clinical, and vaccine registries to governments and authorised organisations.
The platforms have been operating since the fourth quarter of 2020 and have completely onboarded or are in the process of fully onboarding 21 key African destinations, including Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia, Kenya, and Rwanda, with intentions to onboard all African countries in the next months. The TT and TV systems also permit interoperability across African digital COVID-19 platforms and those from other continents using the new PolyGlot standards adaptor.
Through the Notarise website (notarise.gov.sg), residents of Singapore who have had all their recommended vaccinations are eligible to apply for a digital vaccine HealthCert that is granted by the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH). Notarise will provide the vaccination HealthCerts to the person’s email address and/or via the Singpass mobile app, whichever the individual prefers.
Through the Global Haven program, which is sponsored by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the PanaBIOS Consortium, a multistakeholder effort established under the auspices of the African Union, provided technical assistance for the achievement of this Global Health milestone.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the idea of digitally documenting COVID-19-related health data of a person using an electronic certificate is being proposed as part of the concept of Digital Documentation of COVID-19 Certificates (DDCC). After that, a digital vaccination certificate that details an individual’s current immunisation status to guard against COVID-19 may be used for continuity of care or as evidence of vaccination for reasons other than those related to health care.
To assist its Member States in adopting interoperable standards for recording vaccination status, the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a set of guidelines and the accompanying technical specifications in collaboration with a diverse group of partners and experts.
Digital vaccination certificates are electronic immunisation records that can be accessed by both the vaccinated individual and authorised health personnel, and they may be used in the same manner as paper vaccination cards. To maintain continuity of treatment or to offer evidence of vaccination are the two main purposes of digital vaccination certificates.
The Ministry of Health recently informed that it has issued more than 14 million electronic COVID-19 vaccine passports to the general public, a month after its official rollout on 15 April. The passport is available on the government’s mobile application, PC COVID-19, which is available on both iOS and Android stores or Digital Health (So suc khoe dien tu) apps. By providing a secure and easy-to-use digital mechanism to verify vaccination statuses, governments can accelerate the re-opening of the economy and build a secure and trusted foundation for further digital healthcare initiatives in the future.
The vaccine passports have 11 fields of information: name, date of birth, nationality, the targeted disease, doses of vaccines received, date of vaccination, lot number of the vaccine batch, type of vaccine, vaccine product received, the vaccine manufacturer, and a code for the certification. The digital passports display all vaccine data in both Vietnamese and English. Data has been encoded into a QR code, which expires after 12 months. Following their expiry, people will be notified, and a new QR code will be created.
According to a government statement, the health ministry has urged relevant authorities and subordinate units to complete updating information regarding 34 more million doses before 1 June to facilitate the issuance of COVID-19 vaccine passports. The ministry had also requested localities to implement vaccine information clarification procedures. Medical staff and police officers in the localities are in charge of the process. As regulated, immunisation facilities must check and verify information on vaccination data. Inaccurate information will be sent to local police officers and the corrected data will be sent back to the Department of Preventive Medicine for a digital signature. The data with a digital signature will be sent to the management system for the issuance of a vaccine passport.
The vaccine passports are issued free of charge to all citizens, according to officials. Citizens are not required to go through any additional procedures except to check that their data is correct and complete. In case the information is not correct or not available, they must send feedback on the vaccination portal system. The vaccine passports were rolled out on a trial basis in late March for those vaccinated against COVID-19 at Ha Noi’s three major hospitals. Vietnam has so far reached a mutual recognition of vaccine passports with 27 European Union countries and 54 nations and territories.
Earlier this month, ASEAN member countries announced their support for a digital technology convergence to develop a globally-accepted vaccine passport. The Indonesian Health Minister, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, said at a press conference that ASEAN will issue a joint statement on its countries’ adoption of health protocol standards. The proposed vaccine passport will adopt an overseas travel passport mechanism utilised by each country’s immigration authority for ascertaining a traveller’s identity. Sadikin also noted that ASEAN health ministers have approved the establishment of an ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED) as a collaborative effort to deal with extraordinary events and future pandemics. The three pillars of ACPHEED are surveillance or detection, response, and risk management, which are supported by three ASEAN representative countries, namely Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) discovered that a deep-learning technology tag, known as Neural-Fly, could assist flying robots known as “drones” in adapting to any weather conditions.
Drones are now flown under controlled conditions, without wind, or by people using software or remote controls. The flying robots have been trained to take off in formation in the open air, although these flights are typically undertaken under perfect conditions.
However, for drones to autonomously perform important but mundane duties, such as package delivery or airlifting injured drivers from traffic accidents, they must be able to adapt to real-time wind conditions.
With this, a team of Caltech engineers has created Neural-Fly, a deep-learning technology that enables drones to adapt to new and unexpected wind conditions in real-time by merely adjusting a few essential parameters. Neural-Fly is discussed in newly published research titled “Neural-Fly Enables Rapid Learning for Agile Flight in Strong Winds” in Science Robotics.
The issue is that the direct and specific effect of various wind conditions on aircraft dynamics, performance, and stability cannot be accurately characterised as a simple mathematical model.
– Soon-Jo Chung, Bren Professor of Aerospace and Control and Dynamical Systems and Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research Scientist
Chung added that they employ a combined approach of deep learning and adaptive control that enables the aircraft to learn from past experiences and adapt to new conditions on the fly, with stability and robustness guarantees, as opposed to attempting to qualify and quantify each effect of the turbulent and unpredictable wind conditions they frequently encounter when flying.
Neural-Fly was evaluated at Caltech’s Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST) utilising its Real Weather Wind Tunnel, a 10-foot-by-10-foot array of more than 1,200 tiny computer-controlled fans that enables engineers to mimic everything from a mild breeze to a gale.
Numerous models derived from fluid mechanics are available to researchers but getting the appropriate model quality and tweaking that model for each vehicle, wind condition, and operating mode is difficult.
Existing machine learning methods, on the other hand, demand massive amounts of data for training, but cannot match the flying performance attained by classical physics-based methods. Adapting a complete deep neural network in real-time is a monumental, if not impossible, undertaking.
According to the researchers, Neural-Fly addresses these challenges by utilising a technique known as separation, which requires only a few parameters of the neural network to be altered in real-time. This is accomplished using their innovative meta-learning technique, which pre-trains the neural network so that only these critical parameters need to be changed in order to successfully capture the changing environment.
After only 12 minutes of flying data, autonomous quadrotor drones outfitted with Neural-Fly learn how to respond to severe winds so well that their performance improves dramatically as judged by their ability to precisely follow a flight route.
When compared to drones equipped with current state-of-the-art adaptive control algorithms that identify and respond to aerodynamic effects but lack deep neural networks, the error rate following that flight path is between 2.5 to 4 times lower.
Landing may appear more difficult than flight, however, Neural-Fly can learn in real-time, unlike previous systems. As a result, it can react on the fly to wind variations and does not require post-processing.
In-flight tests were done outside of the CAST facility; Neural-Fly functioned just as well as it did in the wind tunnel. Additionally, the researchers showed that flight data collected by one drone can be transferred to another, establishing a knowledge pool for autonomous cars.
The drones were outfitted with a typical, off-the-shelf flight control computer utilised by the drone research and enthusiast communities. Neural-Fly was built into an onboard Raspberry Pi 4 computer, which is the size of a credit card and costs roughly $20.
The Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and the Indian Institute of Technology of Delhi (IIT- Delhi) announced they will jointly design a curriculum for schools that include robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science. The curriculum is for grades 9 to 12 in schools affiliated with the CISCE board.
IIT-Delhi’s technology innovation hub, I-Hub Foundation for Cobotics (IHFC), and CISCE signed a memorandum to carry out the project. According to a report by the government’s AI portal, IHFC would help CISCE cut the syllabus to “reinforce 21st-century skills” and achieve targets set out in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. Moreover, officials stated that they plan to upgrade the current STEM courses in line with NEP 2020.
A representative from IHFC stressed the need to strengthen the country’s capacity to master emerging technologies. As IHFC develops the curriculum, it will reflect the principles of experiential learning and aspects of theory. IHFC could play an important role in carrying out the project in about 2,700 schools affiliated with CISCE by providing guidance and technical expertise. Prime aspects of the project’s vision, according to the project director of IHFC, are nurturing teamwork, innovation, and knowledge to bridge the gaps between young engineering students and potential future robot enthusiasts.
To bolster the rate of digital literacy in the country, state governments have been urged to offer courses and initiatives in AI and other emerging technologies. Earlier this year, the Indian Institute of Technology of Madras (IIT-Madras)’s Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (RBC-DSAI) invited students for the national-level ‘Summer Internships 2022’ programme. The goal was to help students gain hands-on experience working on cutting-edge discoveries, with some of the country’s leading experts in data science and AI.
In March, IIT-Madras announced an 18-month web-enabled, user-oriented Master of Technology (MTech) programme in Industrial AI. The course was released in collaboration with a private player to upskill working professionals and encourage the use of AI to address industrial problems. The programme used labs and included theoretical courses in fundamental mathematical techniques required to understand data science algorithms, time series analyses, multivariate data analyses, machine learning, deep learning, and reinforcement learning. Applied courses described the implementation of AI solutions for industrial problems in a case study format. Put together, these courses provided strong theoretical foundations and useful application perspectives.
Furthermore, in April, the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister announced a 240-hour course on AI for students from Grade 8 scheduled for July. The decision regarding the commencement of the course was taken during the state cabinet’s two days brainstorming session held in Pachmarhi. The course will initially be unveiled in 53 schools, but more are expected to be added to the list later on, as OpenGov Asia reported. The government also said it would provide 40 computers to each of the selected schools.
Apart from education, the government is using AI in several fields, including managing traffic flows, improving digital exchange systems, and quickening criminal investigation processes. In the industry, AI is being deployed for several operations like inventory tracking and management, data sharing and perception, enhanced customer experience, improved hiring processes, data mining, and optimisation. The AI market in India is expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.2% and reach US$7.8 billion in total revenues by 2025.