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Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Hospital Uses AI Tech to Process Files

Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital collaborated with a Taiwanese AI company to develop a new zero-contact speech recognition system using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. This technology would help medical staff wearing personal protective equipment use computers.

The system was developed because the hospital had problems dealing with a surge in people seeking services at the hospital during a domestic COVID-19 outbreak that started in May. The hospital realised that staff wearing the protective equipment had problems when performing certain tasks, such as updating people’s medical records.

While usually updating the records immediately when attending to a patient, doctors now took notes afterwards, which increased the risk of error. Especially staff at screening stations, who are required to wear protective suits, masks and gloves, found it difficult to accurately type on a keyboard.

After hearing of the problems, the company reached out to the hospital’s emergency medicine department director, suggesting a system using AI-based speech recognition technology. The newly installed system would allow staff to make changes to medical files in real-time and integrate data from different sources in the hospital’s records.

The cooperation came at the right time, as the hospital had just started implementing Big Data and AI-based technologies to provide better medical services. The hospital would continue to collaborate with the company to train the speech recognition AI, with the aim that the technology understands all relevant details of a dialogue between doctor and patient.

– Wang Chih-his, Hospital Superintendent 

The system can help doctors make diagnoses and assess the severity of patients’ symptoms. The company has invested considerably in COVID-19-related technology, including a social distancing app and diagnosis software.

The AI company develops next-generation AI solutions. The researchers leverage Taiwan’s comprehensive medical data and work with doctors and top scientists to solve complex human health problems.

One of AI’s strengths is the ability to trawl through massive amounts of data. Formatted medical data has become the driving force behind AI innovations in healthcare – Taiwan has the advantage of 25 years of comprehensive aggregated data in the National Health Insurance (NHI) system. The researchers leverage the NHI’s digitised data and work with top doctors and scientists to solve complex human health problems.

The company also develops powerful AI algorithms that analyse medical images to streamline the medical diagnostic process. With the help of organisations such as the Taiwan CDC, the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, and the Taipei Medical University Hospital, they have at present developed AI models for sepsis prediction, malaria diagnosis, and brain cancer detection. Their models bring expert-level precision and speed, drastically improving the efficiency and accuracy rate of the medical diagnostic process.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, Taipei City-based research organisation is promoting the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in academic institutions, nongovernmental groups and enterprises through data exchanges and open-source projects. Taiwan’s leading role in the global supply of semiconductors means the country is ideally placed to integrate the latest and greatest technologies into the biotech and medical sectors.

Healthcare is the ideal field to expand the use of AI given the technology’s ability to quickly conduct big data analyses and modelling. Taiwan’s National Health Insurance (NHI) Research Database contains over two decades worth of data and images to assist in this process.

With access to such a rich resource, Taiwan researchers are looking to put their combined expertise to good use in the field of precision medicine, providing customised treatment plans tailored to individual patients. This is achieved by combining NHI data with information from wearable sensors recording heartbeat, blood pressure, blood sugar and oxygen saturation. This approach of preventive medicine ensures people are aware of the warning signs before they get ill. The research organisation’ goal is to utilise the power of AI to relieve the burden on hospitals resulting from avoidable conditions.

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