This article has been written by Peter Moore, Regional Managing Director, Asia Pacific and Japan Public Sector, Amazon Web Services
2020 was a year like no other. By March, COVID-19 had spread around the world impacting families, businesses, and communities. And, one year later, many are still fighting the spread of the virus, which has since introduced several new variants that are threatening our communities. The speed at which the virus spread left diagnostics for the disease lagging and the healthcare community looking for new ways to use technology to help.
As countries grappled with the challenge of scaling COVID-19 testing, we launched the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Diagnostic Development Initiative to help organizations around the world apply the power of the cloud to accelerate diagnostics research and development. Through this initiative, AWS committed $20 million in computing credits and customized expertise from the AWS Professional Services team to support customers using AWS to drive diagnostic innovations.
In the first phase of the initiative, AWS has helped 87 organizations in 17 countries ranging from startups, nonprofits, research institutions, and businesses. We have awarded $8 million supporting a range of diagnostic projects including molecular tests for antibodies, antigens, and nucleic acids; diagnostic imaging; wearables; and data analytics tools that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect the virus.
As we launch the next phase, we are excited to broaden the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative’s scope and distribute the remaining $12 million this year. From 12 April 2021, we are expanding the scope to three new areas: 1) early disease detection to identify outbreaks at the individual and at the community level, 2) prognosis to better understand disease trajectory, and 3) public health genomics to bolster viral genome sequencing worldwide. While AWS will prioritize COVID-19 projects, we will also evaluate projects focused on other infectious diseases. We will accept applications through the end of the year, with priority consideration given to applications received before July 31. Interested organizations can apply here.
AWS has seen transformative innovations in how startups and organizations diagnose disease over the past year, from machine learning-powered X-ray imagery analysis to new developments in rapid, high quality, and direct-to-consumer tests. These changes will continue to evolve and improve a country’s ability to respond to future outbreaks.
Speeding customer innovation
The AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative has accelerated projects that are changing what is possible with medical diagnostics and having an immediate impact on COVID-19 detection. These projects are not only enabling the medical community to rapidly respond to COVID-19, but also have implications for many other infectious diseases. Here are some examples of the projects funded by the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative:
Medo uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help healthcare professionals quickly identify severe COVID-19 cases
Medo is an AI healthcare startup founded in Singapore and headquartered in Edmonton, Canada, that leveraged support from the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative to expedite the development of its Medo Lung solution. Medo Lung would allow a quick ultrasound scan of the lung to be reviewed by an AI algorithm to detect whether a patient has normal lung function or is suffering from complications such as interstitial pneumonitis, which leads to many of the severe complications associated with COVID-19. These scans could be performed in thousands of patients together with diagnostic swabs in COVID-19 screening clinics, to assist with rapid, accurate patient triage by helping identify those who urgently need to go to hospital. This would also eliminate the need for patients, particularly the elderly, to leave their homes and visit a doctor unless absolutely necessary, preserving hospital resources, and avoiding potential exposure in the process.
By leveraging AWS and ultrasound, Medo has helped radiologists and clinicians to perform and facilitate the diagnosis of several other medical conditions, in addition to the lung. As a result, caregivers are able to more quickly and accurately diagnose common and critical conditions, and therefore are able to understand the right course of treatment for patients quicker.
Medo currently pilots its Medo Lung solution in Canada. In addition to COVID-19, Medo Lung will also scan for diseases like pneumonia, pleural effusions, pneumothorax, and pulmonary edema.
“COVID-19 really crystallized our vision of democratizing medical imaging and bringing our solution to as many people as we can by highlighting the need for AI-driven diagnostics that can be administered by any caregiver at the point of care where it’s needed the most, keeping patients comfortable and safe. With the help of advanced AWS AI and ML services like Amazon SageMaker and Amazon Textract, we were able to develop Medo Lung that will make a big difference for patients in both the short term and long after the pandemic subsides.” — David Quail, Co-founder, Medo
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping us to democratize ultrasound self-diagnosis across the planet with the help of AWS. The cloud has allowed us to greatly improve patient outcomes, including in remote areas that would not otherwise have the infrastructure needed to perform or manage such patients. Scanning an organ takes just a few seconds and our algorithm provides reliable results in less than a minute, making access to medical imaging and early reliable diagnosis a reality for all.” — Dr Jeevesh Kapur, Radiologist and Co-Founder, Medo
Oncophenomics detects mutated COVID-19 virus quickly through next-generation sequencing
Oncophenomics is a healthtech startup based in Hyderabad, India that develops diagnostics solutions for cancer and infectious diseases. The company is studying the genetic epidemiology of the COVID-19 virus in India and is addressing the need for rapid, accurate, and affordable testing and applying it at scale so that the country can implement a test and track approach to identify infected individuals and impose quarantine measures on those infected with the more dangerous variants of the COVID-19 virus.
Not all diagnostic tests in the market are able to detect these new variants of concern. Confronted with the lack of variant-specific diagnostic tests, Oncophenomics has developed a two-step comprehensive saliva-based COVID-19 diagnostics solution that is able to test patients for COVID-19 on-site in minutes (self-administered test; no need for swabs, or requiring the support of a phlebotomist or lab technician) and the positive samples are shipped to a centralized laboratory to accurately diagnose COVID-19 virus variants using third-generation real-time long-read sequencing (Oxford Nanopore Technologies) approach to sequence the complete viral RNA within hours with the same saliva sample.
The sequencing data is being uploaded and analyzed on AWS Cloud using Oncophenomics’ proprietary bioinformatics pipelines and allows the startup to compare every patient sample against a global repository of more than one million COVID-19 virus genomes via GISAID (Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data – an initiative that promotes the rapid sharing of data from all influenza viruses and the virus causing COVID-19) within minutes and generate a variant report quickly with clinical correlation.
Governments, public health initiatives, laboratory and healthcare professionals can use this platform to effectively identify the individuals infected with COVID-19 virus variants and plan appropriate interventions to prevent the further spread of the virus in the community. Such rapid interventions are needed to combat the second wave of COVID-19 cases rising in India and other countries.
Oncophenomics’s saliva-based COVID-19 diagnostics solution will undergo ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research – the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, is one of the oldest and largest medical research bodies in the world) performance evaluation and clinical validation by June 2021 for CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organization – India’s national regulatory body for pharmaceuticals and medical devices) regulatory approval and will be launched in India first, followed by Singapore and other APAC markets.
“AWS makes it easy for us to work on the cloud. Our goal is to address the issue of COVID-19 test performance in light of new variants affecting the conventional RT PCR (Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests – its accuracy, specificity, and sensitivity. We have devoted all our resources to developing a robust end-to-end COVID-19 diagnostics solution within a short time frame and at a critical time where the world is facing an imminent threat of a new wave of COVID-19 infections. Some of the data analysis is computationally intensive and can only be run on the cloud.
Without the publicly available datasets (GISAID) and AWS’s scalable cloud computing capabilities, it would have been impossible to develop this COVID-19 variants testing solution. Currently, our saliva-based testing solution, the part-1 point of care test is targeting India specific mutations (while the part-2 nanopore sequencing can discover all mutations), but we hope to customize it for any region across the world to help combat the new COVID-19 wave.” — Dr Shibichakravarthy Kannan, MBBS, PhD, Founder & CEO, Oncophenomics Inc.
Stanford University School of Medicine develops smartwatch-based “alarm system” for diagnostics
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Healthcare Innovation Lab have developed a smartwatch app designed to correctly flag signs of fighting a potential COVID-19 infection. The app is powered by an algorithm that detects changes in an individual’s resting heart rate and step count. Early results are promising, and a pilot trial successfully alerted newly infected individuals as early as 10 days before they became aware of any symptoms.
The app has entered the next phase of study, and the Stanford team is recruiting participants with the goal of reaching 10 million participants to increase its ability to detect signs of COVID-19 in real-time. This smartwatch-based early detection system was built on AWS with the support of the AWS Professional Services team, who has collaborated with the researchers to help the study scale its data processing pipeline.
“We’re hopeful that ongoing screening using wearable devices can provide scalable diagnostics solutions to overcome current testing barriers, and that expanding data access to a broader range of researchers will contribute to new discoveries that improve human health. We look forward to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the cloud.” — Michael Snyder, PhD, professor and chair of genetics for Stanford University’s School of Medicine
We continue to be inspired by the ingenuity of our customers across the world in their use of cloud technology to accelerate diagnostics to help citizens fight against COVID-19 during this trying time, and support governments to prioritize healthcare resources to save more lives. We look forward to supporting broader uses of cloud technologies to enable organizations and communities to identify and respond even faster to future outbreaks.
Researchers from Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), in collaboration with Cornell University, have developed a novel targeted therapy for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) that uses a specially-designed nano-carrier to deliver the Chinese medicine compound gambogic acid (GA).
The invention enhances the anti-cancer effect of GA and reduces its damage to off-target organs. The invention has the potential to become a more effective therapeutic option for TNBC.
GA as a breast cancer treatment and its limitations
TNBC accounts for 10-24% of all breast cancer cases and it also grows and spreads faster than other types of breast cancer. There are limited treatment options for TNBC and it has a high risk of recurrence and metastasis. In the advanced stage of the disease, the five-year relative survival rate is only about 12%.
GA is a herbal compound isolated from a dry, brownish resin called gamboge, which is derived from Garcinia hanburyi, a plant with a long history of medicinal use in Southeast Asia. Previous studies have shown that GA can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
However, its clinical application is limited by the fact that it is rapidly eliminated from the circulation system and has poor water solubility, which makes it difficult for GA to reach the cancer cells. Furthermore, high dosages of GA can cause damage to off-target organs due to its toxicity.
Nano-carrier increases treatment efficacy of GA
In the search for a more effective treatment protocol for TNBC when compared to existing options the research team designed a novel nano-carrier to enhance GA’s efficacy as a TNBC treatment and reduce its off-target toxicity.
The researchers made a bio-degradable nano-carrier out of polyester urea urethane (PEUU), and they decorated it with folate (also known as vitamin B9) and arginine (an amino acid). Folate receptors are highly expressed in TNBC cells, and they can serve as a target for therapy. Arginine is a positively charged amino acid, and it can attract the nano-carrier to the negatively charged tumour surface. These features enable the nano-carrier to target and deliver GA effectively to TNBC cells.
Treatment efficacy tested in mice
The research team tested the efficacy of the GA-loaded nano-carrier as a TNBC treatment in a series of mouse experiments. Two groups of mice with TNBC were treated with the same dosage of GA, one in the form of the GA-loaded nano-carrier, and the other in the form of free GA. After 17 days of treatment, the average reduction in tumour weight of the GA-loaded nano-carrier group was 67.6% higher than the free GA group. The results showed that the GA-loaded nano-carrier is more effective at shrinking the tumours than the free GA.
In addition, the group treated with the GA-loaded nano-carrier had 0.23 μg/mL of GA in their tumours two hours after injection, and the tumour GA concentration of the GA-loaded nano-carrier group was three times of the free GA group, showing that GA is being delivered to TNBC cells more effectively with the nano-carrier.
Also, the concentration of GA in the plasma of the GA-loaded nano-carrier group two hour after injection was nearly three times of the free GA group, showing that the GA carried by the nano-carrier stays in the circulation system for longer.
Reduced off-target damage to other organs
Furthermore, when compared with free GA, the GA delivered by the nano-carrier caused less damage to the off-target organs of the mice including their hearts, livers and lungs. It also caused minimal damage to their kidneys and spleens as relatively low levels of GA were detected in these two organs.
As demonstrated in the study, the novel nano-carrier for GA offers many benefits when it comes to treating TNBC, according to the Assistant Professor of the Teaching and Research Division of SCM.
It was noted that the application of nanotechnology in this study modernises the delivery of Chinese medicine, thereby enhancing its therapeutic efficacy. The team believes their nano-carriers have great clinical potential to treat TNBC and other types of cancer.
According to recent research, the global nanotechnology market is estimated to attain US$2.23 billion by 2025 at 10.5% CAGR.
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras (IIT-Madras) have developed ‘BlockTrack’, a blockchain-based secure medical data and information exchange system for a mobile phone-based application. The application, which is the first of its kind, is currently being field-tested at the institute’s hospital.
BlockTrack aims to securely digitise healthcare information systems while ensuring the protection of sensitive personal information and medical records. It does this by decentralising the control and ownership of patient data, through a blockchain-based innovation. The BlockTrack innovation is now protected through a provisional IP filed with the Indian Patent Office, according to a news report.
The Android version has been developed separately for patients and doctors. It opens up universal and transferable healthcare information management and emphasises data privacy and tracking the spread of infectious diseases across geographies.
The report added that it allows the interoperability of systems from multiple hospitals, institutes, and healthcare organisations. The patient can choose to visit any healthcare facility on BlockTrack’s blockchain network without any concerns about duplication of records or re-registrations.
BlockTrack is developed by a team led by Prabhu Rajagopal, the Lead Faculty for Remote Diagnostics at the Centre for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE), under the Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras. This is one of the first implementations of blockchain technology for securing healthcare data management systems. The approach is expected to make an impact in securely digitising and maintaining unique patient records across the country and eventually across the world.
K Vijay Raghavan, the government’s Principal Scientific Adviser, said that the objectives of the National Digital Health Mission launched last year was the secure processing of individual data and easy accessibility of digitalised personal and medical records by individuals and health service providers. The effective implementation of these objectives will require leveraging emerging technologies, and BlockTrack is a step in the right direction.
Recently, Raghavan launched the Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System (MANAS) mobile application to promote health and wellbeing in the country. MANAS was endorsed as a national programme by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
As OpenGov Asia reported, MANAS is a comprehensive, scalable, and national digital wellbeing platform designed to augment the mental well-being of Indian citizens. The app integrates the health and wellness efforts of various government ministries. Also, scientifically validated indigenous tools with gamified interfaces were developed and researched by several national bodies and research institutions. Though the app is still to undergo field trials and is not available for public use as yet, it will be a platform catering to the overall wellness of people of all age groups and genders.
The application supports teleconsultation, especially for mental health-related problems. It is capable of health tracking and data records will be maintained, which will help users for future consultations. According to the scientist that conceptualised and led the execution of the mission, MANAS intends to build a healthier, happier, and more self-reliant community. MANAS is based on augmenting life skills and core psychological processes and is universally accessible. It delivers age-appropriate methods and promotes positive attitudes that focus on wellness. The initial version of MANAS targets promoting positive mental health in citizens aged 15-35 years.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), issued the Microelectronics in Support of Artificial Intelligence (MicroE4AI) Seedling Broad Agency Announcement (BAA).
Technology solutions for advanced computing in support of artificial intelligence will require long-term advancements in microelectronics, which will result from fostering unified and multidisciplinary research and development approaches. The goal is to advance groundbreaking technologies that will help the Intelligence Community (IC) and the country deliver on the promise of AI.
The BAA solicits proposals for developing faster, more energy-efficient, and more resilient computing tools that are of importance to the future of the national security of the United States and its leadership in artificial intelligence. The solicitation focuses on advanced engineering and applied research efforts into novel computing models, materials, architectures, and algorithms to enable the advancement of artificial intelligence and machine learning. They are interested in research and development efforts that promote advances in microelectronic devices and circuits, and the chemistry and physics of new materials, which are aimed at overcoming challenges concerning the physical limits on transistors, electrical interconnects, and memory elements.
IARPA anticipates granting multiple seeding awards to explore and develop novel technology solutions. They invest in high-risk, high-payoff research programmes to tackle some of the most difficult challenges of the agencies and disciplines in the IC. The agency collaborates across the IC to ensure that their research addresses relevant future needs.
This cross-community focus ensures our ability to address cross-agency challenges, leverage both operational and R&D expertise from across the IC, and coordinate transition strategies with their agency partners. It brings the best minds in the field to bear on their research by sponsoring a full and open competition to the greatest extent possible. A research programme gets started when both a powerful research idea and an exceptional person to manage the programme are available.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, the U.S. has developed and leverage AI to achieve several results. A research project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) develops an online tool called CitizenHelper. This tool can sort through millions of tweets to identify behaviours that could assist emergency agencies and give them an understanding of the population’s attitudes. The tool uses artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to filter the posts and then determine the relevance and information level of each tweet.
The AI tool helps to scale work that would be difficult for humans to do alone. Humans are good at contextual understanding to filter content but they cannot scale. Machines, on the other hand, are good at scaling, but they do not deeply understand the context very well. Hence, a human-AI teaming approach is invaluable. The algorithms need humans to help them improve their accuracy. CitizenHelper allows this very seamless interactive mechanism for humans and computers. The humans can provide feedback to the machine on what the machine has predicted.
Looking at social media has a huge benefit as it gives information in real-time. Therefore, it reflects people’s behaviour as opposed to expectations of what people’s behaviours are. The research team continue to work on improving the tool and teach the AI algorithms to be more specific. When a new data point comes in and the algorithm is unsure of what to do with it, a human user can provide feedback. This is a specific type of activity called active learning in the world of machine learning and AI.
The goal is to determine whether this human-AI interaction can make a community more resilient. Volunteers trained to recognise problems can better understand what is happening in the community and what is being done about it. The AI cannot learn what the important information is without being taught by humans. However, humans will always have a role because of the context associated with emergency response and how it varies by place and time.
A tech firm operating under the Hong Kong Smart Government Innovation Lab recently announced that it has launched new solutions which are now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
Solution description – factory-terminated optical fibre tip-to-tip network infrastructure cabling for offices and data centres
Thanks to fibre optics, invented in the firm’s lab in 1970, enormous amounts of data, phone calls and video can move around the planet. That movement of data has, in turn, enabled innovation after innovation, including the internet, cloud, mobile boom, streaming TV, autonomous cars, bitcoin, AI – and whatever comes next.
The firm’s solutions create an optical fibre tip-to-tip solution for LAN and data centres consisting of housings, modules, panels, trunks, harnesses, and jumpers. IT operators have an exhaustive list of desirable parameters they employ to ensure their facilities’ smooth and efficient operation the firm strives to exceed their expectations.
The company interviewed over 3,000 operators, and the outcome remained the same – the infrastructure must be reliable, high-quality, flexible, manageable, scalable, and visible to support a 24/7 year-round operation without question.
The tech firm’s award-winning EDGE™ solutions are high-density pre-terminated optical cabling solutions that simplify installation and improve performance in the office LAN and data centre environment. EDGE solutions provide increased system density when compared to traditional pre-terminated systems and offer the highest port density in the market.
The firm’s ClearCurve® bend-optimized optical fibre is the core element ensuring reliability when designing custom-engineered components thanks to its significant reduction in macro-bend loss even in the most challenging bend scenarios.
This technology enables the company to provide significantly greater density across the range combined with simple design and integration for LAN and SAN areas of cabling infrastructure. Infrastructure performance management is a traffic monitoring method being transmitted and received along with a link in a network providing real-time visibility.
This method can be done actively through electronic devices that can replicate and send the link’s data to the monitoring device (also called mirroring or spanning). Alternatively, it can be done through passive optical taps or port taps, transmitting all the data to the intended recipient and a monitoring device simultaneously. It can also filter the data and send it to various software tools for analytics, where it is then sent to an application-layer software for use by network administrators.
All EDGE solutions products, except TAP modules and 24-fibre MTP® single-mode assemblies, are manufactured with the firm’s proprietary CleanAdvantage™ technology, a new cleaning process implemented at the factory that uses residue-free cleaning fluids.
The firm’s proprietary nozzle design enables a focused and directed spray to the end-face, virtually cleaning the entire ferrule. All CleanAdvantage products are also shipped with optimized dust caps engineered to maintain the end-face cleanliness until the first mating connection. CleanAdvantage eliminates the need for scoping and cleaning before the initial field connection, reducing installation time and cost.
The solution was developed to be applied across the areas of City Management, Commerce and Industry, Environment, Finance, Housing, Infrastructure, Recreation and Culture as well as Transport.
The solution employs Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Mobile Technologies and Virtual Reality.
The company’s EDGE factory-terminated solutions have been deployed by finance institutes, technologies enterprise and government in the global marketplace.
The factory-terminated tip-to-tip optical fibre components allow for reduced installation time and faster moves, adds, and changes (MACs). Corning factory-terminated solutions provide improved system performance, ensure component compatibility, and yield consistently high quality.
EDGE solutions consist of an extensive range of housings, trunks, modules, adapter panels, harnesses, patch cords, and accessories for extended flexibility. The universally-wired modular system components provide simplistic management for quick-and-easy networking MACs with none of the polarity concerns associated with special polarity-compensating components.
The deployment of a scalable optical connectivity solution allows infrastructure to meet current and future data rates’ requirements. Scalability enables the physical expansion of the cabling infrastructure to additional servers, switches, or storage devices and flexibility to the infrastructure to support a migration path for increasing data rates.
As technology evolves and standards are completed to define data rates such as 40/100/400G Ethernet, Fibre Channel (32G and beyond), and InfiniBand (40G and beyond), the cabling infrastructures installed today must provide scalability to accommodate the need for more bandwidth in support of future applications.
Since 1987 the Edison Awards have recognised and honoured some of the most innovative new products and services as well as business leaders from around the world and recently announced this year’s winners.
Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) collected two awards under the support of the Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). With these accolades, ITRI has delivered again with MetabColor as well as the AI-Based High-Density Shuttle Rack Delivery System.
The ITRI is a government-funded applied technology research institute with more than 6,000 employees. ITRI’s AI-Based High-Density Shuttle Rack Service System wins a gold medal in the Innovative Services, AI Applications category. The institute also took home a silver award for its MetabColor microbial textile dyes produced via a non-toxic, environmentally friendly and renewable process.
The Director-General of DoIT stated that it was no easy thing that ITRI’s AI technology won a gold medal in the Innovative Services, AI Applications category. The automated vertical warehousing system is developed for space-starved cities and the rack can be 14 stories high, saving at least twice as much space storage. Moreover, ITRI has been working with several companies to develop AI technology. The AI-based warehousing system optimises logistics efficiency to meet the increasing needs of e-commerce, cutting shipping time by 60% and helping to increase logistics performance during peak season.
The silver winner, MetabColor, uses modified microbes and the fermentation, separation, and purification processes to create natural dyes that are more environmentally friendly than chemical dyes. ITRI has been cooperating with leaders in textile manufacturing and speciality chemicals on the preliminary verification of the technology.
ITRI President also stated that the honour demonstrates that the institute’s technological vision aligns with top global trends. ITRI will continue collaborating with industry leaders to offer efficient solutions aimed at minimising environmental impact while ensuring Taiwan is an integral part of green global supply chains. He also pointed out that the Edison Awards focus on the “real-world applications” of innovative R&D results. Winning two awards is a big achievement for their R&D teams.
2030 Technology Strategy and Roadmap
To innovate a better future, ITRI has drawn up its 2030 Technology Strategy and Roadmap, in which it enhances the development of “intelligentisation” enabling technologies and focuses on three application domains: Smart Living, Quality Health, and Sustainable Environment. The Institute strives to use technological innovation to shape new lifestyles, develop market-oriented solutions, and find uncontested spaces.
Digital transformation has become a driving force for global economic innovation. With the prevalence of IoT and AI, people are seeking a faster, easier, and smarter life with the introduction of intelligent devices/services and new business models.
Therefore ITRI is developing personalised devices and services, autonomous mobility systems, and smart industries and services for the Smart Living domain. ITRI is also working on human-machine interaction, enhanced imaging and perception systems, autonomous decision-making and control, and smart business technologies and services.
As many countries are moving towards hyper-aged societies, demands for medical personnel and healthcare resources are increasing. New business opportunities in the emerging diagnosis and treatment market are also created through integrated solutions that include smart long-term care systems, personalised/precision medicine, and healthcare models.
In the domain of Quality Health, ITRI leverages Taiwan’s strengths in ICT and medical care systems to develop smart medical and healthcare technologies. The R&D scope includes smart medical electronics, regenerative medicine, wearable devices, digital healthcare services, and many more.
Due to the current climate change, greenhouse effects, and limited energy sources and resources, how to coexist with Mother Nature has become an important issue when developing new technologies. A sustainable environment can be maintained by creating a circular ecosystem, cutting downtime and energy-consuming production processes, and discovering green energy sources.
ITRI is thereby enhancing the technology development in the circular economy, smart manufacturing, and green energy and environment fields by exploring high-value circular materials, smart manufacturing systems, and supply chain management to achieve ecological symbiosis.
As the pandemic propels restaurants and other businesses to keep their distance from customers, a Shanghai-based robotics firm looks to bring its automated helpers to Singapore and other markets across the globe. The robotic servers wait by the kitchen for meals to come out. Staffers load them up and tell them which tables to go to via touchscreen. Then they roll off, deftly avoiding obstacles in their way.
The AI company focuses on indoor intelligent service robot, in the field of indoor autonomous d and providing intelligent unmanned delivery solutions. They have developed a variety of commercial service robots to meet different customers requirement. Their products are mainly applied in fields such as catering, medical care, hotels, entertainment, retail, venues, government affairs, offices, real estate, communities, banking, posts, finance, insurance, airports, stations, etc.
The robots’ features are the following:
- Touch sensor. The robot can return quickly with a single tap
- UI that makes the human-robot interaction more friendly
- Smart voice recognition receives users ‘orders accurately and gives response quickly
- An infrared perception system that detects the status of goods in the pallet, the robot returns automatically as quickly as humans and help customers take away the empty disks
The robots are also equipped with an autonomous localisation and navigation feature. The multi-sensor fusion technology, based on LIDAR, machine vision, depth senor, etc., that can locate and navigate precisely. It can run smoothly and stably indoors even in a complex environment. The tech also has a vivid expression show that is based on an AI interactive engine, several bionic and vivid expression packages can be customised. The human-like emotions as happy, angry, sorrow etc., making communication more interesting.
Lastly, it has a multi robots collaboration programme. With a planning system, multiple robots can cooperate smoothly in the same working environment, elevating efficiency,
The tech company shared that they are responsible for roughly 85% of food-serving robots ever sold in China. The country has been a pioneer in service robots, thanks partly to relatively relaxed regulation that benefits budding businesses, and it already uses robots commercially in such fields as food delivery and security.
Production capacity was roughly doubled in 2020 to prepare for overseas expansion. The tech company stated that their factories all have extra space, and they plan to increase capacity to up to 200,000 units.
The tech has also gotten a big boost from the push to minimise the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. Its unit sales likely more than tripled to over 10,000 in 2020. Sales of service robots were to increase 34% to USD 2.94 billion in China in 2020, roughly twice as fast as for the world, according to one industry forecast.
The tech company and developer aim to have local units set up in at least 10 countries by the end of 2021. It opened a Japan arm in March with just under 10 staffers and is looking at South Korea and Singapore, as well as markets in Europe, North America, and the Middle East.
However, challenges are still at hand. While the developer is a relatively well-known company at home, it has little name recognition abroad. Clients appear more concerned about features than the price at this point. Many foreign markets also tend to focus heavily on the quality of customer service, meaning that robots and other automated solutions might not gain much traction among consumers seeking a more conventional experience.
Spyfish Aotearoa, a collaboration between a charitable organisation applying artificial intelligence (AI) to conservation and the Department of Conservation (DoC), allows ocean enthusiasts to get directly involved in scientific research.
By analysing 10-second video clips on the Spyfish website, all taken from monitoring surveys DoC undertakes each year in New Zealand’s marine reserves, volunteers can identify and count the species of fish they see. If the user is not over-familiar with native fauna, there is a chat function available to connect with the experts who are.
The surveys let the DoC estimate how abundant some types of fish are in the country’s reserves, such as blue cod, snapper, some species of sharks, and many more. It is a way to tell how well the marine reserves are doing at protecting these species.
However, identifying and counting species in the videos is time-consuming, especially for a single person. The Spyfish Aotearoa is being used to train AI software so in the future videos can be automatically analysed to identify and count the species. Using machine learning will save a huge amount of time and resources and produce data that can be used almost immediately.
According to the DoC, making the most of the opportunities provided by AI will greatly improve marine conservation outcomes for the future and bring the country further down in the path towards thriving oceans. Along the way, people in Aotearoa and overseas will be able to see and learn more about the species in New Zealand’s marine reserves, while contributing directly to marine conservation.
According to reports, anchored by the Resource Management Act, New Zealand’s government has declared its desire to follow sustainable development principles in its economic, social and environmental policies. In 2009, the Act was revised to simplify regulations and reduce costly delays for developers and investors while sustaining necessary ecological protections, resulting in quicker processing and better compliance. But according to research, restoring New Zealand’s waterways could take “hundreds of years” at the current rate of progress.
New Zealand is also socially and politically at the forefront of international climate issues, as illustrated by its adoption of a progressive carbon-trading scheme. The country is also making signs it wants to boost its start-up ecosystem – particularly when it comes to clean technology. Environment and climate-related technologies are improving. New Zealand is a world leader in research on reducing the environmental impact of agriculture. It has a well-developed and skilled eco-innovation system.
Another report said that New Zealand is ripe for a cleantech revolution and noted countries that put significant resources into supporting cleantech innovation are rewarded with more emerging and commercialised cleantech companies.
In 2016, the government has taken measures aimed to help New Zealand green its economy and improve its environmental governance and management, with particular emphasis on water resources management and sustainable urban development. New Zealand is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The 2017 OECD Environmental Performance Reviews state that New Zealand is among the most energy-intensive economies.
New Zealand’s reputation as a ‘green’ country, both as a tourist destination and as a producer of natural and safe foods, needs to be upheld. Therefore, the government of New Zealand has taken numerous steps to conserve the country’s indigenous biodiversity. New Zealand’s Biodiversity Strategy has called for greater education and involvement at the local level, strengthening of partnerships with people regarding conservation of genetic diversity, and maintaining and enhancing natural habitats.