Wong: the future of BIO+ICT has been clearDec 19, 2022

The former president of the Academia Sinica and president of the Insititute for Biotechnology and Medicine Industry, Chi-Huey Wong, said that the future of products developed by BIO (biotechnology) + ICT (information and communication technology) has been clear, and what is needed now is landing and certification.

Wong spoke to Commercial Times that he believes that Taiwan's strengths in AI, telemedicine and 5G communication can all be exploited, and encourages the government to have more confidence in loosening regulations. Hers's the summsry of media interview.

How do you see the development of BIO+ICT in Taiwan?

Wong: In this year's Healthcare+ Expo, we have seen a number of BIO+ICT products, such as Quanta's use of AI to develop a series of electrocardiogram testing products. In addition, there have also been successful cross-country collaborations, such as Intel's combination of products developed by ASUSTeK and Onyx Healthcare, and Silicon Optronic's collaboration with US-based illumina to successfully develop a genetic testing chip, which has had a profound impact on gene sequencing.

However, in order for BIO+ICT to enter the international market, it is important to certify and adopt the products. Through the cooperation letter signed between the domestic hospitals and ASEAN-based ones at the Expo, there are opportunities to accelerate the development of products in the TAECO and domestic market in the future.

What are the areas of the biotechnology industry that have the opportunity to compete with international competition?

Wong: ICT and healthcare togther is definitely Taiwan's strength. The integration of AI in smart healthcare, telemedicine and 5G communication is attractive in terms of international cooperation.

What else do we need to accelerate and strengthen?

Wong: In order to internationalise the industry, regulations must be aligned with international standards. The government must have the confidence to take the lead in setting international standards and specifications, developing the biotech innovation industry, encouraging cross-disciplinary collaboration and talent cultivation, encouraging medical innovation, transparent and open policies on the use of medical data and clinical databases.

In addition, health insurance must keep pace with the development of the biomedical industry. At present, biologics, antibodies, cells and gene therapy are not yet covered by health insurance, which will hinder the development of the industry.