Healthcare Systems Consortium visited Czech to promote AI in healthcareAug 15, 2023

Tunghai University has joined hands with five major hospitals, including Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Show Chwan Memorial Hospital, Tungs' Taichung Metroharbor Hospital, and Taichung Armed Forces General Hospital, to develop the Healthcare Systems Consortium (HSC) to develop AI medical technology, and to push forward smart healthcare through the bilateral cooperation between Taiwan and the Czech Republic.

In June, HSC delegation led by Dr. Shao-Jen Weng, including National Chung Cheng University, National Chin-Yi University of Technology and National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, to travel to the Czech Republic to open up new opportunities for AI medical robots, and to push Taiwan's smart healthcare to a new stage in the international arena.

Weng pointed out that in the Czech Republic, the SMART WALKER has been developed for several years, with the basic functions of an electric rehabilitation vehicle. Patients using this vehicle can reduce bedridden and sedentary time, and use it to move around for leisure and socialising, and in the process of moving, because of the standing position, it can be trained to enhance body coordination and sense of balance, and thus achieve the function of rehabilitation, and its electro-mechanical control system is generally complete at the moment.

However, the Czech Republic has not yet developed signal processing and advanced AI technology capabilities, so Taiwan's experience in AI healthcare is very important. Weng said Taiwan's technical team is responsible for the signal processing of respiratory and heartbeat vital signs, AI algorithms for fall prevention mechanisms, planning of optimal paths for medical and rehabilitation transport robots, and smart Internet of Things applications and streaming image object detection and recognition technologies.

Weng said three Czech companies are involved in the project: ROBOTSYSTEM, which provided the prototype, and PESEK Machinery s.r.o., which specialises in transport system technology.

Currently, HSC has more than 1,700 members, spanning across the industry, government, academia, research and medical sectors, with an abundance of talent, as many as 100 industry-academia research collaboration projects, and the consortium has achieved more than 10 achievements in medical technology management services. 

One of featured projects is a surgical instrument counting system with image recognition jointly developed by Tunghai University and Chung Shan Medical University. According to Weng, the system uses image recognition technology to save about 90% of the time required for counting surgical instruments, with each complete task taking only three minute, which effectively reduces the risk of surgical instruments being left behind in the human body.