In fact, using the best technology that society’s aging population can offer is an ideal proposition. This is what the Medical Center of the National Cheng Kung University (NKCU) wants to achieve. This year, the first geriatric hospital is scheduled to be built, which will introduce intelligent technologies to create a “hospital without walls.” With the help of the private sector, it will use the latest information and communication technology to care for the elderly. At the top of the list are artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
It should be noted that Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University College of Medicine is the country’s leading research center for medical research covering enterovirus, dengue fever, oncovirus, geriatrics and neurology. In addition, however, the institution attaches great importance to medical professionalism and humanity in medical training.
The proposed intelligent geriatric hospital is highly customer-centric. The aim is the joint development of patient-centred medical and health services. In terms of capacity, the hospital will have 440 beds, research and educational facilities, and space for collaborative research with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In fact, NCKU is gathering the resources needed to push the boundaries in terms of new intelligent geriatric healthcare for Taiwan and the world.
In this planned smart hospital, NCKU Medical Center is developing a smart AI companion. The development team, with the immediate goal of improving people’s quality of life, is made up of medical researchers from various disciplines. It is to be led by Professor Jung-Hsien Chiang of the AI Biomedical Research Center in collaboration with a leading technology company.
Her team is focused on designing and developing an AI companion robot for use with primary care teams, patients with diabetes and the elderly. The robot was originally designed for use with children, but by using deep learning, adding events and seasonal information to the inference process, the team has successfully expanded the scope to create a more user-friendly environment for elderly care users as well.
In addition, the NKCU College of Medicine is integrating 3D technology to develop better surgeons. Specifically, they use mixed and virtual reality to set up the Surgical Skills Development Center. The center aims to bridge the gap between traditional teaching and clinical applications and curricula. A gross anatomy room will be located next to the center, combining basic and clinical medical training. By teaching students how to meticulously operate delicate craniotomy drills, they simultaneously learn how to handle cadavers with precision technology.
Additionally, NKCU goes beyond traditional healthcare. With Taiwan formally designated as an aging society in 2018, being able to address the fitness of older people is crucial for prevention. Again, the new technology can play its role.
With the advent of new intelligent technologies, advanced diagnostic technologies and an aging society, intelligent healthcare will be the most important development direction for the world in the future. The NCKU Medical Device Innovation Center developed a health-promoting fitness system for seniors. It contains:
- integrated senior fitness assessment
- an intelligent arm ergometer
- an intelligent ergometer
- a keyless interface
- interactive gameplay
By using big data and AI, the system offers a personalized, intelligent fitness recipe for the elderly. This means smart elder health is no longer out of reach, paving the way for patients to live happily in old age.
Thanks to technology, great things have happened in Taiwan. Considered the semiconductor capital of the world, the chip industry is set to grow with the advent of driver assistance systems (DAS).
Knowing the importance of new ICT technologies, Taiwan is focused on expanding its digital capabilities. Recently, the island nation set up an AI HUB to make the Pacific nation an artificial intelligence hub for the region and the world – as reported by OpenGov Asia.