By Sahana Shankar, Ph.D. Candidate
Taipei Medical University partnered with BE Capital, Taiwan and multiple international collaborators to usher in innovation in healthcare solutions via the TMU BioMed Accelerator, the first of its kind in Taiwan. The TMU BioMed Accelerator was launched on 23rd July 2020 at BIO Asia Taiwan, 2020. It aims to build a biomed startup ecosystem by combining clinical experience and academic excellence with a focus on digital health, AI and biomedical devices while leveraging Taiwan’s efficient medical infrastructure. The aim is to address unmet clinical needs through innovative solutions that can be tested and validated by the biomedical ecosystem.
One of TMU BioMed accelerator’s first programs is the TMU X BE Acceleration Program where start-up companies were taken through a six-month program to provide them with real-world experience with physicians, patients, and biomedecial infrastructure; counsel them on their design and strategies; provide support with commercialization; finding partners and raising capital. Ten of the TMU X BE Acceleration Program participants showcased their biomedecial innovations at the TMU BioMed Accelerator launch.
CEO Jean Su shared a novel cancer diagnostic program powered by AI and machine learning. Using over 5 million biopsy samples with clinical data and annotation from partners such as BC Cancer, Canada, Generation E built an AI model, DeepScene, which can predict cancer with reduced error rates. DeepScene enables pathologists to achieve faster, affordable, and accurate diagnoses. With an easy-to-use portable device, DeepScene is undergoing clinical trials to be eligible for FDA approval and hopes to enter the market in North America and Asia by 2022.
Demonstrating diversity with fundamental technology, Alchemy primarily works on electronic fabrics and medical-grade protection. They can be used for designing blood-pressure-monitors or consumables like medical gowns and smart bandages for anti-bleeding.
Founder, Edward Shim, made a case for turning obstacles into opportunities where they repurposed their SMART fabric system to provide PPE gear to Canadian healthcare workers during the COVID crisis since they were in Taiwan for the TMU BioMed incubator program.
In a bid to integrate telemedicine, IT, and wearable devices, Singular Wings Medical uses semiconductors and wearable technology to devise Group Realtime Telehealth Care System (GRTCS). They demonstrated a wearable sensory device to collect real-time data on respiration, temperature, and heart rate coupled with AI to detect low heartbeat arrhythmia and cardiopulmonary fitness. The device can be used to diagnose sleep apnea, a disorder that goes undiagnosed mainly and can cause further complications such as hypoxia and breathing disorders. Data from the wearable device correlated well with data generated at the TMU sleep lab, propelling GRTCS towards new clinical trials aiming for a TFDA approval in 2022.
CEO Johnson Huang described an IT-based healthcare management platform-mHIS that can be made-to-order based on customer needs. With cloud-based flexible modules that can be integrated across multiple channels, mHIS can be optimized to enable all healthcare-related operations with minimum human intervention, making it desirable in these times of social distancing. A one-stop solution for hospital management is also useful in countries with fragile medical infrastructure to increase operations’ robustness.
Uniquely positioned to provide ward management in hospitals, Aiphas combines AI-based on thermal sensing and edge computing to create a multi-application smart system that monitors patient movement, behavior, and ward environment without privacy impediment. They aim to develop smart healthcare management tools that can reduce construction needs for the installation of multiple systems with improved system design and process optimization.
A digital solution for dental clinic management, Dentall caters to the unique needs of a dental practice. With a simple GUI, it can record and schedule appointments, collate patient insurance and treatment records, differentiate between types of appointments, keep track of supply-purchase and patient metrics, and queue status while ensuring data security. With more than 7000 members on the platform and a Vietnam-specific service, Dentall aims to better the dentists’ practice space.
A collaborative effort from medical practitioners, researchers, big data analysts, and management specialists focuses on disease diagnosis based on ‘deep phenotype’- unique and dynamic changes in the body during disease. Using AI, data science, and phenomics, this molecular phenotyping can improve disease risk screening and personalize treatments based on protein expression, as demonstrated by mProbe prediction models for hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, etc. One of their precision medicine programs, OncoOmics aims to profile tumor protein expression from patients to inform therapy and prognosis based on cellular biomarkers.
In a bid to make the hospital environment safer for hemodialysis patients and reduce the risk of blood leakage, AcuSense developed an AI-based algorithm coupled with IoT monitor and wearable intradialytic leakage alarm. This system can be integrated with the hemodialysis machine and reduces clinical risks and medical disputes.
Neurobit combines software and hardware solutions to build a neuro-otological diagnostic system based on a dynamic medical image analysis database. Their product, Neurospeed, can detect bilateral and monocular eye position and movement, pupil area to assist in the diagnosis of neurological disorders such as vertigo and stroke.
With a cell therapy-specific clinical management system, Wolf Dataware provides a customizable and flexible system to collect comprehensive data, automate data collection and analyze data from multiple clinical trials to build prediction models and precision medicine capabilities.
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