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Taiwan urged to seize upon rise of telemedicine

COVID-19 presents opportunity to develop telehealth services


BioButton  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has a unique opportunity to ride the wave of telemedicine spurred by the coronavirus pandemic and incorporate relevant services into its National Health Insurance (NHI) program, according to experts.

Telehealth and virtual diagnosis are trends of which Taiwan is well-positioned to take advantage, said Ronald Chwang (莊人川), chairman of iD Ventures America, who has decades of experience helping entrepreneurs start businesses in the U.S.

Chwang has called for integrating Taiwan's technological prowess with medical treatment by setting pricing standards for long-distance clinical services and regulating products. This kind of innovative healthcare system would translate into tremendous commercial potential once exported to Southeast Asian nations, CNA quoted him as saying.

Take the BioButton, for example. The new coin-sized device allows for remote data capture and monitoring of temperature among other vital signs, which can then be used to track the health status of arriving visitors and trigger alerts when they start to exhibit symptoms such as cough or fever. Various countries have expressed an interest in this epidemic-prevention technology, he noted.

According to Chwang, Taiwan's strengths in semiconductor technology can be employed to develop telehealth-related applications that ensure data accuracy and better monitoring. Advancement in telemedicine practices also benefits those living in remote areas or in long-term care facilities.

At the beginning of this year, the Industrial Development Bureau teamed up with the private sector to provide trial telemedicine services. Wearable devices and Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) technologies have been used to track the health of seniors in Keelung and New Taipei, with further medical intervention made possible via cloud services, wrote the Commercial Times.

Updated : 2022-05-21 04:44 GMT+08:00