TMU and Imperial College London conducts cross-country and cross-disciplinary research to track abnormal driving

Source: Office of Global Engagement

Published on 2023-03-06

College of Medicine, and College of Biomedical Engineering of Taipei Medical University (TMU) and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of Imperial College London initiated a number of international cross-field research collaborations in early October 2022.

The two parties hope to improve road traffic safety and promote the well-being of road users through the combination of engineering technology and medical research.

This research takes professional drivers as the research object and will develop IoT wearable devices to track and assess the degree of sleep disorders, and incorporate environmental factors, such as air pollution and other common risk factors that affect cognitive function into the overall assessment of drivers’ physical and mental wellness. It is hoped that by tracking the health status of professional drivers, road traffic accidents can be prevented in advance. The preliminary plan is to investigate the subject from multiple levels, such as sleep breathing sound monitoring, the relationship between environmental pollution on cognitive function and sleep disorders, abnormal behavior of professional drivers, and sleep disorders.

Beginning in October 2022, the University and Imperial College London launched plans to implement sleep disorder assessments, monitor environmental exposure, and record heart rates and behavior while driving for professional drivers to develop an abnormal driving tracking system.

The Cooperation Letter of Intent was signed in June of this year via the zealous efforts by an alumnus of TMU, Cheng-Yu Tsai, who is a recipient of the Ministry of Education’s Scholarships for Taiwanese Studying in the Focused Fields at Top Universities and is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Imperial College London. The online signing in the U.K. was witnessed by Cheu-An Bi, the director of the Education Division, Taipei Representative Office in the U.K. from the Ministry of Education. The colleges of the two universities are to cooperate on projects such as student exchange, international research, industry-academic innovation, and interdisciplinary education in medicine and technology engineering, and will also co-organize workshops and seminars on a regular basis.

Professor Han-Pin Kuo, Dean of the College of Medicine, said that with the development of technology, the medical field is beginning to see the need to combine with cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence in medicine and medical wearable devices. Through this collaboration with Imperial College London, TMU hopes to take this opportunity to connect with international cutting-edge education. By signing this Letter of Intent, both parties will carry out substantive research cooperation, allowing students of Taipei Medical University to immerse themselves in an international educational environment and acquire cross-disciplinary knowledge in medical technology and engineering.

Professor Jiunn-Horng Kang, Dean of the College of Biomedical Engineering, said that the College of Biomedical Engineering, as a relatively young college in TMU, has an open and positive attitude toward the diversity of educational and research cooperation, and has robust research momentum and industrial innovation capabilities. This cooperation between the two universities will certainly cultivate more diversified international talents and create globally competitive industrial and academic technologies.

The head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London, Professor Washington Yotto Ochieng, echoed the view that with environmental change and technological development, there is an urgent need for collaboration between civil engineering and medicine, such as the investigation and prevention of health hazards caused by environmental pollution; cross-disciplinary cooperation can bring solutions to related problems in society. Through this collaboration, not only will the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering make tangible progress in cross-disciplinary research, but the collaboration with Taipei Medical University in medicine will also leverage its strengths and enable the industry’s innovation capabilities to exert their synergistic effects.

Mr. Cheu-An Bi, Director of the Education Division, Taipei Representative Office in the U.K. from the Ministry of Education, expressed his expectation for this international cooperation. Taiwan has been actively promoting international industry-academic cooperation in recent years, and the Ministry of Education has continued to promote a number of programs to support international cooperation. In addition to being a global leader in the information and communications industry, Taiwan hopes to promote its medical field to the world as well. TMU alumnus Cheng-Yu Tsai, a doctoral student who participated in this research project, said that he was honored to participate in the academic cooperation between the top universities in Taiwan and the U.K., which is very exciting and he cherishes this opportunity. He also hopes that through this rare international collaboration, he will be able to enrich and improve his own abilities and share his research knowledge acquired in the U.K. with the academic community in Taiwan in the future.

Left: TMU online signing representatives, from left: Prof. Chun-Jen Huang, Associate Dean of the College of Medicine, and Prof. Han-Pin Kuo, Dean of the College of Medicine, Prof. Jiunn-Horng Kang, Dean of the College of Biomedical Engineering, and Associate Dean, Prof. Thierry Burnouf.
Right: Mr. Cheu-An Bi, Director of the Education Division, Taipei Representative Office in the U.K. from the Ministry of Education (left), and Prof. Washington Yotto Ochieng, head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London (right).