Taipei Medical University Hospital announces Contact-Free Connected Healthcare Platform

Source: Taipei Medical University Hospital

Published on 2020-11-20

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, medical institutions are rising to the challenge.

Taipei Medical University Hospital (TMUH) has joined hands with the Industrial Technology Research Institute’s (ITRI) Service Systems Technology Center, Radica Health, Tranwo Technology Corp., Microsoft Taiwan, Acer, and other industry and academic organizations to announce the groundbreaking Contact-Free Connected Health Care Platform.

Using the Platform, medical care professionals can automatically collect a patient’s heart rate, respiration rate, and temperature, all without needing to enter the patient’s room. Patients’ vital signs, imaging and test results are collected and analyzed automatically, and alerts are issued right away if anything is abnormal. Professionals and patients can interact via video conferencing, which allows for zero gaps in care quality, while also minimizing caregiver physical contact and lowering the risk of infection. This way, technology is helping to protect the medical professionals who are on the front line against the virus.

The Contact-Free Connected Health Care Platform team

TMU Vice President Professor Cheng-Yu Chen (陳震宇) stated that Taiwan has accumulated extensive strengths in medical software and hardware technology, and is putting these strengths to work in the global fight against the virus. The Contact-Free Connected Health Care Platform, which the TMU team has co-developed with experts from a variety of fields, is a superb demonstration of the importance of practical exchanges between the academic, clinical, and industrial spheres. VP Chen expressed hope that in the future, continued investment of resources will help create even more innovative disease prevention products and services.

TMUH Superintendent Ray-Jade Chen (陳瑞杰) noted that this critical phase in the fight against the virus is testing medical care professionals’ emergency response abilities, and is also a turning point for traditional medical care. Technology allows overcoming the limits of time and space. Automatic data collection, continuous monitoring, and early disease alerts help reduce workloads on medical care professionals, while also strongly enhancing utilization of medical care resources.

 Did you know?

Medical care professionals contact patients an average of 12–15 times per day in patient rooms. Tasks performed in patient rooms include checking vitals, giving medication, and recording charts. Professionals also have to be available to respond to patient calls and emergencies on a constant basis.

In order to reduce infection risks for medical personnel going into patient rooms, the development team conducted onsite inspections of TMUH quarantine rooms and processes. First, they launched the thermal imaging system and IR camera technology, including built-in AI algorithms, to keep tabs on patients’ automatically-collected heart rates, respiration rates, temperature, and other data. By scanning a QR code and downloading the hospital app to their mobile devices, patients can also keep track of their own vital signs, medical records, and electronic health information.

The electronic nursing board includes a Patient Trend Chart, which automatically collects and interprets patients’ vital signs, test results, and imaging. As soon as anything abnormal pops up, an alert is sent. The medical care team can use Remote Video Medical History Sharing to allow interdepartmental, multi-party video conferencing and discuss ongoing care plans. This eliminates barriers of space and time, and helps guarantee quality of care. In addition, through the real-time system that integrates remote video and emergency calls, patients can activate video chats to communicate with caregivers. If a change in medical status is detected or there is an emergency, the nursing station can also remotely activate the video system to provide care.

Superintendent Ray-Jade Chen (right) and ITRI Executive Vice President Pei-Zen Chang (張培仁) (left) explain the Contact-Free Connected Health Care Platform

ITRI Executive Vice President Pei-Zen Chang noted that Taiwan’s virus prevention effectiveness has won worldwide admiration. The National Mask Task Force has accomplished so much that they’ve even been able to render aid to other countries. In addition, the contact free imaging heartbeat sensing solution demonstrated by the ITRI combines with TMU’s remote disease prevention platform to not only lower medical professionals’ risks of infection, but also enhance medical care efficiency, and reach the goal of “Physically Contact-free.”

Microsoft Taiwan enterprise Public lead President Patrick Pan (潘先國) stated that in these extremely challenging times, Microsoft is doing everything it can to help all sectors of society use technology to enhance their deployment efficiency. For this project, Microsoft provided the enterprise-class Microsoft Teams productivity & communications platform to help TMUH and the ITRI implement remote medical module development. Microsoft hopes to join with even more enterprises in the future to collaboratively invest in technological development, and expand smart utilization of and added value for big data.

Although the pandemic continues to develop, and the virus may potentially make a comeback, Taiwan has accumulated extensive strengths in medical software and hardware technology. The combined practical efforts of both clinical and industrial spheres can help apply digital medical technology to medical disease prevention efforts.