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[2019/10/16] NYMU Establishes a Digital Medicine Center that Provides Long Distance Intensive Care Unit Aid

Left: Digital Medicine Center Director Kuo, CEO Yang, and Vice-Director Wu 


National Yang-Ming University has established a Digital Medicine Center (DMC) that will collaborate with NYMU Hospital and the Yilan County strategic alliance to help resolve the issue of medical treatment deficiencies in remote Nan Ao village. If this system proves to be successful, then it can be applied to all remote villages, which will help to improve the medicine rights of inhabitants of such distant villages. 


Taiwan currently has 65 remote towns and villages. These villages are located in mountainous regions, which makes medicine resources scarce. Using Yilan County's Nan Ao village as an example, clinics are the only medical facilities in the entire county. Even though NYMU Hospital and Saint Mary’s Hospital Luodong have established rehabilitation centers around the village, it is still necessary for patients, in order to receive appropriate complete medical treatment, to travel to their nearest medical center, which is located 2 hours away. Even the nearest regional hospital still requires an hour of travel. 


NYMU Digital Medical Center Director Kuo paid a personal visit to NYMU Hospital President Yang in order to discuss the collaboration between NYMU Hospital and the DMC. In June Director Kuo accompanied Director Xu of the Yilan County Government Health Bureau to Nan Ao village in order to explore the medicine resources available to the village in person. This is related to the establishment this year by National Yang-Ming University of the Digital Medical Center. Using new developments and the clinical abilities available at NYMU and NYMU Hospital, the aim is to aid Nan Ao village by establishing a long distance intensive care unit. The first step towards this plan involves integrating a system that allows long-range electrocardiograms to be captured. With the assistance of professional medical staff, the electrocardiograms can be recorded anywhere and anytime. After capture, the live data is sent to a nearby medical facility, which allows doctors to analyze and diagnose a patient via the web from afar and in real time. In fact, NYMU School of Nursing has already implemented a “Heart of the Village” program in Nan Ao village. The Digital Medical Center is able to combine with this program and offer training in and assistance with the long-distance electrocardiogram tool via the medical staff at such remote villages. It is hoped that this will help solve the problem of lack of medical resources in remote villages and towns. 


National Yang-Ming University announces the establishment of the Digital Medical Center in August. 


This system has already completed its testing at the NYMU Digital Medical Center. Director Kuo of the Digital Medical Center remarked that, “Medical resources should not be difficult to access and unevenly distributed. NYMU has found a way to solve the lack of availability of medical treatment in remote areas. The Government financially supports students in these remote villages and towns and they are still the foundation behind Taiwan's medical resources in these areas. Taiwan is an aging society, and this means that medical scarcity in remote villages can only worsen. Only through the Medical WWW and medical autonomy will there be a solution to our current limitations. Not only will this system change the medical care model of remote villages, but it will also help to solve the five gaps in Taiwan’s long term medical care system. These are the issues of long appointment times, long waiting times, long queue times when collecting medicines, limited time for the clinical treatment of patients, and limited time for talking to doctors.” 


The Digital Medical Center has set one of its goals to be cooperation and liaison between academia and industry, which will help the development of new smart medical devices. 


The Digital Medical Center is currently focused on the development of long-distance electrocardiogram capture/analysis and a system for long-distance sleep apnea detection, both of which will help to accelerate the process of establishing remote intensive care units. Director Kuo remarked that, “In the near future we hope to finish the task of equalizing medical resources throughout Taiwan. Using artificial intelligence and other engineering techniques, we can improve medical accessibility, solve the issue of remote medical care and thereby reduce overcrowding in emergency rooms.” 


The Digital Medical Center will have Director Wu of Taipei Veterans General Hospital Translational Medicine Research Institute appointed as its Vice-Director. Dr Yang of the Institute of Brain Science, who has used mathematical equations to solve the relationship between causation and result, has been appointed as CEO of the Digital Medical Center. In addition to the development of the long-distance intensive care unit, as a result of last year’s cooperation with Acer to develop a self-driving car, this year they will cooperate with WiAdvance and the Health Essence of Asia Group to develop smart medical furniture. This will contribute to Taiwan’s development of a smart medical industry. Vice-Director Wu remarked that, “Long-distance medicine is the future, and NYMU Digital Medical Center will play an important role in the future of long-distance medical care.” In addition, the Center will focus on combining the best in clinical care and neural medicine with high-end digital technology in order to craft new precision medicine diagnosis systems and create better therapeutic interventions to treat psychological diseases.