How big data and AI are applied in healthcare solutions
How big data and AI are applied in healthcare solutions
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Big data and AI are finding applications in healthcare, and in Taiwan, local governments are partnering with system integrator Twoway Communications to realize the smart health vision.
 
At Secutech Taipei 2019, the company showcased two healthcare solutions tailored for elderly care facilities and individual users, respectively.
 
Twoway offers various IoT solutions; however, 80% of its big data or AI related applications are in the healthcare industry.
 
With the solution made for individual users, a sensor is worn in front of the chest to track various health data including heart rates and the electrical activity of the heart. “After 24 hours, the system will be able to tell you about your health condition,” said Kevin Su, a project manager at Twoway Communications.
 
The sensor worn on the body is connected to a mobile device via Bluetooth. Since the device is connected to the cloud, the collected heath data will be transmitted to the cloud in real-time.
 
Besides the sensor, the health system can also receive data from Xiaomi’s smart wristband.
 
“In the past, all the health measurements have to be collected manually. But with the help of IoT devices, all can be fed into the database automatically,” Su noted. The government is the entity holding the data; as such, it will pull data out of the system for analysis based on what insights it wants to obtain. 
 
The backend system, which conducts the data analysis, will take users’ age into account. This is important because the average heath measurement will be different for different age groups.
 
Big data and AI application in the healthcare industry is still in the very early stage. A massive amount of data is required in order the backend system to generate intelligent decisions. “Once the data sets grow to 10,000 to 100,000 pieces, the system will be able to identify diseases such as high blood pressure and hyperlipidemia,” Su noted.

Predicting dementia

The data relating to electrical activity of the heart collected by Twoway’s sensor is useful for physicians who want to monitor patient conditions after a surgery. With the data collected over time, the system can identify abnormalities in heart activities and pass them to the doctor. The system is now smart enough that it can even distinguish the abnormalities occurred during an exercise and health abnormalities, Twoway says.
 
Another AI case in point is that with all the data Twoway collects from numerous users, the system can predict when dementia is likely to kick in. The algorithm in the backend has carried out sufficient data analysis and the detection accuracy is in the range of 90%, the company says.
 
The government has seen the value of applying IoT in healthcare facilities. Twoway won contracts with Tainan City Government and Kaohsiung City Government. It is a business model that works because the company gets to install their solutions across a large number of care facilities in both cities.
 
Usually it is the government that plays the leadership role in guiding local long-term elderly care centers. By working with the government, Twoway can install its health solutions in many more facilities.

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