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NHIA and Quanta Computer sign MOU to cooperate in the development of AI applications in National Health Insurance. 

Technology is undergoing development and breakthroughs every year, and artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a global trend. Accordingly, 25 years of claim data of the National Health Insurance (NHI) provide a solid foundation for the application of big data and AI in healthcare. Po-Chang, Lee, Director General of the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Barry Lam, Chairman of Quanta Computer, on March 24, 2020 to expand Taiwan's medical AI developmental capabilities. Quanta Computer will donate an integrated platform system, QOCA® AIM, to the NHIA and build a customized environment for value-added applications of NHI data to accelerate the application and development of AI and elevate the value of NHI data. 

Director General Lee stated that since the introduction of the National Health Insurance in 1995, 850 million structured medical records have been accumulated annually, building the one and only large-scale nationwide database of medical images in the world. The NHIA joined the “Asia Silicon Valley Test Beds Project”, launched by the National Development Council (NDC), in 2018 to build an environment to develop AI technology for the NHI. There are 1.6 billion medical records have completed the de-identification process. The pilot project for using AI on NHI medical records was opened for application in June 2019. Research teams could build AI models through the use of de-identified CT or MRI images. 

According to the NHIA, 17 research teams applied for the pilot project during the first six months (as of December 31, 2019), including 10 teams from the medical sector and 7 from academia. Among the applicants, 11 were industry-academia cooperation projects. Through the project, research teams can use the AI model built by the NHI's big data to establish a reference model for disease patterns, verify and calibrate medical images, interpret lesion images, and develop a predictive model for post-surgical risks. The AI model will be applied to clinical practice and become a powerful tool to facilitate precision and smart medicine. 

Quanta Computer strives to develop systematic solutions. As noted by Chairman Lam, Quanta Computer upholds corporate responsibility and would like to make some contributions to the health of Taiwanese by dedicating to facilitating the AI development for the NHI on a long-term basis. According to the MOU signed by the two parties, Quanta Computer will customize the QOCA® AIM for the NHIA. The platform system integrates software technologies developed by the Quanta Research Institute, as well as hardware, such as high-performance AI servers and big data storage equipment with high extendibility. Researchers can run data engineering, data analysis, and machine learning with a visualized, user-friendly interface on the platform. The NHIA and Quanta are working together to develop Taiwan's smart healthcare technology and introduce AI technology to manage the NHI's big data through highly-efficient strategies based on Taiwan's high-quality medical system and the NHI's large, well-established database. 

The NHIA stated that it would develop a themed medical database by collecting information on specific diseases (such as lung cancer or breast cancer), including their prospective and retrospective data. The purpose is to build a high-quality database for the industry, academia, and medical sectors and enhance the database through experts' user experience and feedback. Moreover, the database can provide national health and medical statistics for reference, so that relevant parties can build a tailor-made AI model for Taiwanese citizens that would suit their needs for disease interpretation and health prediction. The sheer scale of the NHI medical database means it has huge value. The collaboration with Quanta Computer represents a form of synergy between the public and private sectors, and starts a new chapter in AI applications and the management of their results. This collaboration aims to benefit all Taiwanese citizens and enhance national health and welfare by maximizing the value of data. 

  • Date:2020-03-24