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NHI Utilizes Digital Technologies and Works with Medical Care Institutions towards Smart Health Care to Protect the Health of the Public.

  On the 3rd of this month, the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) held the NHI MediCloud System Benchmarking Seminar and invited Jui-Yuan Hsueh, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, to deliver an opening remark and Min-Huei Hsu, Dean of Office of Data Science of the Taipei Medical University to make a keynote speech on the opportunities and challenges of NHI. Three benchmark hospitals were also invited to share on practical applications of medical digital technologies. The Far Eastern Memorial Hospital shared on its practical experience of virtual NHI card in remote medical care, which is offered in 27 of its departments with a total of 250 outpatient clinics per week. The Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital adopts hierarchical medical care system to vertically integrate its democratically managed teams, combined with the data on the NHI MediCloud system, to achieve a holistic transition service system from hospital care to primary care in local communities. In 2020, the number of patients transferred to primary care clinics was three times that in 2018. Taipei Veterans General Hospital used magnetic resonance imaging data sets from within the hospital and the NHI to develop an artificial intelligence-assisted detection system for brain metastases (DeepMets®-Plus), which has been applied to adjuvant therapy projects and the evaluation of their effects. As of November 2021, the system has been used 4,000 times.

  NHI MediCloud System collects data of patients' medical records across hospitals to allow doctors to determine whether patients have received duplicate medications or examinations. Every day, around 1.5 million inquiries are made by medical personnel, covering 88% of patients' hospital visits or medicine collections. In 2020, an alert system for tracking travel history, occupation, contact history, and cluster history (TOCC) were established for the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, the system has been used 1.26 billion times. Starting from April 2021, in order to achieve the national goal of obliterating hepatitis C by 2025, the "Hepatitis B/C Section" were added to integrate the screening data of the Health Promotion Administration, thereby providing patients with the records of the latest hepatitis B/C medications and examinations (tests) in the hope of detecting and treating hepatitis C cases in their early stages. In October, five high-risk drugs were included in the notification system for cross-hospital duplicate medication of same drug class and same dosage form. When a doctor writes a prescription, the system will comparison it with patient's remaining medicine to offering immediate feedback on the patient's duplicate medication.

  Due to the fact that the treatment of kidney diseases has had the largest share in NHI expenditures for years, it is necessary to delay hemodialysis for patients. For this reason, the NHI MediCloud System reminds doctors to avoid prescribing nephrotoxic drugs for patients with moderate to severe chronic kidney diseases and notifies the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) within the last 28-days. In 2022, an application programming interface (API) for the notification of NSAIDs for high-risk kidney patients will be established. For patients in stage 3 to stage 5 of chronic kidney disease and those receiving hemodialysis, their doctors' prescriptions of NSAIDs that exceed a certain number of days will be notified. It is estimated that about 220,000 patients will be thus benefited each year.

  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHI has actively engaged in the trail operation of the virtual NHI card to tackle issues of home and rural-community medical care. The "NHI App | Health Passbook" can be downloaded via mobile phone. After the user's identity is verified, the app can be used by the patient' family or carers on behalf of the patient. As of November 30, 2021, a total of 42,478 individuals have applied for this service. It is hoped that people no longer need the NHI card but may simply use their mobile phones to visit doctors and collect medicines at pharmacies in the future.

  NHIA Director General Po-Chang Lee expressed gratitude to all medical care personnel for their collaborative effort in protecting the safety and health of Taiwanese people seeking medical care. With digital technology and big data management, it is estimated that the expenses of duplicate medications from 2014 to 2020 will be reduced by approximately NT$9.35 billion. It is also estimated that the expenses of duplicate examinations will be reduced by approximately 1 billion medical points from 2018 to 2020. The saved medical resources will be used for introducing new medicines and technologies to benefit all members of the public.

  • Date:2021-12-03