MOHW, Acer launch AI-powered flu forecasting website

From Taiwan Today 2018-04-13
MOHW Minister Chen Shih-chung (center right) and Stan Shih (center left), Acer Inc. founder and honorary chairman, are joined by other government officials and executives in giving the thumbs-up at the launch of the flu forecasting website April 11 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of MOHW)

MOHW Minister Chen Shih-chung (center right) and Stan Shih (center left), Acer Inc. founder and honorary chairman, are joined by other government officials and executives in giving the thumbs-up at the launch of the flu forecasting website April 11 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of MOHW)

An artificial intelligence-based forecasting website for influenza was jointly launched by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and Taiwan technology company Acer Inc. April 11 in Taipei City as part of government efforts to safeguard public well-being.

The site displays predicted flu infection trends and the likely number of patients to visit clinics or seek emergency treatment over the following four weeks. These estimates are based on a big data model created by the ministry’s Centers for Disease Control and powered by Acer’s AI technology.
 
According to MOHW Minister Chen Shih-chung, the platform will help policymakers and medical institutions better allocate resources and map appropriate response measures to outbreaks. It will also boost public awareness of when to take precautionary steps against the flu, he said.

Information for the model comes from the National Health Insurance program and the parainfluenza monitoring system maintained by the CDC. Demographic and weather statistics gathered from various government open data platforms are also factored into the analysis.

Dr. Chen Shih-Chung
Minister of Health and Welfare
Republic of China (Taiwan)

Chen said the site reflects Taiwan’s leading-edge capabilities in medical big data. He commended Acer for its support, adding that the initiative represents a great example of public-private sector collaboration in advancing public health.
 
In response, Stan Shih, Acer founder and honorary chairman, said that big data is an invaluable asset for promoting social development in the smart city age, while insights generated through related analysis showcase a nation’s innovative prowess.

It is hoped that the initiative will help foster service-oriented digital government initiatives, promote cross-disciplinary R&D and spur development of big data applications, Shih said. (SFC-E)