VP Lai vows to advance Taiwan’s AI technology, public health

From Taiwan Today 2020-08-24
Vice President Lai Ching-te (center) gives the thumbs-up alongside academics, business representatives and officials during the opening ceremony of a forum discussing the use of smart applications in epidemic prevention and control Aug. 21 in southern Taiwan’s Tainan City. (Courtesy of Presidential Office)

Vice President Lai Ching-te (center) gives the thumbs-up alongside academics, business representatives and officials during the opening ceremony of a forum discussing the use of smart applications in epidemic prevention and control Aug. 21 in southern Taiwan’s Tainan City. (Courtesy of Presidential Office)

Vice President Lai Ching-te said Aug. 21 that the government is committed to advancing Taiwan’s artificial intelligence technology and public health as part of efforts to enhance the country’s disease prevention capabilities.

Comprehensive medical care and social welfare systems, efficient government and police administration and solid public-private partnerships have played a crucial role in Taiwan’s successful management of COVID-19, Lai said.

The country’s achievement was lauded by Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, during his Aug. 9-12 visit to Taiwan, Lai added, citing Azar’s comments that Taiwan’s technological expertise, public health prowess and open democratic society were key to limiting spread of the disease.

Lai made the remarks during the opening ceremony of a forum discussing the use of smart applications in epidemic prevention and control held in southern Taiwan’s Tainan City.

According to the vice president, AI has been instrumental in the Central Epidemic Command Center’s coronavirus management, including border control, contact tracing and surgical mask rationing measures. The government will continue incorporating such technology into biomedical R&D of testing kits, treatments and vaccines, he added.

The daylong event was co-organized by Artificial Intelligence Biomedical Research Center under the Ministry of Science and Technology, MOST-sponsored All Vista Healthcare Sub-center, Tainan-based National Cheng Kung University and its affiliated hospital, as well as Kaohsiung City-headquartered Artificial Intelligence Industry and Academia Alliance. It featured 10 keynote speeches and a panel discussion by academics, officials and business representatives from around the country. (YCH-E)