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Taiwan is home to the best healthcare system in the world. This is illustrated in the latest "World Health Index", which is commissioned annually by the international CEOWORLD magazine. It is not surprising that Taiwan has also consistently stood out as positive examples in dealing with Covid-19. Over the past few months, Taiwan has repeatedly made headlines for its low-case numbers and extremely efficient and transparent crisis management.
Taiwan, the Technology Leader
The reasons for this success are manifold: the existence of a crisis management team which has been preparing for such a pandemic for years, rapid and clearly communicated political decisions, and finally the use of digital and innovative technologies. Many are perhaps unaware that Taiwan is one of the world's leading suppliers in the field of medical technology. To this end, the country also relies on its strength in the information technology and semiconductor industries, for example, to deploy intelligent robotics in the fight against Covid-19.
To promote innovation, the Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs annually hosts the Taiwan Excellence Award, which helps Taiwanese companies develop and produce more internationally known products. A selection of award-winning products will also be on display at this year's Virtual Medica. We've already taken a closer look at some highlights.
Corona Test in but a Few Minutes (➡️ iXensor Co., LTD.)
One of the most urgent areas of medical research at present is undoubtedly the corona pandemic. From vaccines to effective treatment methods and testing procedures, the medical world is intensely working on solutions to the threatening virus. Taiwanese company iXensor is also making a contribution here. Already in February, it set up the COMBAT project team, which was tasked with researching digital solutions to the global pandemic.
The starting point is the company's own PixoTest technology. Up until now, this has mainly been used to evaluate blood tests using a smartphone camera and to forward the results directly to the attending physician. PixoTest delivers reliable results in less than three minutes. The technique will now also be used for early detection of Covid-19 infections. And the company is optimistic: It expects to get marketing authorization by the end of the year, said Denny Liu, vice president of sales, at a press conference in September.
Augmented Reality for Dentistry (➡️ Eped Inc.)
Practice makes perfect - this also applies to doctors. But when it comes to their own health, hardly anyone likes to be the one to practice on. Virtual and augmented reality applications are therefore playing an increasingly important role in medical training in order to prepare future doctors for their tasks in the most realistic environment possible. One of the most advanced examples in dentistry is SimEx, an adaptable AR simulator from Eped.
It enables educational institutions around the world to create learning environments that are individually adapted to their needs. They can choose between different typodonts and dental procedures. Real-time 3D visualization enables more effective and objective learning experiences, and direct feedback also allows students to work more independently. SimEx is therefore also suitable for exam situations. The system is available in the fields of operative dentistry, prosthetics, endodontics, and pediatric dentistry.
Clear View for Surgeons (➡️ Taiwan Main Orthopaedic Biotechnology Co., Ltd)
Taiwan Main Orthopaedic also relies on mixed reality and 3D models with its Caduceus surgical glasses. They create a 3D model of the patient's anatomy and vascular and nervous system for the surgeon. "You can think of these glasses as X-ray glasses," said Dr. Min-Liang Wang, inventor and CEO of Taiwan Main Orthopedics..
In addition, smart glasses show the exact location of the needle at all times - surgeons don't have to look away from patients to check monitors or equipment. Caduceus is designed to reduce the duration of complex procedures by up to 70 percent and to shorten the recovery time by making smaller and more precise incisions.
Through the Eyes of a Surgeon (➡️ Faspro Systems Co., Ltd.)
Faspro is taking a slightly different direction with its Fasmedo FM-100 camera solution, a wireless camera mounted on the surgeon's head and recording the entire procedure from their perspective. The highest resolution, strong autofocus and great depth of field guarantee outstanding video quality.
Possible applications of this technique are manifold. On the one hand, recordings can be used for live broadcasts with the help of an app, thus enabling collaborative interventions in remote settings, for example. On the other hand, they are ideal for training or for demonstration purposes, for example at conferences.
The Promise of Biotech
The products presented here vividly illustrate how the Taiwanese medical technology industry skillfully uses its traditional strength in information and communication technology to develop innovative solutions for the medical sector. In the future, Taiwan intends to continue to invest more heavily in the biotechnology sector, which includes not only medical technology but also biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. According to government plans, at least 20 new drugs, 80 biomedical materials and a large number of high-quality medical devices are to be developed by 2025 - so the Taiwanese medtech sector will continue to generate excitement.
Interested parties can get an overview of medical technology innovations from Taiwan at the world's largest medical technology trade fair, Medica.