By Joanne Shih
The 2018 Med x Tech Summit Asia (MEDTEX) opened on November 30 in Taipei, Taiwan. At the CEO Forum, leaders from pharmaceutical and IT companies, including Merck, Teva, Hitachi, NVIDIA, and Qisda talked about the future of healthcare industry and intersectional possibilities.
Progress and Challenge in Healthcare Transformation
Many of them emphasized collaboration and partnership are the key to build a thriving future. While collaboration is pivotal to healthcare transformation, interdisciplinary communication is even more important. Murakami Sei from Hitachi believed that applying artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) on traditional medicine will be the trend in the near future. However, the challenge is how to effectively communicate with professionals from diverse fields. Sei said, “Each field has its own “language”. You need to speak differently with IT professionals than with clinicians.”
How to Stay Innovative?
The moderator, Chairman of IBMI, Simon Chang tossed a question to the guests asking “How do you push yourself to stay innovative?” Sei first answered, “In Hitachi, we focus on advancing technology while striving to translate technology into practical tools. If you cannot bring technology into market, technology is pointless.” Birgit Reitmaier, Head of Access to Innovation APAC at Merck, said, “Diversity is the key to constantly stay innovative. Internally we keep an open eye, but externally keep scouting to outer world.” Larry Merizalda from Teva, an Israel-based company, had a different voice noting the importance of finding strength from within. Merizalda said, “We feed ourselves with the innovation coming from our own country, and leverage internal innovation to international level. Eunice Chiu, Vice President at NVIDA Taiwan, believed that innovation comes from integrating new technology into current system and healthcare startups have potential to make significant impact. She also encouraged researchers to connect with international talents and learn from one another. Harry Yang from Qisda suggested that organizations in Taiwan should work together in order to operate in an international scale and to achieve further goal.
Criteria for Ideal Partners
Sei representing Hitachi said that they are looking for partners with broad range of knowledge and collaborative mindset. Reitmaier at Merck expressed that they are open to partner with people from anywhere on the world while actively looking exploring partnership in Asia. Merizalda from Teva noted that Teva is a multinational company and has comprehensive system and complex administration. Thus, Merizalda encouraged business to be patient when working with company as such. Eunice Chiu from NVIDA, standing for AI computing company said that a compatible partner need to be equipped with three character: 1) being acceptive to technology; 2) having sufficient data; and 3) being willing to share data and to collaborate.
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