Taiwan’s healthcare industry with prospects

Pan-Chyr Yang, Vice President of IBMI, addressed in the Healthcare+ Expo opening ceremony that precision health is the key to industry development following Taiwan’s excellence in precision medicine. A huge database of medical records generated and collected since 1995, coupled with Taiwan’s ICT strength, there seems to be no reason for Taiwan not to steer its way to precision health.

Taiwan has everything that is needed to multiply the factors venturing into precision health- world-class medicine, quality R&D, vigorous sectors in manufacturing as well as ICT, Yang explained. A couple of mentions echoes what Yang mentioned in his speech, too. Taiwan was top-ranked nation amongst 89 surveyed in terms of healthcare systems (CEOWORLD magazine Health Care Index 2019), the third in the biopharmaceutical industry amongst emerging economies, sitting next just to Singapore and Israel (Biopharmaceutical Competitiveness & Investment (BCI) Survey 2017), and the 12th most competitive economy in the world out of 141 worldwide (WEF's Global Competitiveness Report for 2019).

Health status going from optimal, suboptimal to illness can be a long journey in which precision health/preventive medicine cares for optimal and suboptimal cohorts, whereas precision medicine looks after those with disease diagnosed. The illness population, which is the market for precision medicine, can be regarded as the tip of an iceberg, Yang added, the part underneath sea level is where Taiwan should aim for, namely the population in suboptimal health status. 

Looking at a projection of the global precision healthcare market 2012-2015, it is much clear that over a half of trillion dollars go to personalised nutrition and wellness. Having had experience in health promotion and diagnostics, Taiwan’s ICT is full-fledged and prepared for getting a foothold in the precision health market.


ICT giants generate TWD12.6trn in annual revenue, of which 2.85trn allocated in R&D. There will be R&D investment worth TWD126bn driven by the ICT sector should one per cent of its revenue be dedicated to healthcare. Yang concluded in his remarks with the imperatives in the following.

  • Identify and fulfil unmet needs in healthcare with Taiwan’s strength in medicine and technology 
  • Allow the regulatory environment with adaptability and flexibility
  • Accelerate innovation in healthcare, cross-industry cooperation and talent development
  • Have product pipelines in place and develop international benchmarks
  • Have open, transparent policies on the use of clinical data
(Download the full presentation here)

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