IBMI White Paper released: Taiwan united for shaping the landscape of post-COVID-19 healthcare

Released on 14 April by IBMI leaderships including Chi-Huey Wong the president, three VPs- Pan-Chyr Yang, Chang-Hai Tsai and Barry Lam, the white paper titled ‘COVID-19: In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity’ presents a collective voice of industries in healthcare, ICT and biotechnology with the focus on digital transformation in healthcare. 

More than 70 industry experts and leaders came together through a series of five talks, broached strategic approaches feasible and adaptable to the industry as a whole. They were joined by high-level government officials representing the National Development Council, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Board of Science and Technology under the Executive Yuan. 

Those talks, where the white paper sourced from, explored the following facets: ‘emerging technologies development’, ‘supply chain and national security’, ‘Taiwan experience promotion’ as well as ‘Biomedical new markets and opportunities’. The four facets printed in the white paper were further divided into ten topics in depth and breadth, providing policy guidance, industry development strategies and deliverables for Taiwan’s healthcare industry. Presented by IBMI leaderships, the white paper had been circulated since September amongst the Legislative Yuan, Board of Science and Technology under the Executive Yuan and the Office of President Taiwan, and presented to the public sector in formal meetings.

Meeting minutes

7 September: IBMI president Wong met with President Yu at Legislative Yuan

Wong urged that COVID-19 detection technologies can be vetted and implemented in a timely manner to allow for real-world evidence to be provided and subsequently be promoted to the world. Yu indicated that the white paper and the government policy are on the same page, particularly on industry development they articulated. The policy previously aimed at semiconductors and display panels and now at digital contents and biotechnology.

▲Photo of IBMI delegates with president Yu

Second from the right: (Legislative Yuan) Tzu-yung Hung (counselor), Chih-chia Lin (secretary-general), Si-kun Yu (president), (IBMI) Chi-huey Wong (president), Allen Wu (CEO), Po-ren Hsueh (president, Taiwan Society of Clinical Pathologists), Joey Chen (chairman, MasterLink Securities), Naricci Chang (deputy CEO)

10 September: IBMI delegation met with Vice President Lai to exchange views on the white paper

The white paper has been an ‘advanced deployment’- it finds new directions for ICT and healthcare, Lai commented. The meeting also triggered discussions over developing AI in healthcare (applications in and access to de-identified patient data) and tackling rising health expenses borne by the national health insurance. 

▲Photo of IBMI board of directors and supervisors with VP Lai

14 September: IBMI leaderships met with the Board of Science and Technology under the Executive Yuan 

The objective of developing precision health, as the white paper outlined, is in line with the board’s recent agenda, said Tsung-tsong Wu, Deputy Convener BOST and Minister of Science and Technology. Wu replied with the government’s ongoing support to boosting biomedical industry development and commitment to pushing ahead policies and regulations as appropriate.

15 September: IBMI leaderships met with President Tsai

Tsai appreciated the white paper and messages it conveys. Having had digital transformation and medical technology as pillars of the government’s Six Core Strategic Industries policy, moving next would be to rely on cross-sectoral, industry-wide dialogues and resources along the journey to developing Taiwan a land for emerging economies. 

Key remarks

Globalisation, supply chain disruption, life changing and new national security issues as a result of COVID-19, suggest that the level of country competitiveness depends on regulatory environment, talent development and capital investment. -Chi-huey Wong, President IBMI 

Smart technologies driven by 5G and AI will rocket at five times of speed and that as well comes with services and convenience far beyond our imagination. Taiwan must hold tight onto those opportunities and revolutionise three areas from top-down and bottom-up, literally in technology, payers and suppliers in our healthcare system. -Barry Lam, Vice President IBMI 

Establishing an open data platform of health records and field-testing sites are amongst others mentioned in the white paper of top priority. Taiwan will not have this opportunity for brand building and provision of turnkey solutions unless complemented by its strength in technologies, such as AI and display panels, and by agile testing sandboxes and regulations. -Pan-chyr Yang, Vice President IBMI 

The aims for Taiwan are clear: TFDA to facilitate the approval process of drugs as soon as FDA does, open for commercial use of de-identified patient data and amendments to biologics management. -Chang-Hai Tsai, Vice President IBMI

The Ministry of Health and Welfare will assist healthcare and technology sectors in R&D and innovation with policy guidance. Amendments to the Rules of Medical Diagnosis and Treatment by Telecommunications as well as medical records management have been high on the ministry’s agenda in favour of telemedicine and smart hospitals. -Chung-Liang Shih, Deputy Minister Health and Welfare

▲Photo of IBMI leaderships with President Tsai and government representatives

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