On September 28 2021, the ‘AI in Health: Startup Innovation from Taiwan & the Netherlands’ webinar was successfully held by Tiger Accelerator, Taiwan Globalization Network (TGN), StartupUtrecht, and the Taiwan Business Association in the Netherlands, with great support from Taiwan’s Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA-SMEA) and the Taipei Representative Office in the Netherlands. The webinar brought together AI-in-Health industry experts and startup founders from both geographies, and served as a knowledge sharing platform for innovators in both ecosystems to engage with each other and form new connections.
The event opened with the welcoming remarks from Mrs. Hsin-Hsn Chen, Representative of Taiwan in the Netherlands, and Mr. Klaas Verschuure, Vice-Mayor of the City of Utrecht. In reference to Taiwan & the Netherland’s respective innovative strengths in the semiconductor and the health & life sciences industries, Representative Chen pointed out that “Taiwan and the Netherlands are indeed natural partners in exploring the application of AI in healthcare”. Vice-Mayor Verschuure mentioned the Utrecht Region and the Netherlands’ particular focus in developing and implementing new AI and health technologies, and directed attention to the high potential for innovators from both Taiwan & the Netherlands to collaborate to provide new solutions for the world.
Moderated by Heerd Jan Hoogeveen, Managing Director of StartupUtrecht, the first part of the webinar featured an open interview with two AI in Health ecosystem experts from both Taiwan and the Netherlands: Prof. Dr. Hsin-Chien (David) Lee of Taipei Medical University, and Dr. Annemarie van ‘t Veen of Utrecht Academic Hospital.
Then, four outstanding AI-in-Health startups from both geographies presented their remarkable contributions to the field. The companies were Soteria Biotech and Innocare from Taiwan, and Moveshelf and Nicolab from The Netherlands,
Finally, the experts and startup founders gathered together in a panel discussion, and exchanged their experiences and insights in the sector, as well as answered questions from the audience.
For more details on the AI-in-Health webinar agenda, please refer to the archived Event Page.
Ecosystem Experts Interviews
During the experts interview segment, the two experts first gave a broad and instructive overview of their current activities and their expectations for the future. Professor Lee is the Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine in Taipei Medical University, a school that has devoted considerably to artificial intelligence research and applications in recent years. Dr. Van ‘t Veen is the Lead of the Applied Datascience Team at University Medical Centre Utrecht, a part of the Digital Health Department which was founded in early 2020. Interestingly, the experts shared that they are both currently active in applying AI in imaging, and see shared decision making and predictive algorithms related to lifestyle interventions as the next step.
In identifying the major thresholds in further application of AI in the health field, Dr. Lee stated the key issue lies in how much trust can be placed in AI’s reliability, and Dr. van ‘t Veen highlighted the challenges in proving that the use of AI really brings an improvement. Both see that a lot needs to happen on the side of data quality, of validation standards and building trust within organisations.
AI in Health Startups from Taiwan & the Netherlands
The startup companies presenting their AI-powered technologies & solutions at the webinar were:
Soteria Biotech (TW), presented by Dr. Honda Hsiao, CEO.
Soteria Biotech Co., Ltd. is a Taiwan-based company that develops innovative medical software. It develops patents and sells products for respiratory diseases. Our first product “Soteria One Point Zero” is a medical cloud software designed to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS).
InnoCare (TW), presented by Tim Yang, Managing director of Innocare Optoelectronics Europe.
InnoCare is a leader in the development and manufacturing of panels used in Medical, veterinary, security and industrial X-ray imaging applications. Innocare Optoelectronics Corp., headquartered in Tainan, Taiwan, is a subsidiary of Innolux. It was founded in 2019 with production facilities both in Taiwan & China. We offer a complete line of high-quality a-Si and IGZO TFTs in a variety of sizes and also customized products depending on the customer requirement. Today, we employ nearly 300+ employees who serve the customer base at a global level.
Moveshelf (NL), presented by Ignazio Aleo, Co-founder and CEO.
With Moveshelf, you can easily and securely share movement data and interactive multimedia reports, through a simple link or deep integration with your clinical IT systems. And you’ll benefit from computer vision & machine learning tech as we’re building the future of clinical movement analysis.
Nicolab (NL), presented by Dr. Henk Marquering, co-founder of Nicolab and Assistant-professor at Amsterdam Medical Center.
1 in 6 people will suffer from stroke in their lifetime. 6 million of the estimated 15 million victims worldwide will die every year. Another 6 million will be permanently disabled for the remainder of their life. To minimize the immense burden of this devastating disease, physicians are faced with the challenging task to quickly evaluate brain images to initiate treatment as soon as possible. Nico.lab’s groundbreaking technology enables fast and accurate image analysis that helps physicians in making well-informed decisions. Nico.lab developed StrokeViewer® to support the complex process of clinical decision-making in a world where every minute counts.
Panel Discussion, Audience Q&A
During the Panel Discussion segment, experts & startup innovators discussed and responded to major topics within the AI in Health sector. They noted that building cooperations with hospitals is frequently difficult and at least time consuming, because of reluctance within the organisations (notably from ICT departments). At the same time, they value these co-operations, and it was noted that even on an international scale cooperation between technology centers and hospital centers would be valuable. This concurred with the remarks that were made earlier in the interview with Prof. Lee and Dr. Van ‘t Veen, that hospitals need collaborations with private organisations to learn and to boost innovation.
Later in the year, TGN & partners will continue to organize more events to connect the startup ecosystems in Taiwan & Europe. Firstly, on November 9th, the WeScale Challenge 2021 event will take place, where Taiwanese and Dutch startups aiming to scaleup internationally will engage in a pitching competition in front of an international jury. Then, on November 10th, the annual Taiwan Business Day will be held — an event introducing the opportunities provided to Dutch businesses by Taiwan’s burgeoning startup ecosystem. Concurrently, starting from October 10th, Tiger Accelerator will present Taiwan Innovation Fair & Share: a dedicated online exhibition space showcasing a diverse portfolio of outstanding Taiwanese startups. As the events will be virtual, partners from both geographies are cordially invited to participate. Please follow the links above to learn more about how you can participate in each event.