AI to equalize urban and rural health care in China, says NovaVision CEO

By Folake Dosu  |  December 3, 2018

AI-china-health-care

Much of the promise of artificial intelligence centers around improvements in health care. According to Jim Wang, the CEO of health care conglomerate NovaVision Group, the technology will equalize rural and urban health care in China, reports CNBC.

“Over the last 30 to 40 years, not enough medical resources have been deployed (equally) ... There’s a lot of mistreatment. Medical A.I. will smooth that over. For example, we can train A.I. to support the rural countryside medical doctors. This is what’s being done in China.”

“Over the last 30 to 40 years, not enough medical resources have been deployed (equally) ... There’s a lot of mistreatment. Medical A.I. will smooth that over. For example, we can train A.I. to support the rural countryside medical doctors. This is what’s being done in China,” he told CNBC’s Chery Kang at the outlet’s East Tech West conference in Guangzhou, China.

He cites advancements such as algorithm cameras to scan for preventative measures as technologies that can ease demand on resource constrained hospitals in large urban areas.

“We are raising people’s awareness of vision care. We can screen over 1,000 diseases just from one screening or picture of your eye. We’ve found diseases with 97 percent accuracy. In China, we don’t have family doctors and a referral system. Everyone will go to the big hospitals, which is why big hospitals are very cramped.”

“A.I will reduce the need to go to larger, urban hospitals,” Wang said to CNBC.

“The Chinese government has a belief that technology can be a driver of innovation for rural areas. I tried to roll out the service in Taiwan, but I was told you have to get approval from the health bureau. It takes 3 to 4 years to get that approval.”

Wang describes the private sector in China as the main driver of innovation and discussed the challenges of gaining ground due to the conservatism of the Chinese medical establishment and the need to create standards for data privacy and protection.

Wang points to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union as a standard to emulate in health care. 

“We have strict personal data policy in our company and our legal department is adamant on that. We have strong enforcement in that area and already enforcing that standard in our company.”

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