China, Germany seek cooperation in medical AI application

Updated:2019-01-30 (zjsfq.gov.cn)

A forum of Sino-German cooperation on the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in medical diagnosis and treatment, jointly hosted by China’s Zhangjiang Group and Germany’s Ada Health, took place in Shanghai on Jan 27.

Nearly 100 experts and specialists from the medical and AI fields in China and Germany convened to discuss the development and application of AI technology in China’s medical industry.

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Daniel Nathrath, founder and CEO of Ada Health, delivers a keynote speech during the forum on Jan 27. [Photo/WeChat account: zjpark]

The two companies also signed a strategic cooperation agreement on the promotion of the Ada project in China during the forum.

Ada is a chatbot system that helps identify the potential causes of a user's symptoms by asking them a series of questions. It can identify more than 10,000 kinds of symptoms and diseases through AI technology, providing a full range of services around the clock.

As a key project introduced by Zhangjiang Group, the Ada project signed a contract to settle in Shanghai’s Zhangjiang AI Island at the end of 2018.

According to Daniel Nathrath, founder and CEO of Ada Health, Ada, created 8 years ago by more than 100 scientists and medical experts from all over the world, is currently the world's best AI-assisted medical system.

He also expressed his vision of how AI-assisted medical diagnosis and treatment will develop and be widely used in the future. It not only can support and help doctors in making decisions, but also can provide patients with pre-diagnosis information before seeing doctors.

At present, China has established a hierarchical medical treatment system. The system can help medical institutions at various levels receive patients according to the degree and urgency of the diseases they have. 

However, there are still many problems in the grassroots hospitals, such as the shortage of medical resources and high-end talents.

“We should think about what AI and smart medical treatment can do for the grassroots medical services,” said Hu Dan from the Development Center for Medical Science and Technology of the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

“Ada is a product that has not been finalized. We hope that through the cooperation with Zhangjiang Group, Ada can be developed and improved to conform to the usage habits of Chinese users,” Nathrath added.

In some countries and regions that have developed technologically advanced medical resources, medical AI applications represented by Ada have been gradually accepted by traditional hospitals and doctors, as well as the patients.

Ada has more than 6 million registered users worldwide to date. It has made more than 10 million diagnostic evaluations, and has been widely used in more than 130 countries.

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