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Tech sector urged to focus on health

By Jacob Hooson in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-23 07:12

Providing authoritative information online has been a top priority for Baidu since Chinese internet regulators ordered the company to change the way it displays results following the death of a student who visited a healthcare provider found at the top of a search list in 2014.

In addition to strengthening its encyclopedic database, the company has rolled out a slew of initiatives aimed at the healthcare sector, including app Baidu Doctor, which allows patients to ask doctors questions, make medical appointments online and search for health information.

Earlier this year, Baidu began testing its "Medical Brain" system - artificial intelligence designed to help doctors avoid costly misdiagnoses - in hospitals across China.

"In 80 percent of cases in one hospital, the Medical Brain came to the same conclusion as the doctors. But we can go much further in precision medicine," Li said.

However, while China's hospitals begin to embrace innovation and big data, more work is needed to ensure they can communicate on both a local, national and international level.

Zhao Houlin, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union, said that countries should adopt an international standard and issue guidelines from the "top down" on how to connect hospitals with smart databases.

"To connect hospitals you need to have some kind of common standard," he said. "Telecoms authorities and healthcare authorities need to work together to keep these systems safe and reliable."


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