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ACCESS Health China hosts Digital Health Conference with Duke Kunshan University and Duke University

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On October 14, ACCESS Health China, along with Duke Kunshan University and Duke University successfully hosted the “Duke Kunshan Conference on Digital Health and Innovation: Partnerships between Academia and Industry” in Kunshan, China.

Digital health focuses on using technology to monitor and provide health related data for individuals. At the intersection of health, technology, and healthcare, a wide range of innovations, ranging from consumer products and wearables to sophisticated clinical care platform in both commercial and academic settings, are rapidly becoming available to more people.

Both in China and abroad there is no shortage of innovative digital health companies. However, many of those companies lack the clinical expertise to validate the health benefits of their innovations. On the other end of the spectrum, academia often spends years designing, implementing, and evaluating their own trials with the subsequent struggle of “scaling up” outside of their sample population.

How can truly effective digital health innovations be delivered to more people as quickly as possible? The conference provided a rare opportunity for academia and industry experts to closely interact on this topic, to spark new collaborations, and to educate a wider community.

Overall, twenty digital health experts — ten from academia and ten from industry — presented their latest digital health breakthroughs to around 250 audience members. Academic experts hailed from Duke University, Duke Kunshan University, Tsinghua University, University of Melbourne, and the Indian Foundation of Public Health.

Professor Lijing Yan, Associate Research Professor of Global Health, Duke University and Duke Kunshan University, shared her experience in conducting digital health intervention trial in rural China and India, including updates from the SimCard trial. After a yearlong trial, it was found that participants who were managed by community healthcare workers through an Android powered app on a monthly basis had improved anti-hypertension medication use, aspirin use, and systolic blood pressure pre and post intervention, compared to the control group. The project was made possible with technical assistance from the China Mobile Research Institute, whose Chief Scientist, Dr Liqun Xu, was also present and gave a keynote address titled “New Directions of Digital Health”.

ACCESS Health China office tapped into its extensive network and invited a number of key digital health industry leaders in China to present at the conference, including

  • Martin Shen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Trusted Doctors
  • Hong Xie, Medical Director of PingAn Good Doctor
  • Xiaodong Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Meditrust Health
  • Xiaomu Guo, Founder and Executive Director of Xintu Community Health Promotion Agency
  • Fei Liu, Product Manager (Medical Big Data) of Baidu
  • Lijuan Su, Researcher of Medical Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Lab at Tencent
  • Jinping Zhao, Director of Strategic Distribution, 66 Brain

During the conference, Chang Liu, Managing Director of Access Health Greater China and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Haiyan Gao, Vice Chancellor of Duke Kunshan University. As part of the new partnership, Duke Kunshan University officially joined the ACCESS Health Global Health Futures Innovation Industry Leaders Network as its first academic partner. The ceremony was endorsed by Ms. Ming Jin, Deputy Mayor of the City of Kunshan.

The ACCESS Health Global Health Futures Innovation Industry Leaders Network was established by ACCESS Health in 2017 with the aim of building a vigorous innovation ecosystem consisting of entrepreneurs, successful new technology companies, hospitals, investors and thought leaders within and beyond China. By creating this network, Duke Kunshan University and ACCESS Health will work together towards their shared vision for building a vibrant knowledge based industry for healthcare in China, as well as working together as partners to promote innovation, knowledge exchange, technology transfer, public-private-partnership, training, research, and government advocacy.

Duke Kunshan University is a Sino-American partnership of Duke University and Wuhan University to create a world-class liberal arts and research university offering a range of academic programs for students from China and throughout the world. A non-profit, joint-venture institution, Duke Kunshan University was granted accreditation approval by China’s Ministry of Education in September 2013 and welcomed its inaugural class of students in August 2014.

More information on this conference could be found on

http://globalhealth.duke.edu/events/duke-kunshan-conference-digital-health-science-and-innovation-partnerships-between-academic (English)

https://dukekunshan.edu.cn/en/events/digital-health-partnerships-conference (Chinese and English)

Shuai Shao

Shuai Shao

Shuai is a senior research manager at ACCESS Health. She is based in our Beijing office and is the project lead for our World Bank funded initiative on elder care delivery and financing in five developing Asian countries.

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