Enabling Inclusion and Equity in Health
Digital technologies will open a new chapter for health and well-being. More affordable, inclusive, and accessible healthcare services allow people to prevent, detect, and even solve health problems early on. Equal access to high-quality healthcare makes medical resources more available and lets people live healthier lives. Huawei is committed to working with all parties to use ICT to build a more dynamic and healthy society from which everyone can benefit.
STORY-TrackAI: Stopping Blindness in Its Tracks
According to World Health Organization estimates, around 19 million children around the world suffer from some sort of visual impairment. Early diagnosis is essential for children – if discovered early enough, 70% to 80% of all cases are preventable or curable. However, diagnosing children can be difficult because they cannot articulate what they are experiencing. Now, AI is making this critical early diagnosis a very real possibility.
Most eye diseases occur within the first five years of life. Unfortunately, a lack of parental knowledge and awareness leads to many children missing this optimum diagnosis period. Only a third of children with an eye disease receive early treatment.
Traditionally it has largely fallen to professional ophthalmologists to detect eye diseases. Doctors have to catch the child's attention by moving their finger or an instrument and then observing the child's reaction. However, in many developing nations, professional ophthalmologists are in extremely short supply. In developed countries, rigorous referral systems mean that ordinary ophthalmologists are often not qualified to give specialist tests for eye diseases. Once a patient is transferred to a specialist, their wait time can be as long as three to six months.
To tackle the lack of eye doctors and difficulty in diagnosing eye diseases in children, the Spanish medical research institute, IIS Aragon, and the startup DIVE Medical developed the Device for an Integral Visual Examination (DIVE). DIVE is designed to provide automatic, fast, and accurate visual function testing for children and infants as young as six months old.
At the start of 2019, Huawei teamed up with IIS Aragon and DIVE Medical to jointly launch the TrackAI project. It makes use of Huawei smart devices and AI to help children who suffer from eye diseases. TrackAI's detection system consists of the DIVE device, a Huawei P30 smartphone, and a Huawei MateBook E tablet. The system can display visual stimuli on the screen and track the child's focus with the eye tracker. It can also learn the differences between children with and without eye diseases. During the test, the patient watches the stimuli displayed on the MateBook E screen, DIVE tracks the movement and reaction of the patient's gaze in real time, and sends the data to the Huawei P30. The Huawei P30 smartphone then runs a pre-trained machine learning model to detect whether the patient has a visual impairment.
As with most conventional techniques, TrackAI's system relies on expert interpretation of the test results, and in this case the results need to be verified by an ophthalmologist. However, using AI to judge the results makes it easier for non-specialist pediatric ophthalmologists to interpret visual assessments and identify which children have visual impairments. The co-founder of DIVE Medical, Victoria Pueyo said, "As researchers, we need support from technology companies. Huawei is enabling us to globalize the impact of DIVE and take the technology to every corner of the world."
At present, a number of medical institutes in China, Spain, Vietnam, Mexico, and Russia have started to collect the data required to train the AI algorithm, gathering gaze data from over 2,000 visually impaired children so far. By continually collecting data and adjusting the machine learning model, the researchers can increase accuracy. There's still a long way to go before TrackAI is perfected, but a world where no visually impaired child goes undiagnosed is closer than ever.
STORY-PocketVision: A Clearer World for the Visually Impaired
There are many visually impaired people around us, and the world they see can be quite different from the colorful one we are used to. These people may be able to see only a few colors, such as black, white, yellow, or shades of gray, which can greatly inconvenience their work and lives. They may also find that reading is difficult without the support of visual aids. However, such devices are often incredibly expensive.
In response to this issue, PocketVision, a visual aid app developed by Eyecoming, was launched on the Huawei AppGallery. The app is empowered by the Huawei Kirin chipset, which offers incredible AI computing power, as well as the Huawei HiAI open platform, which provides text recognition and text to speech capabilities. PocketVision users can choose from six reading modes and utilize the text broadcasting function. The app can quickly identify, magnify, and broadcast text even without a network connection. It also provides users with both audio and visual assistance, allowing the visually impaired to see text more clearly.
Huawei is dedicated to bringing out the warmth of technology and making it inclusive for everyone. We hope that more partners will join us to enable people, families, and organizations to benefit from the digital world.
PocketVision helps the visually impaired see text more clearly
STORY-National Telemedicine Center of China: Reaching Out with Fast Medical Services
Healthcare inequality is a global problem that disproportionately affects people in rural and remote areas. The densely populated province of Henan in China is no exception, with the bulk of the province's healthcare resources concentrated in big cities. Medical resources in rural and remote areas are very scarce, so effective diagnosis and treatment can be hard to receive in many towns and counties.
Huawei has built up a broad array of telemedicine solutions and mature applications, including an HD video conferencing system that forms the foundation of the telemedicine system. Back in 2011, Huawei teamed up with China Mobile Henan to build a telemedicine platform and a joint innovation center for healthcare big data for the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, putting in place the ICT infrastructure necessary for a telemedicine system. Since its launch, the telemedicine system deployed by the National Telemedicine Center at the First Affiliated Zhengzhou University Hospital has covered the whole of Henan Province, providing people in remote areas with top-tier medical services.
Remote expert services for villages
Thanks to the system, 90% of diagnoses and treatment can remain at county-level healthcare facilities, with only critical cases referred to better-equipped provincial hospitals. The system has helped form a tiered national diagnosis and treatment system, which in turn enables resources to be used more efficiently.
The current system provides telemedicine services for more than 500 medical centers in Henan and over 900 centers outside Henan, including centers in African countries like Zambia and Morocco. Each year, the platform supports more than 40,000 teleconsultations and over 500,000 specialized diagnoses, including those that require ECG, pathology, and imaging services. It also enables more than 300 remote training sessions for over 500,000 medical personnel annually.
Telemedicine beyond borders
In 2018, the National Telemedicine Center of China started to provide daily cross-border telemedicine services and telemedicine training for Belt and Road countries as part of a seven-level healthcare service system, spanning international, national, provincial, city, county, township, and village levels. Plans are in motion to establish the National Telemedicine Center of China as a comprehensive service platform at the national and even global level.
Since the center was established, many medical workers from over 10 countries participated in telemedicine training provided by the center. In August 2019, more than 30 doctors, technicians, and nurses from Morocco took part in a two-week telemedicine training program.
Telemedicine training program for Moroccan medical personnel