FTZ sets up base to promote AI in medical innovation

Cai Wenjun
Shanghai 7th People's Hospital is partnering with 15 companies to advance high-quality medical AI, medication development and clinical research.
Cai Wenjun

An international medical technology transformation and innovation center, a trial base for smart application of future hospital and a pharmaceutical R&D center were launched on Friday at the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

They are expected to boost medical innovation and streamline the collaboration between industry and clinical practice in the free trade zone.

Shanghai 7th People's Hospital, where the three facilities are located, signed a cooperation agreement with 15 firms to accelerate high-quality health-care sector development in medical artificial intelligence, drug development and clinical research.

Officials say China's biomedical industry and scientific patents have grown rapidly, but clinical practice that benefits patients has not. So different majors and industries must work together and integrate innovation, industry, and capital.

Zhao Yugang of the free trade zone's administrative bureau said that "We hope that the 7th hospital can build a complete platform for a whole-chain and whole-process covering research, development, and application to speed up the transformation of new medicines and appliances into clinical use. This is because the free trade zone's government supports new ideas and policies."

Officials said they would focus on developing and using digital medicines, like rehabilitation robots and integrated medical robotic systems. They also said that new drug development would focus on hospital-made medicines and new ideas in traditional Chinese medicine through research that is based on evidence and is specific to TCM mechanisms.

"We will support and push clinical medicine and biomedicine industry collaboration between hospitals, universities, and companies," said Dr Yu Baoqing, president of Shanghai 7th People's Hospital.

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