Loud. Expensive. Frustratingly-vague directions. Long lines that lead to more lines that lead to even more lines. People’s experiences in Chinese hospitals aren’t exactly positive, and who can blame them? They’re plagued by constant shortages of medical supplies that are inefficiently distributed.

However, with artificial intelligence starting to be utilized by companies in a diversity of industries, a frustrating trip to the hospital may become a thing of the past. Both startups and huge corporations are looking into how AI can be used in the medical field. While other industries have been “smartified” relatively easily, putting anything medical in the hands of a robot requires a delicate approach.

That’s one of the things we’ll get to explore at TechCrunch Hangzhou 2018: the opportunities and challenges that show up when creating smart hospitals.

Yang Liu — Vice President of iFlytek’s Medical Business Division

Yang Liu received his Doctorate in Electrical Engineering and Information Science from China University of Science and Technology. As vice president of iFlyteck’s “smart health” business department, he is responsible for handling medical AI consulting and business planning, designing smart hospitals, and designing AI features like image-analysis diagnosis and providing general assistance to human doctors. Previously, he was deputy general manager of the business department of Cloud Hospital.

iFlytek is deeply committed to integrating voice-activated and AI-powered technology into the medical field. Voice interaction allows doctors to spend less time filling out forms, improving efficiency. Instead of writing notes on a patient, they can just record their voice! AI assisting doctors in diagnosing patients will prove invaluable, helping doctors (especially neighborhood doctors without the access to resources hospital doctors have) give patients the best quality care possible.

Cong Fang — Vice President of YITU Medicare

Cong Fang has been awarded a Doctorate in Pharmacology from UCLA, as well as an M.A. and an M.B.A. in Biological Engineering from MIT. He led the operation and management of Amgen, the world’s largest biopharmaceutical company. During his tenure, he oversaw the full informatization of Amgen’s clinical production division. He was also the executive sales director of Shanghai Gemma Biotechnology Co. (LTD in North America), and founded the company’s first sales team in southern California.

YITU Medicare was founded in 2012 to help integrate technology into medicine, health care, urban public security, and other fields related to public service. They started providing tools for medical treatment in 2016, becoming the only successful AI-focused startup to distribute medical treatment.

In 2017, YITU announced their investment in AccutarBio, a company focused on integrating AI into pharmaceuticals. Their services are utilized by nearly 100 hospitals, where it’s become fully integrated into clinical workflow. In cooperation with West China Hospital of Sichuan University, they developed the world’s first smart database for lung cancer research and smart diagnosis system for lung cancer.

YITU Medicare was then endorsed by Hillhouse Capital Group, followed by a generous RMB 380 million investment during Round C financing by Yunfeng Fund, Sequoia Capital, Gaorong Capital, and Zhenge Fund. 2018 led to more funding, with USD 200 million being received by Gaocheng Capital, ICBC International, Bank of Shanghai, and Pudong International Group.

Gu Yan — Drugs and Regulations Chief Digital Officer for WuXi NextCODE

Gu Yan received two bachelor’s degrees from Shanghai Jiaotong University: one in computer science and another in electrical engineering. He then earned his MBA at the University of Chicago. He was also a management consultant with Booz Allen and PwC.

Before entering into the pharmaceutical industry, Gu Yan worked for Silver Sant Technologies, a digital innovation consultancy company. He also spent time as the CIO of Alcatel-Lucent, a company centered mostly in Europe and the United States of America. He led projects with their commercial cloud services, software development, and data management. He then went on to serve as Baidu’s CIO, where he established Baidu as one of the world’s largest search engines and cloud service providers.

July 2 : 14:45 – 15:15

Integrating deep learning into the medical field is going to transform it forever. Computers will be able to understand and respond to data in the forms of images, sounds, and text. Already, the recognition rate has reached a level that’s acceptable for commercial use. This will effectively solve problems with efficient supply management, shorten training times for doctors (since computers can handle the more menial parts of their jobs), decrease the rate of misdiagnoses, and better meet the increasing demand for medical services!

From its founding, iFlytek has been committed to letting its machines teach themselves while they focus on developing the cores of their projects. Since their entry into the medical industry, iFlytek has been deploying voice-activated medical assistants, humanoid receptionist robots, and medical wearables. Instead of a major launch of their products all at once, iFlytek just relies on its proven strengths in voice recognition, video analysis, and deep learning. This is how they’ve been able to dominate the AI market: they know their technical advantages. During our TechCrunch Hangzhou 2018 event, the vice president of iFlytek will talk about how they utilize these advantages to continually release high-quality and innovative medical products based on AI.

Despite a small staff of around 100 people, YITU Medicare has also grown their presence in the medical field. After making breakthroughs in speech recognition and video analysis, medical professionals are confident enough to start using more of YITU’s products. Their smart image-processing platform developers, for example, are cooperating with some of the top hospitals in Shanghai and Zhejiang Province to improve their AI and help lessen the load on hospital staff. We’re excited to hear from Fang Cong, YITU Medicare’s vice president, about how smart hospitals are going to play a significant role in our healthcare system in the near future!

As a global leader in precision treatments, Wuxi NextCODE wants to use big data on prescription medicine in order to perfect treatments for patients. Their AI algorithm works with gene digitization and big data management, analysis, and interpretation. It plans to use the USD 240 million it received during 2017’s B round of funding to build a standardized platform for storing and analyzing big genetic data. Gu Yan, chief digital officer of NextCode, will discuss how they are building their world-leading genetic big data platform on TechCrunch’s main stage this year!

Huang Guanyong — Vice President of Science Development at Zaixin Biotech

Huang Guanyong received his Doctorate in Literature and Philosophy from the University of Cambridge. His postdoctoral studies, however, focused on cancer treatment, stem cell biology, and tissue engineering research. As vice president of biotech development, he is responsible for managing his company’s research and development, which focuses on organizational engineering, hardware and software development, and artificial intelligence applications. He also coordinates joint research projects on drug development with industrial and academic partners around the world.

July 3 14:25 – 16:55

Zaixin Biotech is a global stem cell biotechnology company. They are known for their advanced human heart tissue engineering technology, which allowed them to build the world’s first “mini-heart.” They are committed to developing innovative treatments and finding safe and effective drugs to market. They are most active in developing hardware and software related to their cardiac tissue engineering, which includes artificial intelligence. They use AI to improve efficiency in their R&D division and speed up the process of drug development.

TechCrunch is really looking forward to hearing from Guanyong Huang, vice president of science development at Zaixin Biotech. He’s going to talk about how AI-powered technology can drastically improve medical scientific development and help establish AI’s commercial place in medical fields!

This is going to be a once in a lifetime event. Get your tickets here, and get ready to see the future of medicine.

James Deutsch

James Deutsch is a marketing intern based in Beijing. You can contact him at jm.deutsch@protonmail.com.

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