By Liam Selfors
For Foxconn founder and chairman, Terry Gou, healthcare innovation is more than an investment for his company – it’s a mission embedded in his own personal life. After the tragic losses of his wife in 2005 to breast cancer and his brother in 2007 to leukemia, Gou created a charity to invest in continuing treatments and drug therapies for cancer research called Yonglin Health Foundation.
Gou donated 10% of his multibillion-dollar wealth to boost the charity’s cancer-research investments through Yonglin Health Foundation, leading to the development of a cancer research center, a state-of-the-art biomedical center, a $500 million ten-year donation toward free genetic testing for breast cancer patients, and a massive donation of $1 billion to National Taiwan University for research in cancer treatment, genomics and precision medicine.
Foxconn’s medical group extends Gou’s vision for the future of cancer by redefining patient care through collaborations and innovations in healthcare technology.
“We have a strong interest in cancer, we have a strong interest in genomics, we have a strong interest in therapies, but that’s not all that we’re doing,” said Charlie Alvarez, Senior Advisor to the President for Foxconn Medical Group, in his keynote presentation at the Wisconsin Biohealth Summit 2017.
This spectrum of focus in Foxconn Medical Group’s mission for healthcare innovation is mirrored in the framework of Wisconsin’s strong biohealth industry, which despite the eclipse of Wisconsin’s ubiquitous “rust-belt” image has recently attracted hefty investment from tech giant, Foxconn.
In addition to Foxconn’s selection of Southeastern Wisconsin to break ground on a high-tech manufacturing plant and technology campus, Foxconn Medical Group is additionally partnering with the UW Carbone Cancer Center and other health systems in Wisconsin for research and development to identify ways to diagnose/treat cancer patients.
“This isn’t just about building manufacturing, it’s about building a community,” said Alvarez. “We are able to take that those same advantages that we have on the electronic side into other divisions including the healthcare division.”
Foxconn’s own ecosystem values this type of crosspollination between divisions, especially when imagining the hospital of the future, most notably, the application of high-performance computing.
We see high-performance and big data implemented in sports and politics, but these capabilities can also save hospitals incredible amounts of time, according to Alvarez. Tasks like drug development or planning of complex therapies can be done in less than 1 percent of the time it currently takes, and tumor classification can be done with 90 percent accuracy.
The problem is that “many companies protect their data and won’t share them, especially in healthcare,” explained Alvarez. “We must share to drive outcomes and predictive modelling.”
New innovative healthcare technologies from Foxconn Medical Group adopt these big data and analytics concepts by gathering more patient data in hospitals and improving the ways clinicians view and implement this data.
Smart hospital rooms continuously monitor patient data and intelligently display data, turning a task that has been completed by nurses every 4 hours into a constant flow of data that increases doctors’ ability to quickly and effectively treat patients.
The final step, according to Alvarez, is to introduce these innovative technologies in hospital systems and to help doctors and nurses learn to effectively implement new patient care tools in the redefinition of the future of healthcare.