Healthcare & Life Science Talking Points | 11 January 2019

In today’s talking points, Beijing municipal government moved to Tongzhou, China’s birth number in 2018 may drop to the lowest since 2000, Chinese hospital deploys AI to detect blind-causing diseases, and an increased number of Chinese firms attend the world’s biggest healthcare meet.


Beijing Municipal Government Moved to Tongzhou

Beijing Municipal People’s government officially moved to Tongzhou District on Friday morning, marking the shift of administration functions to the city’s sub-centre.

According to China Daily, 35 municipal government departments and 165 agencies have also moved to Lucheng town in Tongzhou. The relocation is hoped to resolve issues such as traffic congestion and air pollution.

Beijing Municipal People’s Government had been located in Dongcheng District since 1949. its nameplate was handed over to the archives on Thursday night.


Source: China Daily


China’s Birth Number in 2018 May Drop to the Lowest Since 2000

2018 could be “a historical turning point for Chinese population” as China’s birth number may  fall below 15 million in the past year, which is over 2 million lower than in 2017 and the lowest rate since 2000, South China Morning Post reports.

The figure, which is yet officially confirmed by China’s National Bureau of Statistic till later this month, is far below the 20 million births expected by Chinese family planning authorities. Analysts say the low new-born rate may heighten the ageing  society problems, eventually threatening China’s economic growth.


Source: South China Morning Post


Chinese hospital deploys AI to detect blind-causing diseases

Deqing county hospital in Guangdong Province launched free consultations using artificial-intelligence (AI) cameras to detect ocular fundus diseases, which are a major cause of blindness. This feature is co-developed by China’s search engine Baidu and Sun Yat-sen University, to serve the general public.

Fundus diseases are a major cause of blindness in the developing world, where the short supply of eye doctors and instruments has stymied timely diagnosis and treatment. China, with a population of 1.39 billion, has only thousands of ophthalmologists capable of analysing fundus photos screening.

Though it may be interpreted as AI threatening the jobs of doctors, Baidu said the AI cameras were specifically designed to address the lack of medical instruments and ophthalmologists at grassroots health facilities. This new tool is aimed to alleviate the scarcity of ophthalmologists, especially in China’s rural regions.


Sources: Xinhua News


An Increased Number of Chinese Firms Attend the World‘s Biggest Healthcare Meet

38 Chinese companies attended the recent JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. This was an increase of 22.6% from last year’s attendance. The types of Chinese companies that attended include “innovative drug developers, generic drug manufacturers, medical devices companies, online pharmacy and healthcare services platform operators as well as outsourced manufacturing and clinical trial services providers.” Many Chinese private equity and venture capital firms will be in attendance to find companies to invest in.

This increase is particularly interesting as it contrasts with the recent 20% fall in companies attending the annual CES consumer electronics trade show (the biggest of its kind in the world). It also shows the quick progress that healthcare innovation in China has made.


Source: South China Morning Post