Trying to shield hospital staff and patients from COVID-19 with help from AI, cloud, and intelligent edge

A woman wearing a mask works past a monitoring camera and screen
A 2-in-1 detection device checks body temperatures and whether people are wearing masks as they enter Yonghe Cardinal Tien Hospital.

A major hospital in Taiwan is using artificial intelligence (AI), the intelligent edge, and the cloud to help protect its patients and staff from the outside spread of COVID-19. It is also freeing up valuable first-line personnel from time-consuming monitoring duties.

Taipei’s Yonghe Cardinal Tien Hospital has installed a “2-in-1” detection device that uses Microsoft technology and camera equipment that continuously scans people as they enter its lobby. It automatically determines whether individuals have correct body temperatures and are wearing required masks. It immediately alerts first-line staff when problems are detected so they can stop potentially infected individuals.

The device is helping to strengthen epidemic prevention measures that are aimed at keeping ahead of the outbreak. “We have collaborated with Microsoft Taiwan to deploy AI masks and infra-red (IR) temperature 2-in-1 detection device,”  said the hospital’s Administration Vice Superintendent Liao Mao-Hung.

“With the deployment of Microsoft AI technology, we can effectively and quickly detect whether hospital personnel are wearing masks or have abnormal body temperatures that need to be addressed in a timely way.

“It not only improves the efficiency of epidemic prevention, but it also reduces the work burden of front-line personnel, so that limited human resources can be used more effectively.”

Launched in two weeks

Daniel Li, Microsoft Taiwan Azure Business Group Lead, said a Microsoft team pre-emptively started design work in early February, weeks before COVID-19 was declared as a global pandemic.

“Within two weeks, we developed the solution on Microsoft Azure and – together with local Internet of Things (IoT) partners – were able to launch the 2-in-1 device,” Li said. “We look forward to helping Taiwan’s medical intuitions, enterprises, and society to work together to go through this difficult time.”

The AI mask and IR temperature detection system is built with Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services. It empowers an organization’s IT staff to build modules around their proprietary databases quickly and also to deploy trained AI models to an IoT Edge module for real-time image analysis via Power BI.

In addition, system alerts are available through Azure Bot services to notify authorities immediately about real-time monitoring.

Yonghe Cardinal Hospital was the first customer to deploy the solution. Since then, Microsoft Taiwan and its local partners have received inquiries from many other organizations.

“We hope that through this collaboration, we can mitigate the demand gap for Taiwan’s medical industry. We are also exploring more intelligent cloud solutions to empower Taiwan’s medical ecosystem and help society to achieve more,” Li said.

A version of this story originally appeared on the Taiwan Microsoft News Center. 原文出自於台灣微軟新聞中心



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