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Taiwan’s technology leads the way for smart ageing

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PETALING JAYA: Taiwan’s manufacturing and healthcare industries are able to support the growing elderly population in Malaysia, thanks to innovative and trusted assistive technologies and home care services.

Taiwan External Trade Development Council (Taitra) president and CEO Walter Yeh said Taiwan is second on the list of countries with the largest export of assistive devices since 2014.

“Taiwanese companies can confidently provide the world with innovative and trustworthy products. The output value of Taiwan’s assistive devices has reached US$930 million (RM3.86 billion). Of the various assistive devices, mobility aids have the largest output value, reaching US$354 million and accounting for 38% of the total export value in 2019,“ he said at the Taiwan Excellence “Smart Medical Express – Aging Wisely with Trusty Healthcare” online press conference yesterday.

According to a United Nations World Population report, there were more than 703 million people aged above 65 in 2019, the largest number in Eastern and South Eastern Asia, followed by Europe and Northern America. It is predicted that this number will double over the next three decades, reaching over 1.5 billion by 2050.

“An increasing number of countries have recognised this trend and have focused their efforts on long term care policies and facilities. The demand for elderly care products such as assisted technologies and home care services is projected to skyrocket,“ said Yeh.

Solutions delivered by Taiwan Excellence, the international promotional campaign run by the Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade and Taitra, featured four award winning companies Gigantex Composite Technologies Co Ltd, iXensor Co Ltd, Leadtek Research Inc and Merits Health Products Co Ltd at the online event.

Gigantex focuses on super-light, strong and ergonomic carbon fiber wheelchairs. Some of their carbon fiber wheelchairs are less than 7kg and allows users to fold it in seconds. Gigantex also plans to integrate some artificial intelligence functions that enables the user to “call” the wheelchairs to standby.

Another wheelchair maker, Merits, is one of the top five power wheelchair manufacturers in the world. Its wheelchair is lightweight and foldable, and also comes equipped with a detachable battery box and extra charging port.

As for telehealth solutions, iXensor developed its PixoTest POCT System which is the world’s first mobile device camera to be converted into a precise medical testing instrument. In three minutes, the device can seamlessly measure items such as total cholesterol, glycosylated hemoglobin, and blood lipids, providing patients with convenient and efficient mobile medical solutions.

With the ongoing pandemic of the Covid-19, the wireless fingertip pulse oximeter introduced by Leadtek uses a lightweight and non-invasive design to detect oxygen saturation and pulse rate. The device comes with a full-coloured OLED display and its battery can last more than 18 hours. The oximeter also enables users to do a preliminary test at home to detect Covid-19.