Huawei to develop smart health technologies with Dutch university
October 6, 2015
Chinese telecoms company Huawei has signed an enhanced cooperation agreement with the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, deepening cooperation in the area of smart healthcare.
Huawei and UMCG, one of Europe's largest medical facilities, signed a three-party memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Groningen city government earlier this year to explore a partnership for developing smart city concepts in the Groningen region using Huawei technologies. The city's aim is to improve the quality and intelligence of its residents' lives and enhance healthcare, public safety, urban services, environmental protection and business activities.
UMCG and Huawei have now enhanced their agreement by deepening cooperation in smart healthcare. Several research lines within the healthy ageing programme have started recently, especially in the healthy ageing research field in which UMCG is the leading organisation in this European programme for future healthcare.
"UMCG, which is part of the University of Groningen, is one of the top medical and research organisations in Europe," said David He, president of Huawei’s marketing department. “It is always looking for new ways in which patient care can be improved, and Huawei offers many innovative communications solutions for digitisation of health services. We are delighted that UMCG has chosen Huawei to explore how smart healthcare and smart hospital concepts can offer more options to its staff and students, who will after all become the clinical experts of the future."
To facilitate the programme, a massive data processing infrastructure for collecting and analysing regional healthcare bio-data is needed. This requires fast computing technology based on newer generation ICT software and hardware technology. In clinical terms, ICT technology is able to cover and track hospital facilities and patient traffic, with the result that early signalling of hospital infectious diseases could be largely improved. This would reduce medical costs in the future, as hospital infection is one of the leading complications consuming more than ten per cent of medical resources.
"Cooperation with Huawei offers great advantages,” said Folkert Kuipers, UMCG vice-chairman. “Groningen is already in a leading position in smart healthcare in some areas. This MoU opens the door for UMCG to partner with a global player like Huawei. With its worldwide resources and innovative technological platforms, Huawei can help us further strengthen our leading position in the Netherlands and Europe."
Groningen is one of six Dutch cities – the others are Amstelveen, Amsterdam, The Hague, Tilburg and Utrecht – to sign a smart city MoU with Huawei. Until now, Huawei has provided smart city technology to more than 100 cities in over 40 countries and regions worldwide. It is also becoming an important ICT partner for local government in the Netherlands.
With increasing connectivity in cities, Huawei has developed multiple technologies for the smart city concept, such as smart government, safe city, smart emergency command, smart education, smart grid and smart tourism, as well as smart hospital. All of these are being explored with the city of Groningen and regional organisations, and with UMCG.
The UMCG was established in 2005 after the merging of the University of Groningen medical school and the Academic Hospital Groningen. UMCG is one of the largest hospitals in the Netherlands and Europe.