Digital tech assumes greater role in post-corona era

FUZHOU: Months after retiring from China’s COVID-19 front line, a 5G-connected computer sits quietly in an exhibition hall in eastern China’s Fujian Province. The computer, which is mounted on wheels for ease of transport, shows real-time images of an intensive-care unit at a local hospital.
At the peak of the country’s coronavirus outbreak early this year, over 100 such 5G-powered trolleys buzzed around quarantine wards in the province, allowing medical experts to conduct face-to-face consultations with patients without having to enter the wards personally.
The province’s COVID-19 telemedicine center said the trolleys and other digital technologies helped top medical experts perform 1,700 remote consultations in Fujian, especially at many lower-level hospitals that lack the capacity or expertise to diagnose and treat the new respiratory disease.
“We also employed artificial intelligence (AI) to screen CT images before they reached physicians. Each patient would have hundreds of CT images, so the use of AI saved us a lot of time,” said Cheng Xuesong, an information technology engineer with Fujian Provincial Hospital that houses the center.
China on Monday opened the third Digital China Summit in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, to shed light on many such digital technologies, which have been widely used in the anti-virus battle and the country’s economic and societal development.
The summit, which runs from Oct. 12 to 14, aims to build platforms for industry exchanges and cooperation. Exhibitions and forums will be held on the development and application of digital technologies, including AI, big data and blockchain. Tech giants such as Huawei, Alibaba and Tencent are expected to exhibit their cutting-edge products.
China boasts a digital sector of unparalleled size that draws strength from a vast data pool.–Agencies