Fri, Apr 19, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Compal invests NT$60 million in biotech start-up

By Natasha Li  /  Staff reporter

Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶) yesterday said that it is to invest NT$60 million (US$1.95 million) in biotech start-up Hipposcreen (宏智).

“We will be responsible for technology support and manufacturing; we hope to inject more dynamism into Taiwan’s medical industry through this cooperation,” Compal president Martin Wong (翁宗斌) told a news conference in Taipei.

“We hope to soon develop a system that can better detect major depressive disorder [MDD] brain waves, and market it before the end of this year or the start of next year,” Wong said.

Hipposcreen, founded in partnership with National Taipei University of Technology (NTUT), is led by the school’s vice dean of research and development, Liu Yi-Hung (劉益宏).

Liu’s team is targeting depression by developing an algorithm that employs artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, with the aim of creating a detection system that would allow doctors to diagnose MDD and evaluate patients with the disorder more efficiently.

More than 300 million people around the world suffer from depression. The WHO has said that it is the fourth-leading contributor to the global burden of disease.

Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics published last year showed that as of 2017, more than 1.27 million people in Taiwan had taken antidepressants and that 43 percent more women took the drugs than men.

Compal is hoping to apply the AI detection system to other disorders that generate abnormal brainwaves, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Alzheimer’s, Wong said.

In partnership with a French firm, the company is also testing brainwave detectors on people with insomnia, Wong said, but he did not name the firm.

Insomnia is potentially a big market, and by identifying different sleep patterns, Hipposcreen hopes to be able to help reduce the need for people to take medication to be able to sleep, he said.

This story has been viewed 2219 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top