Taiwan hosts the APEC web conference on “Digital Tools for Addressing Infectious Disease in the Asia-Pacific Region: Challenges and Opportunities”

The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) pointed out today that the outcomes of Taiwan's use of technology in infectious disease prevention and control have been highly recognized among APEC economies and that Taiwan CDC is hosting the APEC-funded virtual conference titled “Digital Tools for Addressing Infectious Diseases in the Asia-Pacific Region: Challenges and Opportunities” on August 25 and 26, 2021, starting at 9 a.m. Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan (薛瑞元), Academician of the Academia Sinica Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), and Taiwan CDC Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) are leading domestic and foreign experts from industry, academia, and government sectors in 18 countries to share experiences of harnessing digital tools against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. It is expected that the unity and collaboration between APEC economies can be strengthened through this conference. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the human health, society, and economies in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world. As the whole world is facing the threat of the pandemic, Deputy Minister Hsueh Jui-yuan (薛瑞元) mentioned in his remarks that traditional disease control measures are unable to timely respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation; thanks to technological advances, digital technology has been rapidly developed and widely utilized to support COVID-19 surveillance and responses and facilitate related disease prevention and control efforts. This conference aims to serve as a platform for APEC economies to exchange experiences of developing digital tools and to strengthen their collaborations to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic.

At the conference, Prof. Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) is the keynote speaker and will be sharing Taiwan's experience of digital assistance in the COVID-19 pandemic response, including the National Health Insurance TOCC Notification System (travel history, occupation, contact history, and cluster information), the phone-based Digital Fencing System, and the Name-Based Mask Distribution System. In addition, over 40 foreign experts from 18 countries in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region and 110 domestic experts will also be joining this conference and discussing four main topics, which are (1) disease surveillance and risk assessments; (2) resources allocation and community mobilization; (3) innovation and collaboration between the industry, academia, and government; (4) data privacy and protection, to give a new impetus to the application of digital technology in the global COVID-19 pandemic response.