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Mayor: Securing Taiwan’s Position in Global Biotech Industry

Mayor Ko Wen-je attended the “Taipei-Stanford Medical/Bio/Social Entrepreneurship” forum at Stanford University School of Medicine on March 11. Academic and industry representatives from Silicon Valley shared their successful experiences in the development of biotech and medical industry, serving as a source of reference for Taipei.
Speaking after the forum, Ko reckoned that the focus in the next 20 years should be the incorporation of well-developed biomedical techniques into the medical system. In addition to introducing the new technologies to Taiwan, he believes it is equally important to define the island’s role in the global biotech industry.
From his observations on citizens’ health, the mayor pointed out that Taiwan needs to redirect the medical system from its current path of profitability to one focusing on efficiency. Citing his experience from introducing the “hospitalist” scheme to Taiwan during his stint at NTUH, Ko noted that the approach proved more effective than the resident doctors system.
On March 12, Ko visited El Camino Hospital, the medical institute in Silicon Valley renowned for its robotically-assisted surgeries. The mayor tried out the “da Vinci Si Surgical System” at the facility, which is the most advanced technique in performing minimally-invasive surgeries. The method has been applied to operations in treating prostate cancer and gynecological, as well as cardiological illnesses.

Credited by Popular Science Magazine as one of the most advanced hospitals, El Camino Hospital boasts some of the most cutting-edge equipment such as surgical robots and Cyberknife. Its technological applications include computerized medical records, earthquake-proof elevators, and palm vein authentication for patients, among others.