Yonghe Cardinal Tien Hospital in Taipei has been very proactive in protecting in medical frontliners, patients and visitors against potential COVID-19 infection. In the early weeks of infection in February, the hospital installed a “2-in-1” detection device that automatically scans individuals entering its lobby for face masks and normal body temperature.
The device uses Microsoft technology and camera equipment that continuously scans people. It immediately alerts first-line staff when problems are detected so they can stop potentially infected individuals.
“We have collaborated with Microsoft Taiwan to deploy AI masks and infra-red (IR) temperature 2-in-1 detection device,” said the hospital administration vice superintendent Liao Mao-Hung.“With the deployment of Microsoft AI technology, we can effectively and quickly detect whether hospital personnel are wearing masks or have abnormal body temperatures that need to be addressed in a timely way. It not only improves the efficiency of epidemic prevention, but it also reduces the work burden of front-line personnel, so that limited human resources can be used more effectively.”
Deployed in two weeks
The 2-in-1 detection device employs artificial intelligence (AI), the intelligent edge, and the cloud to help protect the hospital’s patients and staff from the outside spread of COVID-19.
Daniel Li, Microsoft Taiwan Azure Business Group Lead, said a Microsoft team pre-emptively started design work in early February, weeks before COVID-19 was declared as a global pandemic.
“Within two weeks, we developed the solution on Microsoft Azure and – together with local Internet of Things (IoT) partners – were able to launch the 2-in-1 device,” Li said. “We look forward to helping Taiwan’s medical intuitions, enterprises, and society to work together to go through this difficult time.”
The AI mask and IR temperature detection system is built with Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services. It empowers an organisation’s IT staff to build modules around their proprietary databases quickly and also to deploy trained AI models to an IoT Edge module for real-time image analysis via Power BI.
In addition, system alerts are available through Azure Bot services to notify authorities immediately about real-time monitoring.
Yonghe Cardinal Hospital was the first customer to deploy the solution. Since then, Microsoft Taiwan and its local partners have received inquiries from many other organisations.
“We hope that through this collaboration, we can mitigate the demand gap for Taiwan’s medical industry. We are also exploring more intelligent cloud solutions to empower Taiwan’s medical ecosystem and help society to achieve more,” Li said.