MediaTek Dedicates IoT Platform to Dengue Fever Prevention in Southern Taiwan

20 Dec

Taiwanese IC designer MediaTek announced Dec. 15 to dedicate its Internet of Things (IoT) platform to public health in jointly establishing a dengue fever prevention lab with the Tainan City government and the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU).

MediaTek Vice Chairman Hsieh Ching-jiang said that the lab is established to create a smart disease prevention program by combining his company’s IoT networks and NCKU’s big data analysis ability and A.I.-enabled mosquito zappers.

In addition to fighting dengue fever in Taiwan, MediaTek seeks the possibility to bring the solutions to other countries to contribute to the global public health.

Hsieh said the prevention program will begin in Tainan City, with the first leg kicking off in Spring 2017. The program will be introduced to every borough in the city and over 200 smart bug zappers will be installed before the season peak.

The southern Taiwan saw the worst dengue fever outbreak in 2015. Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te told the press that when the disease peaked last year, the NCKU began tracking the vectors and their distribution using big data analysis. Although more than 25,000 cases were recorded, the number was lower than the 40,000 cases the Ministry of Health and Welfare projected. Lai said this exemplified the power of technology in the prevention of contagious diseases.

MediaTek joined the program by offering its LinkIt development platforms and chipset and turning the traditional mosquito zappers into smart devices; in other words, the zappers are enabled to collect information as they kill the vectors. The information obtained by the smart zappers is then uploaded to the cloud and the NCKU takes over to analyze the distribution. By doing so, the analysts are able to identify high-risk areas and focus resources in those areas.

Hsieh said his company provided technology and IoT products, in addition to a donation of NT$6 million to make this program available to all boroughs in Tainan. Hsieh said the smart zappers at the current stage are only able to collect the number of mosquitos, but trained individuals are still needed for the identification of different types of vectors. MediaTek is looking to add image identification system in the smart devices, which will simultaneously upload the images for the trained staff. The IC design house is also seeking opportunities in the future to bring the solutions to other countries also plagued by vector-borne diseases.

(Photo courtesy of the TechNews)