return icon

Vietnam steps up use of AI in health sector

Vietnam’s health care sector is stepping up the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve service quality.


Time-lapse technology for embryo culture and selectioncombined using artificial intelligence software are used in Hanoi's Vinmec Hospital to select good embryos, increasing the likelihood of IVF conception. Photo


Updates on the country's AI research, development and use were introduced at a seminar held last week, attended by medical and tech experts.

The online seminar is part of AI4VN Program organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, HCM City People’s Committee, online newspaper VnExpress, and Sun Bright Art Creative and Event JSC, in co-operation with the Aus4Innovation programme, Australian Embassy in Vietnam, and Hanoi University of Science and Technology.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology BuThe Duy said the development of AI, digital technology and big data created “miracles” in various fields.

“In the health care sector, human’s knowledge and the accumulated knowledge and experiences of doctors and health professionals are saved thanks to big data. With algorithms and computing technologies, the data is processed to become tools assisting doctors and health care workers to provide better health services,” Duy said. 

He said that Vietnam expected high-tech developers to become more interested in the medical sector and health professionals to become more engaged in using digital technologies and big data in their work.

“The application of AI, digital technologies and digital transformation is very meaningful to disease prevention, control and treatment, particularly when COVID-19 is still going on, at least by year-end,” Duy said.

David Hansen, CEO of the Australian e-Health Research Centre, Australia’s first and largest e-research hub, said the hub had been providing an evidence base for the digital transformation of health care.

AI and digital technology had helped increase health care service quality, he said, giving examples like machine learning on retinal images to enable telehealth screening for eye diseases, for examples, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

Machine learning can be used to understand the movement patterns of aged Australians living alone, alerting carers if functional independence declines over time, he said.

Associate Professor Nguyen Viet Nhung, director of the National Lung Hospital and chairman of Vietnam Lung Association, said he had been spending years studying the use of AI to diagnose tuberculosis and lung disease.

The science ministry has tasked the hospital with utilising technology to screen and detect tuberculosis patients with radiography, Nhung said.

Vietnam aimed to have zero cases of tuberculosis by 2030 and key to achieving that goal was improving its ability to detect the disease early and deliver treatment timely, Nhung said, adding that modern technologies could help reduce 70 per cent of TB cases within four years.

AI would help screen with X-rays, predict spatial epidemiology, support patient compliance with treatment, and support the management of drug side effects, Nhung said, adding that the final goal is to detect TB cases early and treat them completely.

AI would further enhance doctors’ diagnosis ability, he said.

"AI would help relieve the burden on humans while increasing accuracy and ensuring no case slips by while using lung radiography," he said.

According to Tran Thi Mai Oanh, director of Health Strategy and Policy Institute under the Ministry of Healt, in Vietnam, AI is applied in four key fields – diagnosis, treatment, management of health history data and training.

Vingroup’s Big Data Institute has been developing an AI application to diagnose lung diseases with chest X-ray images and breast cancer with breast X-ray images. The application is being trialled at Military Hospital 108, the Medical University’s Hospital and Vinmec.

Oanh said AI could be applied widely, especially to help people record their own health conditions, reminding people to take medicine and exercise, and provide early warnings to detect diseases like cardiovascular issues or cancer.

“When it comes to AI application in the health care sector, its code of ethics is needed regarding the protection of privacy and personal information like their health conditions,” Oanh said.

"Another issue is to ensure safety for patients if robots are used to deliver services as it's possible for programmed robots to have errors," Oanh said, adding that in such cases, legal regulations on compensation needed to be clarified.

“How much AI applications can be used to deliver treatment services is also a key issue that decides the treatment’s effectiveness and responsibility,” Oanh said.

Besides an improved legal framework, qualified input data would be needed to ensure reliable and exact diagnosis and treatment, she said.

Prof and Dr Nguyen Thanh Thuy, deputy chief of the national programme supporting the research, development and application of technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, said that three years ago, the Ministry of Science and Technology launched a master plan on AI development as well as studies on AI use in the health care sector.

“Vietnam now has advantages to apply AI in health care including high demand, available input health data and human resources with people who are committed and determined to try,” Thuy said. — VNS

Vietnamese healthcare marks important digital milestone of 1,000 telehealth facilities

Vietnamese healthcare marks important digital milestone of 1,000 telehealth facilities

The Ministry of Health (MoH) announced the launch of 1,000 healthcare facilities equipped with telehealth centres, marking another milestone in the sector’s digital transformation.


Localizing construction of high-speed railways contributes to growth

Building a high-speed railway (250km/h) will facilitate the development of the entire railway industry, experts said.

A majestic pagoda in Tra Vinh Province

Phno Don is one of the biggest and most majestic of the 143 pagodas in Tra Vinh Province. It is a splendid example of Khmer architecture.

Vietnamese ICT enterprises more deeply involved in global value chain

Over 10 years ago, Vietnamese software companies performed only a few stages under orders from foreign partners but the work has now expanded.

China proposes re-signing protocol for seven kinds of Vietnamese fruit

China has proposed signing protocol for seven types of local fruit exported to the northern neighbour via official channels for stricter management, as is currently applied to durian and star apples.

10-year-old translator brings scientific knowledge closer to young readers

Children’s history book series, Unstoppable Us, by best-selling author Yuval Noah Harari, has been translated from English into Vietnamese by a 10-year-old translator and published by Omega Plus.

Floods kill five in central region

Heavy downpours and floods in the central region in the past few days claimed the lives of five people as of 5pm on December 6.


Vietnam spends nearly 190 million USD on importing pork in ten months

Vinfast faces challenges in North America

North America is a promising market, but it is not easy to be successful because there are many rivals there.

Festivities celebrate holiday season in HCM City

HCM City is preparing to launch a series of festivities to celebrate the New Year and Tet holidays (Lunar New Year).

Young driver offers thousands of free rides for poor patients

Dang Xuan Hieu, 24, has for four years given free trips to thousands of poor patients in Ha Giang Province.

Policies take effect in December 2022

Below are among new policies on import and export nomenclature, electricity generation price bracket, and licenses to manufacture tobacco products taking effect from December.

Finance Ministry to raise taxes on land and housing

Taxes on land and housing in Vietnam are far lower than those in other countries, exposing the need for higher tax rates to improve fiscal revenues.

Vietnam, RoK enter new chapter of cooperation

Vietnam and the Republic of Korea have entered a new chapter in their relationship as they upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership during President Nguyen Xuan Phuc's official visit to the country.

Free piano class for the elderly in HCM City

A piano class has been run free-of-charge for elderly people in Ho Chi Minh City for the past five years.