International companies leverage AI to boost disease awareness

Tencent, a Chinese multinational investment holding conglomerate,  and Merck KGaA, a German-based pharmaceutical, life sciences and technology company, are collaborating to increase disease awareness and provide more accessible healthcare services via digital platforms in China by leveraging AI and big data.

“We want to build on advanced internet platforms and artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing capabilities, and work with partners to make healthcare in China more convenient and efficient for all patients,” Zhang Meng, vice president of Tencent Medical, said in a prepared statement.

Last year, Tencent partnered with healthcare firm Medopad to train systems to use AI to better diagnose Parkinson’s disease.

Under the agreement, the companies plan to create intelligent digital healthcare services to increase public knowledge of diseases, patients’ understanding of disease symptoms and effective treatment options, as well as provide more convenient and smarter medical services. The areas of focus will include: allergies, infertility, diabetes, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular diseases and metastatic colorectal cancer.

The companies also plan to explore the use of “AI doctors” to provide more comprehensive disease awareness education and treatment services for various diseases.

“In this collaboration with Tencent, we will jointly explore the innovative combination of patient-centric healthcare management and digital platforms, which brings us one step closer to reaching our mission of transforming the lives of 40 million patients in China by 2025,” Rogier Janssens, managing director and general manager of Merck KGaA’s Biopharma Business, said in a statement.