2021 Taiwan-France Digital Health Forum

Fostering the Best Digital Health Ecosystem in Taiwan

On May 5, 2021 La French Tech Taiwan and the French Office in Taipei, in association with the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries Promotion Office, held the first Taiwan-France Digital Health Forum: “Fostering the Best Digital Health Ecosystem in Taiwan” with key French and Taiwanese contributors.

In front of an attentive audience of 57 onsite and 60 online attendees from the Healthcare, Medical Devices, ICT, Pharma and Insurance sectors, officials from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, NHIA, TFDA, together with leaders from Asus Cloud, Health2Sync, LongGood MediTech, Sanofi, Taipei Medical University, Qaralogic Consulting and Wistron Medical Technology shared their insights on the development of digital health regulatory and reimbursement frameworks in Taiwan and elsewhere.

Hosted by Mr. Jean-François Casabonne-Masonnave, Director of the French Office in Taipei, the encounter allowed both parties to exchange best approaches to enable Taiwan and France to become global leaders in the digital health arena.

The forum brought together clinical, industry and government representatives to discuss existing and future regulatory and reimbursement frameworks to fuel digital health innovation and accelerate speed to market in Taiwan.

Mr. Jean-Francois Casabonne-Masonnave (Director of the French Office in Taipei), Mrs. Lee Chia-Feng 李佳峯 (Director of Consumer Goods and Chemical Industries Division in Industrial Development Bureau) and Dr. Po-Chang Lee 李伯璋 (Director General of National Health Insurance Administration) opened keynote presentations by Prof. Ray-Jade Chen 陳瑞杰 (Professor at the Taipei Medical University), Hasnaa Fatehi, PhD (Founder and CEO of Qaralogic Consulting inc), Mrs. Isabelle Zablit-Schmitz (eHealth Europe & International Director at the French Ministry of Health) and Dr. Shou-Mei Wu 吳秀梅 (Director General of the Taiwan Food & Drug Administration).

Hasnaa Fatehi, PhD led the moderation of the panel discussion with Mr. Anthony Jones (Head of Virtual HealthCare at Sanofi), Mr. Ed Deng 鄧居義 (Co-Founder and CEO of Health2Sync), Dr. Shou-mei Wu 吳秀梅, Prof. Po-Chang Lee 李伯璋 (Director General of NHIA), Mr. Ray Chen 陳誌睿 (CEO of LongGood MediTech), Mr. Brian Chong 莊詔仁 (VP at Wistron Medical Technology), Mr. Andy Lu 呂一申 (Smart Health Director at Asus Cloud) and Prof. Ray-Jade Chen 陳瑞杰.

During the panel discussion session, they addressed TFDA’s great efforts to enable Software as Medical Device (SaMD) developers in Taiwan. Dr. Shou-Mei Wu 吳秀梅 announced the opening of an AI Medical Device Project Office as soon as May 7th 2021, with an advisory committee to accelerate review time, cross-industry talent training programs and integrated e-platforms. Dr. Wu repeatedly invited industry to reach out to TFDA for guidance on commercializing their innovation and for working together.

Furthermore, industry stakeholders acknowledged improvements in the regulatory assessment processes and highlighted the necessity of creating structures to support digital health solutions reimbursement. Prof. Po-Chang Lee 李伯璋 reaffirmed NHIA’s commitment to reimbursing all innovative technologies with proven clinical outcome regardless of whether they are drugs or Software as Medical Devices (SaMD).

All panelists agreed that further improvements, including adequate reimbursement criteria specifically designed to assess digital health solutions, are necessary to simplify business and increase market penetration. Finally, all stakeholders expressed great appreciation of the benefits cross-organizational collaborations, between industry and competent authorities, would bring to both the French and Taiwanese Digital health sectors.

Taiwan-France Digital Health Forum was a great demonstration of La French Tech Taiwan’s commitment to continuously explore areas of potential collaborations between France and Taiwan. This encounter not only served to kick-start the conversation on the future of digital health regulations and reimbursement in Taiwan, but also created a space for French and Taiwanese companies to learn more about each other and develop relationships.

This event is the first of a planned series of exchanges between France and Taiwan on Digital Health. A white paper summarizing key points and actions discussed is expected to be published in the following weeks.

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