Team Dynamical Biomarkers Group
One team from Taiwan, Dynamical Biomarkers Group (DBG), comes at the tricorder contest from a unique perspective.
Team Dynamical Biomarkers Group
One team from Taiwan, Dynamical Biomarkers Group (DBG), comes at the tricorder contest from a unique perspective. “In Taiwan,” the team’s statement says, “universal healthcare is available to all, so we deeply understand the urgency in controlling the cost and wise use of medical resources.” When medical care is free in such a densely populated area as Taiwan, the demand on those resources is not only high, but growing – so the members of team DBG have taken it upon themselves to alleviate the pressure.
Unlike many of their competitors, DBG is not a commercial team; rather, it’s an outgrowth of the Center for Dynamical Biomarkers and Translational Medicine at Taiwan’s National Central University, it does receive sponsorship from HTC Corporation (New Taipei City). The group includes clinicians, engineers and researchers from many different disciplines – medicine, computer science, physics and mathematics. “To address the challenge of ever-increasing cost and limited accessibility of healthcare, we have to think outside the box,” they say. “Disruptive technology is one of the components that is crucial for any solution. It is inspiring to see XPRIZE, one of the world’s most innovative organizations, willing to take up the enormous task of providing a platform to test these disruptive technologies.”
Chung-Kang Peng, the team’s leader, is K.-T. Li Chair Professor and the dean of National Central University’s College of Health Sciences and Technology. Spanning the globe with his team, Peng is also co-director of the Rey Institute for Nonlinear Dynamics in Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. His colleagues come from universities around Taiwan and the United States, as well as from the studio engineering team at HTC. The team is noteworthy not just for its members’ academic qualifications, but also because it’s the only East Asian team participating in the competition.
To develop their tricorder, the team has divided into five groups – vitals, blood, breath, image and urine. Each group has incorporated technologies for signal analysis, image processing, biomarker detection, microfluidic engineering and biochip fabrication into their Smart subsystems: the Vital-Sense-Patch, Blood Sense, Exhaler, Scope and Urine Sense modules. Each one focuses on the interface between human and machine to allow consumers simple and intuitive use of the modules, which connect wirelessly to a smartphone app that carries out analysis and generates a disease diagnosis. Though much of DBG’s technology is yet to be revealed, the group certainly has the credentials and motivation it needs to create an accessible healthcare solution.
While obtaining degrees in biology from the University of Alberta and biochemistry from Penn State College of Medicine, I worked as a freelance science and medical writer. I was able to hone my skills in research, presentation and scientific writing by assembling grants and journal articles, speaking at international conferences, and consulting on topics ranging from medical education to comic book science. As much as I’ve enjoyed designing new bacteria and plausible superheroes, though, I’m more pleased than ever to be at Texere, using my writing and editing skills to create great content for a professional audience.