The first Vietnamese University to receive the prestigious excellence in Sustainability Award

May 19, 2023

The VinUni–Illinois Smart Health Center’s (VISHC) initiative to develop and provide low-cost and accessible digital healthcare solutions on a global scale has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Excellence in Sustainability Award by ISCN (International Sustainable Campus Network).

ISCN is a global organization that promotes sustainable development among institutions of higher education. This network was founded in 2007 and currently consists of more than 100 prestigious member institutions from around the world, such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, etc.

The ISCN Excellence Awards are presented annually to recognize the outstanding contributions of universities worldwide to the promotion of sustainability programs, projects, and initiatives with a significant impact on the community. In their fifteenth year, the 2023 Awards continue to showcase the finest models in higher education from around the world.

With VISHC’s “Initiative to develop and provide accessible smart healthcare solutions on a global scale“, VinUni has become the first Vietnamese university to receive this prestigious award. This project is a collaboration between VinUni and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC, USA). The project seeks to address major challenges in the global public health sector, towards achieving sustainable development goals. The initiative finances ten collaborative research projects in data science, artificial intelligence, biosensors, informatics, and smart healthcare applications. VISHC has invested a total of 13.5 million USD in biotechnology and digital healthcare projects, which will provide solutions to monitor and improve the health of people around the globe.

This initiative will also cover the cost of training 50 PhDs, 50 Masters, and hundreds of research assistants at VinUni and UIUC. They will play a crucial role in helping Vietnam, Asia, and the world achieve its sustainable development needs. The vision of VISHC is to ensure that everyone, regardless of income or location, has access to the most advanced healthcare technologies, particularly for early disease detection and prevention. The results of the VISHC study are anticipated to reduce the global burden of infectious diseases like Covid-19 and non-transmissible diseases like cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease.

Students of VinUni and UIUC universities participate in the project “Epidemiological surveillance of wastewater in Vietnam” to detect dangerous infectious diseases

According to Professor Brian Cunningham, Director of the Center for Genomic Diagnostics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Principal Investigator of VISHC’s project on Telemedicine Care and Diagnostics for Data-Driven Smart Health Systems: “We anticipate intelligent medical technology to have a positive effect on the community and the globe. I believe that, through cooperation and leveraging each side’s strengths, we will be able to attain greater success.”

One notable product of VISHC and partners at BKAI Center and Hanoi University of Science & Technology is “VAIPE: Smart Health Care Support and Monitoring System for Vietnamese People” developed. This is an user-friendly and widely-accessible mobile solution that integrates advanced technologies in the fields of artificial intelligence and data analysis. This solution provides a mobile platform for collecting, managing, and analyzing individual health data. Smartphones will be used to collect and analyze patients’ medication behaviors, heart rate, blood pressure, height, and weight measurements, as well as other vital health indicators such as ECG signals, in order to provide recommendations on safe medication as well as warnings against taking incorrect over-the-counter medicine, and early disease detection.

VAIPE solution provides a mobile platform that allows to collect, manage, analyze personal health data, automatically identify drugs from pill images

Dr. Pham Huy Hieu, Associate Director of VISHC and Co-PI of the initiative, stated, “Our research projects are geared toward addressing urgent and widespread health issues. We connect national and international experts in a variety of disciplines to provide a low-cost, accessible, and user-friendly digital health solution based on the most advanced technologies in artificial intelligence and data. This is how we help make the benefits of technology accessible to everyone, regardless of income, education, or location.”

According to Victoria Smith, Executive Director of ISCN, VISHC delivers an innovative solution to the growing challenge facing people’s well-being in relation to sustainability. This initiative has the potential to enhance medical research and reduce the burden on the public healthcare system, thereby contributing to improving the quality of life for communities around the world. “With its commitment and creativity on the basis of ensuring the guiding criteria and activities of ISCN, I hope VISHC will be an inspiring project for all,” shared Ms. Victoria.

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