Hong Kong funds global health data research lab’s Sydney site


The Hong Kong government through InnoHK has provided HK $ 17 million ($ 2.1 million) to set up the Sydney site of a global health AI and robotics data research lab.

The hub is part of the Laboratory of Data Discovery for Health (D24H), a joint project led by the University of Hong Kong in collaboration with the University of Sydney, University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


D24H is part of InnoHK’s AI and Robotics Cluster which “brings together and organizes massive and unique data resources and develops new in-depth and exploratory analyzes” to protect global public health and improve individual health care through precision medicine.


The Sydney hub will see the development of tools to process biomedical data and new computational approaches to solve the main problems of predicting infectious disease risks. This research using biomedical data and bioinformatics based on omics will be led by Professor Jean Yang, who also heads the pole.

She will also collaborate with Professor Stephen Simpson of the Charles Perkins Center, who prioritizes understanding the omic responses to diet, exercise and sleep. Omics science is the collective study of biomarkers to understand the structure, function and dynamics of an organism.

Another project will develop meta-genomics techniques – a process that simultaneously sequences the genetic material of all organisms in a biological sample – to help identify potential microbes responsible for epidemics in animals and humans and create software to quickly analyze this data.

“This project will allow us to develop new approaches to sort [meta-genomics] data to produce meaningful information quickly and accurately to identify new emerging pathogens, ”said Professor Edward Holmes of the Faculties of Science and Medicine and Health.


This week, the Chinese University of Hong Kong also established six centers under InnoHK, covering the fields of health, biomedicine, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, SingHealth and Singapore Innovate will partner over a three-year period to develop and adopt AI and other emerging technologies to improve diagnosis, treatment, healthcare delivery and clinical outcomes. They will focus on three main areas: advancing thought leadership in AI, supporting the growth of healthcare and biomedical science startups, and creating a talent pool for healthcare innovation.


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