The Swinburne duo at the summit venue.

KUCHING: An artificial intelligence echocardiogram research by two computer scientists – Prof Patrick Then and Dr Brian Loh – was presented at the European Society for Cardiology (ESC) Digital Summit in Tallinn, Estonia earlier this month.

The Sarawakian duo from Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus were the only two speakers from Asean and among five from the Asia Pacific region. They presented their landmark research to over 1,000 attendees from more than 30 countries at Kultuurikatel Creative Hub.

The duo innovated unique algorithms utilising artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect anomalies in stress echocardiograms.

Their research leapfrogged cardiology research from traditional regime to digital approach, and demonstrated solid example of translational research from fundamental research to real-life applications.

With the potential to revolutionise care of cardiovascular diseases by increasing accuracy of diagnosis and reducing burden of clinicians, the algorithms have been implemented in software technologies that were highly commended by the summit editorial committee.

Then and Loh were rare representation from the field of computer science in the inaugural summit that was attended by cardiologists and other healthcare professionals, policymakers, academics interested in cardiovascular health and care, patient advocates, entrepreneurs, digital developers, representatives of finance and insurance companies, and experts from the
sciences industry.

Then, who is also the head of School of Computing and director of Centre for Digital Futures at Swinburne, said with ESC recognition, they had demonstrated that world-class research could be achieved by Sarawakians without leaving their hometown.

“It is also evident that Sarawak-based universities such as Swinburne Sarawak are capable of competing on the world stage,” he added.

Meanwhile, Loh remarked that the opportunity to attend and present at the summit had widened his limited knowledge and a great accomplishment for all their efforts.

The Swinburne duo at the summit venue.

“As a postgraduate student pursuing this area of research, I encountered numerous difficulties along the way. However, with assistance from the university in terms of mentorship, teamwork and monetary support, these challenges became possibilities. Thus, leading from research to development, and finally to the chance of commercialisation.”

The ESC is the world’s largest scientific society of cardiovascular professionals, bringing together more than 100,000 members across 57 National Cardiac Societies. ESC brought the very best technology innovators from around the globe to the event in Tallinn.

Then and Loh were also invited to be interviewed by prominent UK-based cardiology publishing firm Radcliffe Group, in relation to their presented research.

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