We are pleased to announce that Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co. Ltd. (Headquartered in Tokyo, President: Masakazu Ikeda, also “MURC”) and the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University (Headquartered in Thailand, Dean of the Faculty: Professor Suttipong Wacharasindhu) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 12 August 2021 in order to collaborate on the development of solutions in the field of ophthalmology utilizing advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), telemedicine, and smart devices in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Both parties will contribute to the promotion of global health through joint research and the formation of new projects regarding digital solutions in the field of ophthalmology, utilizing the knowledge, expertise, and networks of each party.
In recent years, the number of patients suffering from eye diseases, visual impairment, and blindness has been increasing worldwide due to population growth, aging, and changing lifestyles. Additionally, in LMICs, ophthalmology prevention and treatment are generally neglected compared to other health issues, as well as limited access to eye care, especially in rural areas. As a result, these countries are facing a growing number of cases of visual impairment and blindness that could have been prevented with proper prevention and treatment. In order to respond effectively to these challenges, more attention has recently been shown to advanced technologies and innovative solutions, with the aim of improving access to eye care and enhancing the quality of prevention and treatment.
Based on this background, the Center on Global Health Architecture established at MURC is working to address global health challenges, and one of its approaches is to use digital health and data health to assist people in LMICs in tackling various healthcare needs. The Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, on the other hand, is working with healthcare professionals in and outside of Thailand to research effective digital solutions for prevention and treatment in the field of ophthalmology, leveraging advanced technologies such as AI, telemedicine, and smart devices.
This MOU focuses on joint research for the development of digital solutions in the field of ophthalmology in LMICs, including ASEAN, as well as cooperation in the formation of new projects. Through this collaboration, both parties aim to contribute to the eye health and a prosperous future for people in LMICs.
2．Outlines of the two organization
■ Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University
Chulalongkorn University is the oldest national university in the Kingdom of Thailand. The university has been active in international research activities and is committed to creating knowledge and innovation to transform Thai society into a creative and sustainable future. As part of the university’s mission is to contribute the knowledge gained to the sustainable development of the country and society, the Faculty of Medicine is also actively involved in sharing knowledge with society through collaboration between industry, government and academia.
■ Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co. Ltd.
MURC is a think tank and consulting firm within Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). It has offices in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, and drives a variety of projects including consultancy services for firms, policy research for national and local governments, management information services, human resource development, and economic research.
The Secretariat of this MoU is MURC’s Center on Global Health Architecture, an organization striving to solve global health issues.
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