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NTU INSIGHT Center Signed Memorandum of Cooperation with Professor Nelson B. Powell in an Attempt to Solve Sleeping Disorders of Taiwanese Citizens and to Usher in a New Era in the Development of Sleeping Technology for Taiwan

NTU's Center of Innovation and Synergy for Intelligent Home and Living Technology (INSIGHT) established a "Study Group for Sleep-related Science and Technology", which signed an official Memorandum of Cooperation with Dr. Nelson B. Powell on March 20th. In the Memorandum, both parties agreed to integrate their strengths in sleep-related research to seek business opportunities in the development of sleep science and technology, and to pursue further research together.

Professor Nelson B. Powell used to be a physician at Stanford University's Center for Human Sleep Research. Founded in 1970, Stanford's Center for Human Sleep Research was the first of its kind in the world. The Stanford Center played a pivotal role in the history of the development of sleep medicine. Discovery of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and the innovation of a sleep monitoring machine were among the achievements of the Stanford Center. In his past 25 years of practice, Dr.Powell devoted himself to the exploration of new methodology to diagnose and to treat sleep disorders, as a result he now occupies a leading position in the area of polysomnographic research in the world. Dr. Powell was invited to come over to Taiwan in 2007 to demonstrate his surgical procedures at the Hsin Kong Hospital. In addition to his academic and clinical achievements, Dr. Powell also made great contributions to medical education. His students are spread all over the world. Many famous sleep surgeons were personally taught by him. Dr. Ping-Ying Chang, a member of INSIGHT's "Study Group for Sleep-related Science and Technology", received his surgical training at Stanford University under Dr. Powell.

INSIGHT Center points out that, with the development of a commercial/industrial society, more and more people are willing to admit that they suffered from the symptoms of insomnia. Statistical survey also reveals this trend. According to an official estimate by the National Bureau of Health Insurance, in 2004 the citizens of Taiwan consumed sleeping pills worth 850 million N.T. dollars, and the figures keep mounting up year by year. As these people are spread over all age levels the market potentials for sleep–related science /technology and industries are clearly enormous. Therefore, NTU INSIGHT Center has targeted sleeping technology as one of its main areas of research and development.

At present, sleeping technology is still an emerging area of research. The NTU INSIGHT Center adopted an innovative academia/industry cooperation mode, and established the "Study Group for Sleep-related Science & Technology", the purpose of which was to integrate the experts and scholars from sleep medicine, clinical psychology, architectural design, information technology, and product design, etc, and, through their collective brainstorming, develop new sleep technologies with high market potentials. The Study Group also hopes to search for products suitable for the Taiwan market, and, by capitalizing on Taiwan's advantages in the electronic manufacturing chain, create an industrial blue ocean in the post PC era.

The current members of NTU's "Study Group for Sleep-related Science and Technology" include Dr. Shih-Chung Kang from NTU's College of Engineering, Dr. Ping-Ying Chiang from the Department of Otolaryngology and Sleep Center of the Hsin Kong Hospital (he is also the Director of the Department of Otolaryngology of the Fu-jen Catholic University), Professor Zai-Ting Yeh and Professor Peng-Chih Wang from the College of Medicine of Fu-jen Catholic University, Professor Hsien-Hui Tang from the College of Design of the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, etc. This Study Group has developed a prototype system for electronic sleep coaching, which combines cognitive behavioral therapy with an inducing computing device to help people who suffer form insomnia understand the situation of their sleep and establish a correct perception of sleep. In addition, the system provides a corresponding medical diagnosis support system (Sleep Coach Doc) which assists health care professionals in understanding the patient's sleep history, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment of insomnia. As of now the Study Group has acquired two patents, which are: "Sleep-mates and assisting devices" and "Hand held sleep-mates and their assisting devices". The Study Group will present their newest research results on sleep coaching at the 2009 Conference of the American Sleep Association.

Through international cooperation the NTU INSIGHT Center will usher in a new era in the development of the sleeping technology of Taiwan. The Center's research results not only solve the problem of insomnia for many Taiwanese citizens, but also promote the upgrading of the domestic electronics industry.

Related Websites:
NTU INSIGHT Center: http://insight.ntu.edu.tw/

Contact numbers:
Professor Shih-Chung Kang 0920-445-556
Dr. Ping-Ying Chiang 0968-995-287

Administrative Assistant of the INSIGHT Center:
Miss Jia-Hsuan Chiang 0922-438-946

Chinese version