CityUHK establishes Institute of Digital Medicine with global partnerships for future healthcare innovation

Academic, clinical and industry partners signed several MoUs with City University of Hong Kong at a special ceremony on 24 April to mark the establishment of the CityUHK Institute of Digital Medicine (IDM).

(From left) Professor Michael Yang, Senior Vice-President (Innovation and Enterprise) of CityUHK, Professor Lee Chun-sing, Provost and Deputy President of CityUHK, Mr Lester Garson Huang, Council Chairman of CityUHK, Professor Sun Dong, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, HKSAR Government, Professor Freddy Boey, President of CityUHK, Professor Ma Wei Ying, Chief Scientist and Huiyan Chair Professor of Institute of AI Industry Research at Tsinghua University, Professor Lim Chwee Teck, Director of iHealthtech at National University of Singapore and Mr Ray Yang, Partner of Marathon Venture Partners.

The academic and research partners include:
•    National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
•    Tsinghua University 
•    Southern Medical University 
•    University of Exeter, UK
•    Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR)

The industry/clinical partners include:
•    JD Health 
•    China Resources Research Institute of Science and Technology 
•    Yidu Tech 
•    Marathon Venture Partners 
•    SG Diagnostics 

Exploring digital health with innovative solutions

In collaboration with renowned universities and medical schools around the world, as well as clinical and industry partners and health tech investors, IDM will utilise our research strengths in engineering, data science and life science to develop innovative technologies to support doctors and explore digital health solutions for the long-term benefit of patients. 

Professor Sun.

The establishment of the IDM and MoU signing ceremony was witnessed by Professor Sun Dong, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, HKSAR Government, Mr Lester Garson Huang, Council Chairman of CityUHK, and Professor Freddy Boey, President of CityUHK.

“The CityUHK Institute of Digital Medicine aligns seamlessly with the government's strategic direction of developing Hong Kong as an international life and health technology centre, and it solidifies CityUHK’s commitment to innovating digital health solutions for the future of healthcare,” said Mr Huang.

Mr Huang.

International partnerships

With digital medicine at the forefront of technological development, Mr Huang said he was glad CityUHK’s IDM had support from medical schools at prestigious universities, research institutions, leading enterprises in the field of digital medicine and venture capital firms. 

“Joining hands, we will drive synergistic effects in research and development, technology transfer, accelerating the translation of cutting-edge technologies into practical solutions that benefit society,” he added.

President Boey.

The future of healthcare

CityUHK is committed to promoting inspirational, interactive and innovative education, fostering a culture of innovation and excellence in research, and developing creative solutions to address global issues through groundbreaking research, said President Boey.

“In this era of rapid technological advancements, the fields of medicine and digital innovation have become increasingly intertwined,” he said, adding that CityUHK believed digital medicine complemented traditional approaches and offered cost-efficient and sustainable solutions.

The long-term aims of the CityUHK IDM are to advance research into integrating life and health technologies, data science, and artificial intelligence with medical science and public health. By leveraging CityUHK’s strengths in engineering, data science and life science, IDM will empower doctors with advanced technologies and explore the long-term benefits of digital health solutions for patients, further solidifying its commitment to the future of healthcare.

“In this our 30th anniversary year, we look forward to identifying opportunities for collaborative research and development, as well as the transformation and commercialisation of cutting-edge technology in life sciences, such as cell and gene therapy, bioinformatics, biomedical engineering, advanced therapies and clinical trials, ensuring that our innovations generate positive societal impacts,” President Boey continued.

From left: Professor Chan Chi-hou, Vice-President (Community Engagement) of CityUHK, Mr He, Mr Zhi, Professor Cui, Professor Liu, Professor Qian, Professor Yang, Professor Lee, Mr Huang, Professor Sun, President Boey, Professor Ma, Professor Lim, Mr Yang, Professor Chong, Mr Li, Ms Kate Qi, Mr Sunny Lee Wai-kwong, Vice-President (Administration) of CityUHK, and Professor Cheng Shuk-han, Associate Vice-President (Research) of CityUHK.

Commitment to innovation

In line with our steadfast dedication to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, the HK Tech 300 programme has already supported over 140 start-ups through Angel Fund investment, with around 20% of them focusing on biotech and health. 

In addition, the newly launched CityUHK Academy of Innovation nurtures tech innopreneurship talents and deep tech start-ups. 

“Our IDM symbolises our devotion to pushing the boundaries of medicine and technology and harnessing the power of technology for the betterment of healthcare. It embodies our commitment to developing partnerships with world-leading institutions,” President Boey added.

The academic and research partners include:

National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine 
The National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine is Singapore’s first and largest medical school. Its enduring mission centres on nurturing highly competent, values-driven and inspired healthcare professionals to transform the practice of medicine and improve health around the world.

The School is the oldest institution of higher learning in the NUS and a founding institutional member of the National University Health System. It is one of the leading medical schools in Asia and ranks among the best in the world (Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2024 by subject and the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by subject 2024).

For more information about NUS Medicine, please visit

Tsinghua University 
Tsinghua is a dynamic global university renowned for its high-quality teaching, research, and spirit of social commitment. It is consistently ranked among the very best universities in the world by the most respected international university rankings.
Tsinghua Medicine is an Academic Health Science System at Tsinghua University that integrates five schools (School of Basic Medical Science, School of Pharmaceutical Science, School of Biomedical Engineering, School of Clinical Medicine, School of Healthcare Management,) and three hospitals into a cohesive structure and strategy. It provides a platform and interface for research across the entire Tsinghua University to meet the health needs of China. Its medical education programme ranks #14 in the latest THE World University Rankings 2024 by subject.

Southern Medical University
Southern Medical University (SMU), formerly the First Military Medical University, was founded in 1951 and is one of the premier medical universities in China. SMU is the only premier medical university in Guangdong Province, and it has become one of the eight prestigious universities authorised by the Ministry of Education to run the pilot 8-year medical education programme. 

SMU is one of the high-level medical universities jointly set up by provincial and ministerial committees. In recent college ratings for mainland universities, SMU has been ranked 3rd among medical universities.

University of Exeter, UK 
The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university that combines world-class research with high levels of student satisfaction. It has over 30,000 students and sits within the Top 15 universities in The Guardian University Guide 2023 and in the top 150 globally in both the QS World Rankings 2022 and THE World University Rankings 2023. In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework), more than 99% of its research was rated as being of international quality, and its world-leading research impact has grown by 72% since 2014, more than any other Russell Group university. 

The University of Exeter's cutting-edge research in data science and artificial intelligence is transforming healthcare. With a focus on improving health outcomes, the expert teams are developing innovative AI-driven solutions for predicting and preventing diseases, personalising treatment plans, and improving patient care.

Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) 
The Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) is the University of Oxford’s first and only engineering and physical sciences research institute in Mainland China, co-established with the Suzhou Industrial Park in Mainland China. OSCAR builds on Oxford University’s research strengths. It leads research in modern biotechnology, advanced materials, computational approaches and manufacturing techniques to provide innovative solutions to current global healthcare, energy, environmental and financial challenges.

The industry/clinical partners:

JD Health 
JD Health is the healthcare business of The company’s technology-driven platform is centered on the supply chain of pharmaceutical and healthcare products, strengthened by a suite of healthcare services, tailored to meet user’s needs across their entire lifespan. JD Health has become a leading provider of medical and healthcare products, services, and solutions in Mainland China.

China Resources Research Institute of Science and Technology 
China Resources Group (CR Group) is one of the Fortune Global 500 enterprises, ranking 74th in 2023, with business areas across consumer products, integrated energy, urban construction and operation, healthcare, industrial finance, technology and emerging sectors. 

China Resources Research Institute of Science and Technology is one of the leading platform for CR Group for scientific research and development. The Institute aims to synergise the resources of The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council’s “SASAC 9+6 plan”, Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Development Blueprint, and the CR Group’s resources. 

Focusing on three primary directions of Life and Health, Intelligence and Digitalisation, and New Materials, the Institute strides to promote collaborations with universities, scientific research institutions, and leading enterprises in Hong Kong, further building an “Academia-Industry-Research-Application” collaborative platforms and bolster the development of the city as an International Innovation and Technology Hub.
The Research Institute is recognised as the first “Strategic Enterprises” batch by the Hong Kong Government, which reaffirms the Research Institute's dedicated effort to promote innovation and technology development.

Yidu Tech 
Yidu Tech Inc. is a leader in healthcare intelligence in China and is dedicated to pioneering a better, safer, more accessible, and intelligent healthcare system. It offers data analytics-driven innovative solutions, helping to reduce costs and enhance the efficiency of the supply side of healthcare services. 

Yidu Tech’s proprietary intelligent “medical brain”, YiduCore, focuses on diseases, integrating research, diagnosis, and public health scenarios. It has processed over 4 billion medical records, connecting more than 1,700 hospitals. 

Marathon Venture Partners 
Marathon Venture Partners (MVP) is a leading early-stage venture capital firm focusing on the digital health, with over 3 billion RMB under management via several RMB and USD funds. MVP focuses on the early-stage digital health companies that could help the transformation and upgrade of local and global medical and healthcare system, to reduce costs and improve quality of medical services. It works closely with its portfolio companies to build the three key pillars of digital health infrastructure: access, payment and efficiency. MVP invested in around 100 companies in those areas, such as platform-based medical devices, mobile healthcare and services, precision diagnosis, and insure-tech for healthcare.

SG Diagnostics 
SG Diagnostics is an innovation-led medical diagnostic company enabled by a dedicated team of skilled medical professionals based in Singapore. Passionate about public health and safety, the company taps into Singapore’s world-class technological infrastructure to support the high-quality production of testing solutions for chronic diseases like diabetes and cholesterol and infectious diseases like COVID-19 and influenza.