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Gov't vows to support convergence in health care industry

All Headlines 12:00 July 04, 2018

SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean government said Wednesday it will expand support for combining technology breakthroughs with medical devices to get ahead in the latest trend in the advanced health care market.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it will step up collaboration with local tech and health care companies to develop high-value added products and services, such as a mobile health care management system, 3-D intraoral scanners, use of artificial intelligence in ultrasonic image analysis and rehabilitation practices.

"The advanced medical market has been dominated by global companies, but Korean companies now have better chances to compete thanks to a highly skilled workforce and IT expertise that can allow it to target tech convergence in medical devices," Industry Minister Paik Un-gyu said during his visit to the Wonju medical industry technovalley, located 132 kilometers east of Seoul. "The government will resolve issues related to the development of advanced medical devices and their clinical research and approval to facilitate their market entry."

The ministry also vowed to work with hospitals, research institutes and health care companies to jointly develop medical big data that can be used in the development of personalized medicine.

Personalized medicine can offer treatment tailored to individuals but requires the establishment of a national database on genetics and other health-related information.

The public-private partnership will collect the medical records of about 50 million people from 39 hospitals nationwide by 2020 to establish big data in the medical field. The records will not include patients' personal information, the ministry said.

Officials from health care companies gathered at the Wonju medical industry technovalley, located 132 kilometers east of Seoul, to discuss ways to develop South Korea's bio industry on Feb. 9, 2018, in this photo provided by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. (Yonhap)

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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