The medical service industry is one of the industries to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) aggressively. Since Gachon University Gil Medical Center became the first local hospital in December last year to adopt IBM’s AI-based system Watson, six university hospitals followed suit this year. Most of them were provincial university hospital, which aimed to make use of Watson to attract patients and avoid losing them to the Seoul metropolitan area.
Pusan National University Hospital adopted Watson in January, Kongyang University Hospital, Dongsan Medical Center of Keimyung University, and Daegu Catholic University Medical Center, in April. In September, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital and Chosun University Hospital started to use Watson for oncology.
Six hospitals said they formed the so-called AI Healthcare Consortium. The six are Gacheon University Gil Medical Center, Kongyang University Hospital, Dongsan Medical Center of Keimyung University, Daegu Catholic University Medical Center, Pusan National University Hospital, and Chosun University Hospital. The consortium aims to accelerate innovation in medical technologies, enhance the public concern, and build the “AI ecology” through exchanges among the business, academic, and medical fields.
Hospitals are increasingly developing their own AI and applying to their medical care. Sejong Mediplex Hospital developed the “AEGIS” (cardiac Arrest Early warning alGorithm In Sejong hospital), an AI program to predict cardiac arrests 24 hours earlier, with a startup called VUNO Korea. The hospital adopted the program in July. In September 365mc Networks unveiled its “Motion capture and Artificial Intelligence assisted Liposuction System,” or MAIL System, jointly developed with Microsoft Korea.
As AI programs quickly spread in the medical field, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said that IBM’s Watson could not be considered as a medical device, while announcing new guidelines for review and assessment of medical devices that use Big Data and AI technologies.
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