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Korean hospitals jump into developing medical AI-technology
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2018.01.30 16:52
  • Updated 2018.01.30 18:06
  • comments 0

Large Korean hospitals are taking an active approach to creating and implementing artificial medical intelligence (AI) technology in medical institutions, rather than merely installing AI technology such as IBM Watson.

Samsung Medical Center said Tuesday it would work with healthcare startup Lunit to create a supporting AI-based diagnostic system. The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation on expanding disease prediction models, optimize clinician decision-making, and analyze images of radiology and diseases, the hospital said.

Samsung Medical Center Deputy Director Im Young-Hyuck (left) and Lunit CEO Anthony Paek hold an MOU after signing on it at the hospital Tuesday.

Lunit, established in 2013 and named as one of the top 100 Korean startups by CB Insight last year, started cooperating with Samsung Medical Center in 2015 for radiology imaging research, according to the hospital. Lunit will provide the AI algorithm for analyzing and processing medical images. Samsung Medical Center will then use it to carry out AI research that focuses on various cancers such as breast and colorectal cancer.

They will also continue to develop an AI model for each disease type using Lunit’s AI algorithm and Samsung Medical Center’s precision medicine research platform, it said.

“Samsung Medical Center and Lunit, by cooperating in the field of AI imaging, will confirm the potential of medical AI research. We believe the cooperation will bring about substantial achievement,” said Professor Im Young Hyuck, deputy director of Samsung Medical Center.

Lunit CEO Anthony Paek said, “Lunit’s vision is to create innovative software regarding medical data diagnosis and interpretation through deep-learning technology.” The cooperation with Samsung Medical Center will make more accurate and efficient clinical decision-making for patients possible, he added.

Meanwhile, Gyeonggi Province, Yongin city, and Severance Hospital said they would work together to create a medical AI center in the city by 2022. The three parties signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday to build a medical AI-based research center in the city, Severance hospital said.

(From left) Governor of Gyeonggi Province Nam Kyung-pil, Mayor of Yongin Jung Chang-min, Yonsei University Health System CEO Yoon Do-heum, and Yonsei University President Kim Yong-hak pose for a commemorative photo after signing an MOU Wednesday.

Yonsei University Health System plans to begin work on the medical AI center at Yongin Severance Hospital this year and then relocate the center to a high-tech industrial complex center to be built in the city by 2022, it said. The Gyeonggi Province and Yongin city will provide administrative support and cooperation among regional universities and industries for the AI research.

The Medical AI Center will combine and standardize the clinical and business information data of three hospitals – Severance, Gangnam Severance, and Yongin Severance – to create an infrastructure that applies medical AI and to develop a platform for diagnosing, treating, and caring for critical diseases, Severance Hospital said.

“Yonsei’s superior manpower and technology, and the clinical data from Severance Hospital will create a new roadmap in the medical field for the fourth industrial revolution,” Yonsei University President Kim Yong-hak said.

The research center will help establish a high-tech industrial complex in Yongin by 2022, which will attract biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies, the hospital said. The project is expected to create around 4,000 jobs and social and economic ripple effect worth 500 billion won ($466 million), it added.

The global AI healthcare market is estimated to reach 2.5 trillion won this year and expected to exceed 6 trillion won by 2020 and 15.7 trillion won by 2022, according to Severance Hospital.


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