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Korean version of ‘Watson’ unveiled at hospital meet
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2018.08.09 13:27
  • Updated 2018.08.09 13:27
  • comments 0
Professor Kim Young-hak explains the development procedure and potential of “Dr. Answer,” Korea’s first AI-based precision medical care platform, at the K-Hospital Fair held at COEX, Seoul, Wednesday.

The Korea Data and Software-driven Hospital Consortium (K-DASH) introduced its plans to develop “Dr. Answer,” Korea’s first artificial intelligence-based precision medical care platform, at COEX, Seoul, on Wednesday.

Led by Asan Medical Center (AMC), K-DASH aims to develop intelligent software that can quickly commercialize high-quality databases representing Korea by 2020. The consortium will focus on developing a platform that can diagnose, treat and visualize eight diseases, including cerebrovascular disease, heart disease, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and dementia.

The consortium will include 25 medical institutions, 18 companies, and one university, and participants will invest 35.7 billion won ($31.9 million) jointly.

"This is the first attempt to develop medical AI software in Korea," said Professor Kim Young-hak, head of AMC’s health innovation big data center. "By linking and analyzing various medical data, our platform can support the prediction, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, according to individual characteristics.”

To achieve such goals, the consortium plans to build a medical big data platform, which encompasses 11,000 medical visit logs, 16,600 images, 4,200 genomic information, and 3,000 lifestyle habits.

Also, the group plans to utilize various patents and certifications owned by members of the consortium in developing Dr. Answer.

“The consortium plans to develop a prototype for at least three of the targeted disease until the end of this year while putting the software to use by actual medical institutions starting next year,” Kim said. "As the division of roles between hospitals, businesses and governments are important, we plan to cooperate closely throughout the project.”

Kim stressed that the success and failure of Dr. Answer during the development process and the subsequent commercialization depends on the active involvement of participating hospitals.

"It is hospitals that verify and utilize the software developed by the company since they produce the data and uses the final software,” Kim said. “So the role of hospitals in developing medical artificial intelligence is important.”

Therefore, K-DASH plans to implement various education and publicity programs to encourage the active participation of hospitals, Kim added.

Even if the group successfully develops the software, Kim noted, there will be little meaning if regulations keep the platform from achieving its full potential.

"The world needs to reorganize laws and regulations on building AI and big data banks to fit reality,” he said. “We have to overcome it through education, publicity and talks, while objectively studying emotional resistance to AI and finding ways to solve it.”


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