“Doctors often ask me to help them make money out of a startup, but they can do it on their own.”
So said Chung Seok, a professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department of Korea University, at a healthcare conference. Chung is known for masterminding many successful local startups such as NanoEnTek and INTEK BIO.
|Chung Seok, a professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department of Korea University, speaks at the Hospital Innovation and Patient Experience Conference 2019 (HiPex 2019) at Myongji Hospital in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, on Friday.|
As the latest trends in procedure advancement, it does not take much time to realize ideas in the current era, he said. Under such circumstances, it is essential for doctors to try to make a product on their own, rather than relying on someone to realize their ideas, he added.
Chung spoke at the Hospital Innovation and Patient Experience Conference 2019 (HiPex 2019) at Myongji Hospital in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, on Friday. The Korean Doctors’ Weekly, the sister paper of Korea Biomedical Review, co-organized the annual meeting.
He introduced “organ-on-a-chip,” which emulates the functions and structures of various organs on a chip, and several studies on how to utilize organoids – miniaturized organs produced outside the body that show realistic micro-anatomy.
He explained how these technologies could be applied to medicine.
The studies introduced by Chung are about making use of tissues to create a brain and connect artificial retina, nerve, and organs to the brain.
As it is increasingly difficult to obtain medical evidence-based results through animal experiments, organs-on-a-chip can be an alternative, Chung emphasized. He was also working on a study to make artificial pancreatic tissues and deliver them to the liver to treat diabetes.
“I’ve been doing lots of research with physicians, and many of them asked me to help them earn money or start a company. When starting a business, workforce and capital are important, but there is no system to support those for doctors,” Chung said.
Korea University built systems called “π-Ville” and “X-Garage” to support such researchers. “People can enliven their ideas through π-Ville, and make actual products through X-Garage,” he said.
If a doctor has an idea that can make use of future technology, he or she should personally visit a lab to make something up, Chung noted.
“Doctors are not aware of this well, but the latest technologies allow them to make something in a day or two through ‘hackathon.’ Korea University is carrying out a project to make an electric vehicle for one person, and this can be done in a day with the latest technologies,” he said.
In the future where artificial intelligence (AI) and new technologies are abundant, it will be necessary for physicians to try something on their own, Chung added.
“Doctors will find it meaningful to culture cells and make artificial tissues at a particular place by themselves,” he said in conclusion.
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