Korea is expected to accelerate artificial intelligence (AI) use for pharmaceutical and medical purposes such as new drug development and medical data use in hospitals, under the government’s national strategy.
The Ministry of Science and ICT announced the “AI National Strategy” at a cabinet meeting, presided over by President Moon Jae-in, on Tuesday.
According to the strategy, Korea will pursue “selection and concentration” in areas where the nation has strengths and seek a balance between enhancing AI-using technologies/industries and putting the human at the center of AI development.
By 2030, the government aims to make Korea the world’s third-most digitally competitive country, create 455 trillion won ($390.8 billion) worth of economic effect through AI-based businesses, and rank within the top 10 in the world in terms of quality of life.
To achieve the goals, the government set nine strategies and 100 tasks in three industries, including healthcare.
For the healthcare sector, in particular, the government said it would use AI to nurture the biotech and medical industry as the critical growth industry of the next generation.
The government will help companies build an AI platform for new drug development by 2021, dramatically shorten the average medicine development period from 15 years to seven or eight years, and use AI to find and verify the optimal drug candidates.
From next year, it will begin supporting medical data-using hospitals and help them provide medical AI service, demonstrate clinical practice, build data set at hospitals, and create a friendly environment for medical AI development.
From 2020, the government will designate five hospitals with medical research capabilities and support the production and utilization of medical data and the construction of the information system.
The government will also help hospitals demonstrate AI services through assistance in emergency response, voice medical service, and patient counseling.
Besides, the government will set standardized data for clinical verification and build a specialized review system by 2021, to raise the quality of AI-using medical devices and reduce the commercialization period.
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