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New research office to verify efficacy of ‘smart’ healthcare
  • By Yang Geum-deok
  • Published 2017.07.31 13:24
  • Updated 2017.07.31 15:05
  • comments 0

Social interests in chronical disease management and personalized health promotion have been rising amid population aging, but information and communication technology (ICT)-based medical technology has fallen short of fulfilling the needs.

Not just the government but industry-university-research complex have set about to find a solution. A case in point is the Office of Policy Research for Future Healthcare launched in June under the wing of the National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency (NECA)한국보건의료연구원.

The office, composed of 18 researchers, is an organization to conduct researches that provide grounds needed for developing healthcare policies as well as plan and assess related pilot projects. NECA said it has established the office to prepare for the fourth industrial revolution, promote smart healthcare services and help the domestic healthcare policy take one step forward.

Shin Chae-min, executive director of the Office of Policy Research for Future Healthcare, says her office will provide logical grounds to back up the government’s ICT-based healthcare policies, in an interview with Korea Biomedical Review.

“We will develop policies people can feel about the new government’s healthcare strategy and provide grounds that back them up,” said Shin Chae-min신채민, executive director of the office.

The research office drew eight specific objectives in future healthcare policy after collecting opinions from the industry, media, the government, and patients through various forums last year.

To shape up ICT-based policies, the nation should build healthcare safety network, invigorate clinical trials, set up information protection and sharing system, create a more efficient healthcare transfer system, and establish a public-private cooperative system, according to the head of the new office.

“We are studying to make ICT-based clinical guidelines to develop guidelines for the efficient management of chronic diseases this year,” Shin said. “We are also conducting and assessing a pilot project to provide ICT-based nursing service for the effective management of chronic diseases inflicting elderly patients by visiting their homes.

Noting that the targets of smart healthcare are the medically vulnerable class, Shin said heroffice is studying how to provide quality healthcare to these people and how it can make the most of the global clinical data for them in safe and effective ways.

Shin also said her office would not just be content with just the current technological evaluation but create an ecosystem by monitoring newly developed medical technology worldwide, analyzing their clinical grounds and potential effects of promising technology, and introducing them to Korea.

Many smart healthcare-related technologies are being developed with some of them having already won the approvals from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS)식약처, Shin said, adding that it is necessary to provide a clinical basis and analyze the efficacy in adopting this technology.

“For example, we will make an analysis report of how effective rehabilitation robots are in treating patients and say what is needed for supplementing insufficient basis,” she said.

As a conclusion, Shin said, “We want to present research results, whose benefits people can feel and utilize. Toward that end, public agencies need to cooperate with one another to create a synergic effect.”


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