Korea University Medical Center’s Project Groups Selected for National Strategic Projects
Expected to lead national projects worth KRW 76.9 billion
Domestic medical industry to undergo paradigm shift with the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Guidelines for personalized cancer medicine and cloud-based precision medicine hospital information system to be established
▲ View of Korea University Anam Hospital
The Korea University Medical Center is taking the lead in the Fourth Industrial Revolution with two project groups (a precision medicine-based cancer diagnosis/treatment development project group and the Precision Medicine Hospital Information System (P-HIS) Development Project Group) selected to participate in national strategic projects worth a total of KRW 76.9 billion (approximately KRW 62.4 billion by the government, KRW 14.6 billion by the private sector) and run by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
The two project groups selected to participate in national strategic projects are the precision medicine-based cancer diagnosis/treatment development project group (K-MASTER Project Group), led by Professor Yeul Hong Kim (Dept. of Oncology and Hematology, Korea University Anam Hospital) and the P-HIS Development Project Group, led by Professor Sang Heon Lee (Dept. of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Vice Director of Korea University Anam Hospital). Professor Yeul Hong Kim is serving as the project head.
The projects, which will receive a total funding of KRW 62.4 billion from the government over next five years, will introduce a new paradigm in domestic medicine by developing new cancer treatments and establishing a cloud-based hospital information system. The industry expects to see advancements in precision medicine up to 2021 and the creation of new markets based on advanced medical information systems that reflect the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Precision medicine is a new medical paradigm that provides customized healthcare (prevention, diagnosis, and treatment) in consideration of individual characteristics such as genetics, clinical information, living environment, and personal habits. Advanced countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom have recognized the importance of this field and are making major investments in it.
Based on Korea’s international competitiveness in ICT and medical technology, the Korean government seeks to create new markets and strengthen the national capacity in precision medicine.
▲ Professor Yeul Hong Kim (right), head of the K-Master Project Group and Professor Sang Heon Lee (left), head of the P-HIS Development Project Group
Through the projects, the Korea University Medical Center will develop a genetic analysis platform for cancer treatment and establish a process to verify the effects of profiling-based targeted therapy. In addition, the center will propose commercialization models of the cloud-based P-HIS for both domestic and overseas markets.
More specifically, the K-MASTER Project Group seeks to improve national healthcare and the quality of life by applying precision medicine to cancer diagnosis and treatment. It plans to present guidelines for various stages from cancer diagnosis to treatment and expand customized treatment for individual patients. These efforts include the establishment of a protocol for the genetic analysis of Korean cancer patients, the development of a precision medicine cancer database, the introduction of a clinical trial system based on precision medicine, and the development of new drugs compatible with Korean genes. The group is already developing an analytical platform for the genetic analysis of cancer and has expanded clinical trials via the Global Clinical Trial Center and the KCSG network.
The P-HIS Development Project Group will establish a cloud-based hospital information system (HIS) to utilize ICT in the integration and analysis of various medical data. The new system will be introduced in medical institutes at home and abroad, allowing massive amounts of data to be collected for precision medicine. The Korea University Medical Center will form a collaborative network with Samsung SDS, the national leader in digital health and cloud-based services; companies such as Crossent, Softnet, Hooh Healthcare, and DAYLI Intelligence; and major hospitals such as Ajou University Medical Center, Samsung Medical Center, Severance Hospital, and Gacheon University Gil Medical Center. Through the global commercialization of cutting-edge technology in precision medicine, it will boost the national economy for sustainable growth.
Myoung Hyo Kim, the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, said, “Our researchers will present a new paradigm for medicine in Korea through the government-funded projects. As Korea’s first project group dedicated to precision medicine, I expect the Korea University Medical Center to create new markets in precision medicine and ultimately enhance national competitiveness.”
Professor Yeul Hong Kim said, “I will do my best to lead the two groups and to nurture the Korea University Medical Center into one of the world’s best in precision medicine. We will develop effective cancer treatments based on precision medicine and maximize the potential of precision medicine in cancer.”
Professor Sang Heon Lee, the vice director of research, said, “We will create new commercialization models that contribute to convergence research in bio-healthcare by cooperating with the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the National IT Industry Promotion Agency in order to further develop P-HIS. This will lay the foundation for all Korean citizens to receive medical benefits that meet the standards of advanced countries.”
Prior to the selection of the two project groups, the Korea University Medical Center had exerted efforts to enhance its research capacity. As the only medical institute comprised of two research-centered hospitals, it has worked on expanding its research infrastructure and building a collaborative network with outstanding research institutes. As part of preparations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the center has developed healthcare applications through an ICT-based healthcare consortium, and established a PHR-based telemedicine platform. It was also the first in Korea to introduce cloud-based medical services. In addition, the center has conducted research on customized chemotherapy to enhance the survival rate of cancer patients and minimize adverse effects, opened a new precision medicine center, and employed next generation sequencing for personalized medicine. The construction of the Advanced Convergence Medical Center will soon begin, and more synergy can be expected under the rigorous research ecosystem comprised of the healthcare ICT consortium, Medical Device Innovation Center (MeDIC), and IVD Support Center.