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Post-Covid Growth Engine: Data and digital devices to drive Korea's bio-health industry
Updated: 2020-07-07 17:11:23 KST
From heart monitors on your smart watch to sleep quality trackers, digital health care wearables and applications are expected to drive South Korea's bio-health industry.
As part of its New Deal strategy for the post-coronavirus economy, the government has highlighted bio-health as a core growth sector, made up of new medicines, medical devices and health management.
By 2030, Korea aims to generate 50 billion dollars of bio-health exports, tripling the country's global market share to 6 percent.
Based on Korea's strength in smart technology such as virtual reality and Artificial Intelligence, as well as electronic devices, experts say the country could streak ahead in the digital health market.

"As the world moves towards contactless, digitalised services amid COVID-19, digital devices and artificial intelligence will help health management become more precise, personal and easier to access. This presents a great chance for small and medium-sized firms in particular. They can develop software and algorithms to help patients with less severe diseases."

Much of Korea's digital health development will depend on the use of data.
Korea has one of the world's largest databases of patient information, due to its public-private health care insurance but privacy laws have largely prevented the data from being shared for research or commercial use.
However, as countries look to address growing public health demands and treat incurable diseases, data has become key to creating breakthrough cures and treatments.
But there are high barriers to entry for newer, smaller players.

"This is a winner takes all market So in a way to make fair competition in terms of the technology and then level of knowledge, we have to widen the opportunity to get access to the capital market for SME enterprises"

With the revision of the country's laws on data protection, the government is expected to release guidelines on how to handle and process medical and patient data for research.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.
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