Region/Countries: Asia, South Korea Industry: Biosciences / Medical Devices, Other Date: February 2018

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Wisconsin biotech companies with advanced technologies should consider partnering with South Korean companies.

According to the Institute for Information and Communications Technology Promotion’s 2018 report, the South Korean market for big-data and artificial intelligence (AI) medical devices is expected to grow drastically, from $2.2 billion in 2020 to $27.5 billion in 2030. Although this market is still in an early stage, South Korea is still an advanced technology country, and AI development is well under way in various medical fields.

In the health care sector, AI paves the way for smart health care solutions. Many companies are developing wearable sensors that can collect health information, such as pulse, blood sugar level, body temperature and stress. For example, IBM Watson, which is well known for “Cognitive Healthcare Solutions,” is already utilized by seven South Korean hospitals to recommend treatment to patients.

In addition, South Korean startup company VunoNet created a deep learning engine that processes medical data from X-ray, CT and MRI scans to build models for how diseases develop in the body. Many South Korean hospitals have also jumped into implementing artificial medical intelligence technology in medical institutions. Recently, one of the largest hospitals in South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding with Korean startup company Lunit. Through their cooperation, the hospital expected to expand its disease prediction models, optimize clinician decision-making, and analyze radiology and disease images.

Moreover, one of the oldest and largest university hospitals in South Korea also announced that they will build a medical artificial intelligence technology research center. 

With increasing investment for big data and AI medical devices, South Korean companies also expect to gain momentum. As South Korean companies try to diversify and globalize their businesses, Wisconsin biotech companies with advanced technologies should could consider working with South Korean companies in health-related partnerships.