Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization President Seo Jeong-sun speaks during the Korea Bio Plus 2017 conference at Coex in Seoul on Monday (KoreaBio)
Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization President Seo Jeong-sun speaks during the Korea Bio Plus 2017 conference at Coex in Seoul on Monday (KoreaBio)

Big data to lead Korea's future biohealth sector

Tech October 24, 2017 14:09

By The Korea Herald/ANN

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South Korea must swiftly work to build up a strong medical big data system as it will form the backbone of future medicine led by personalized and predictive health care, biohealth experts in Seoul said Monday.



Large-scale datasets collected from wearables and biomedical sensors will be combined with artificial intelligence computing technologies to enable early diagnosis of diseases and guide treatment planning.

“The biggest priority for Korea’s biohealth industry is nurturing a strong big data industry,” said Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization President Seo Jeong-sun during the Korea Bio Plus 2017 conference organized by the Seoul-based biotech body in Seoul.

“The genomic and disease-related datasets collected from millions of people will be analyzed via AI technologies to predict disease. And in the next three to five years, the medical data analytics sector will grow bigger,” he said.

Biotech and business experts from MIT, a global leader in biotechnology and computational technologies, also highlighted big data’s role and importance in transforming the life sciences sector.

“There are four facets to the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ -- big data, machine learning, smart sensors and the Internet of Things, driving economic changes worldwide,” said Mark Bathe, an associate professor of biological engineering at MIT, said in his keynote speech

“As for big data in the life sciences realm, we are now accumulating diagnostics information at an ever-increasing rate via health sensors and genomic sequencing to medical records and individual lifestyle habits,” Bathe said.

The accumulation of biomedical big data will enable personalized medicine as well as make new drug development including clinical trials more efficient, he added.

With rising demand for big data aggregation and analytic tools, the global data science platform market is expected to grow at around 40 percent compound annual growth rate over the next decade to reach $385.2 billion by 2025, according to Research and Markets.

This year’s Korea Bio Plus spotlighted the MIT Industrial Liaison Program, which connects MIT researchers with corporations worldwide.

The Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization said it is currently discussing a potential partnership with MIT ILP to provide expanded corporate tie-up opportunities to local biohealth startups.

Last year, KoreaBio formed a 38.5 billion won ($34.06 million) fund with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy to fund its stated vision to nurture 1,000 competitive biotech startups in Korea.