Regulatory reform should come first to innovate the healthcare sector with rapidly advancing technologies, foreign experts emphasized Thursday.
Attending the Korea Healthcare Congress 2018 at Seoul Dragon City in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, experts from various countries noted that the medical sector needs innovations in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
|Speakers at the Korea Healthcare Congress include (from left) Tony Corkett, Strategic Partnerships Lead of DeepMind Health at Google DeepMind, Bruce Keogh, former National Medical Director of the U.K. National Health Service, and Pue Kim Chong, director of infrastructure planning office of Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore.|
Tony Corkett, Strategic Partnerships Lead of DeepMind Health at Google DeepMind, introduced a mobile application called “Streams” that quickly collects patient information to help physicians come up with a fast diagnosis. “Technological changes are accelerating. We need real-time feedback so that we can apply it to our technology immediately. But it takes a considerable amount of time to get regulatory approval,” Corkett said.
He went on to say, “I’m not sure regulators can support technologies while controlling regulatory processes. We need regulatory reforms to utilize technological platforms. Reforming regulations is one of the significant challenges.”
Bruce Keogh, former National Medical Director of the U.K. National Health Service, said the Fourth Industrial Revolution would provide a strong motivation for a change in the medical service industry.
“If we combine technologies such as blockchain with artificial intelligence, big data, and genome analysis, we can utilize analyzed information more,” Keogh said. “Currently, technologies are used only for diagnosis and analysis, but medical information must be globalized in the future. The government should also use technologies to integrate information and ensure that patients receive proper treatments. Our regulatory environment has to change.”
Keogh emphasized that physicians’ roles were essential to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“Medical professionals need sufficient training. In the UK, the government has created a separate educational institution and curriculum that deals with digital revolutions,” he added.
Pue Kim Chong, director of infrastructure planning office of Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore, introduced “HealthCity Novena” as an example where innovations brought about changes in healthcare quality.
“The hospital is working with various partners under a ‘radial model.’ We put a clinic in the neighborhood to support residents and developed an integrated treatment model to allow a tertiary hospital to participate in treatments. We have automated our medical facility because of the large population of the elderly,” Chong said.
She went on to say, “Machines always surround us. But if we change how we work and design in the healthcare sector, we can change treatment results, too.”