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September 20, 2020

Korea’s homegrown AI medical solution enters Saudi market

PUBLISHED : July 20, 2020 - 14:32

UPDATED : July 20, 2020 - 14:32

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The South Korean government Sunday expressed hopes of safely bringing its new artificial intelligence medical software “Dr. Answer” to local and overseas markets, after it agreed to export the solution to hospitals in Saudi Arabia earlier in the week.

Dr. Answer is an AI-enabled software designed to assist doctors in making accurate medical diagnoses by identifying abnormalities in body fluids and tissues. The software is currently able to diagnose eight diseases, including cancers, cerebrovascular diseases, cardiac disorders and Alzheimer’s.



The technology, which the government, local medical institutions and IT firms together invested a total of 48.8 billion won ($40 million) since 2018 to develop, will undergo clinical trials at hospitals in Saudi Arabia.

The ministry said it would continue to increase support for local medical institutions and IT firms to enter the global AI health care market.

According to the ICT Ministry, Saudi Arabia’s six state-led hospitals -- under the Ministry of National Guard-Health Affairs -- will be testing the AI-powered software. The medical institutions in Saudi Arabia plan to spend some time compiling sufficient patient data for the machine learning-based solution for local use, the ICT Ministry said.

“Saudi Arabia is the first foreign nation to put Dr. Answer to the test. We hope the latest introduction of the medical solution to Saudi Arabia will help the related parties enter the global AI health care market,” the ICT Ministry official added.

The ICT Ministry said the global AI health care market was rapidly growing, and will reach $22.7 billion by 2023, quoting a statistic offered by Allied Market Research.

Meanwhile, the ICT Ministry said 26 hospitals in Korea will begin using Dr. Answer in actual clinical settings in the first half of next year, while 11 more hospitals will start to try out the software.

“The number of hospitals here that will use the solution is expected to increase down the road,” the official added.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)

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