The Korea Herald


Korea’s homegrown AI medical solution goes to Saudi Arabia

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : July 19, 2020 - 16:55

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(Korea Data and Software-driven Healthcare Consortium) (Korea Data and Software-driven Healthcare Consortium)

The South Korean government Sunday expressed hopes to safely bring its newly developed 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 offer doctors accurate medical diagnosis 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 will continue to increase support for local medical institutions and IT firms to enter the global AI healthcare 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 healthcare market,“ the ICT Ministry official added.

The ICT Ministry said the global AI healthcare market is 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 hospitals will start to test 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 (