President Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea is urging lawmakers to pass a pending digital health care bill, which will promote the use of health and medical data in the digital healthcare industry.
The bill was proposed by Rep. Kang Ki-yoon of the ruling People Power Party last year. It has faced opposition from within the medical field. However, President Yoon believes that it will not only protect personal information but also enhance the industry’s competitiveness. The passing of the bill will allow for pseudonymization and de-identification of sensitive personal information to protect privacy. President Yoon believes this will increase competitiveness in the biohealth industry.
President Yoon has emphasized the utilization of data in the biohealth industry, saying that “the government needs to improve and organize systems related to data so that the biohealth industry can gain competitiveness through data utilization.” He noted that the global market size of the industry is nearly 2,600 trillion won ($1.96 trillion) and the growth potential is enormous. He added that the government intends to provide full support to develop the biohealth industry into a key strategic industry.
President Yoon attended a meeting with officials, firms, and academics. He vowed to promote a Korean version of the Boston bio cluster to challenge and lead the field. Boston is the number one biotech hub in the world with over 120 companies.
Furthermore, the South Korean government plans to create a new market for the biohealth industry. They will do so by promoting a service called My Data. My Data is a personal information management system for the finance and public sectors. Users can manage their personal data with it. The government plans to expand the service into communication, transportation, health, and medical care. The government also plans to provide diverse personal health information in a standardized form. This will be provided to individuals and medical staff through medical My Data services. The project will begin operations from June and will activate a platform that connects and combines healthcare big data. In addition, the government will make the data available for research purposes.
President Yoon has also toured and demonstrated artificial joint surgery robots, scoliosis braces, and other robotic medical products and digital healthcare devices. With his efforts to promote the growth of the biohealth industry, South Korea aims to establish it as a key contributor to the economy on par with the semiconductor industry.