GE Healthcare invests in global health R&D centre in Korea
14 January 2010
GE Healthcare, Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ), and gene
analysis technology company BRC, have announced a five-year plan to
invest in the establishment of the “GE Global Ubiquitous Health Research
and Development Center” (GE Global u-Health R&D Center).
The facility will be used for research and development activities
related to healthcare IT solutions.
“The agreement is a perfect example of a collaboration between the
Korean government, a local company like BRC and a global company like
GE,” said Sang-soo Ahn, the mayor of the Incheon Metropolitan City,
Korea, in which IFEZ is located.
“The establishment of the GE Global u-Health R&D Center will be a
triggering event in the expansion of IFEZ’s IT and healthcare
infrastructure and the buildup of a research network. We’re hoping IFEZ
can position itself as the world’s premier project site that best
realizes ubiquitous-Health programs, going forward,” added Ahn.
The Korean government and IFEZ see the establishment of the centre as
an opportunity to gain advanced clinical knowledge, build professional
skills and create jobs through healthcare IT, which is a mainstream
green industry. Also, the facilitation of convergence between healthcare
technologies and related industries will contribute to the advancement
of the domestic IT industry.
Vishal Wanchoo, president and CEO of GE Healthcare IT commented, “The
Korean government’s active support and collaboration in u-health related
research and development played heavily into our decision to
participate. We’re excited about the possibilities ahead.”
“Our healthcare IT technology and products will play a pivotal role
in driving our Healthymagination vision,” said Karim Karti, president
and CEO of GE Healthcare Korea. “We also hope this collaboration can
help advance Korea’s healthcare IT industry, acting as a catalyst for
professional relationships and job creation.”
Healthymagination is GE’s $6 billion commitment to improve healthcare
access, affordability and quality through advanced technologies,
research and development.
“The combination of our achievement in the analysis of Korean gene
information and state-of-the-art healthcare IT solutions could lead to
personalized healthcare service that reflects an individual’s genetic
makeup,” said Uhn Lee, President of BRC.
“When an individual’s gene and disease information is used as part of
his or her health management,” Lee added, “it could someday lead to
accurate diagnosis and effective treatment even before the actual onset
of a disease.”
In 2007, GE Healthcare established its first Asia EHR (electronic
health records) R&D Center in Korea. It is envisioned that its skilled
researchers, clinical expertise and technology will become a part of the
research and operation of the GE Global u-Health R&D Center.