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.


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