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Gangwon-do’s Digital Healthcare Regulation-Free Zone
Gangwon-do is promoting public health and facilitating the medical devices industry by lifting regulations hindering the development of the digital healthcare industry.
Development of the Digital Healthcare Industry Hindered by Regulations
Having developed the medical devices industry centering on Wonju, Gangwon-do is now eyeing the transformation to the digital healthcare industry in line with advances in digital information technology and changes brought on by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, Korea’s digital healthcare industry due to the strong regulations imposed by the Medical Service Act and the Personal Information Protection Act had limitations in expanding the healthcare industry and facilitating technology development for remote medical service that requires the digital analysis of personal medical records. In order to support domestic businesses’ efforts to lead the global healthcare industry, Gangwon-do established a plan to build a Regulation-Free Zone where the forbearance or exemption of numerous regulations is granted.
Gangwon-do Selected as the “Digital Healthcare Regulation-Free Zone” by the Government
Since the enactment of the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Regulation of Regulation-free Special Zones and Special Economic Zones for Specialized Regional Development in December 2018, Gangwon-do organized a team dedicated to the designation of digital healthcare regulation-free zone for the purpose of finding regulations impeding the development of bio and medical devices industries. Based on the findings, the project plan for “Digital Healthcare Regulation-Free Zone” was established and in July 2019, the area around Chuncheon and Wonju was selected as the “Digital Healthcare Regulation-Free Zone” after consultations with the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, the sub-committee and the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Digital Healthcare Industry Takes Off Once Again in the Post-coronavirus Era
The Gangwon Digital Healthcare Regulation-Free Zone project is composed of four projects including: a project for allowing the remote monitoring, diagnosis and prescription for diabetic patients; a project for allowing the remote monitoring, diagnosis and prescription for patients with high blood pressure; a vaccine demand prediction service using DUR data; a project for allowing the remote monitoring and treatment of event participants; a project for allowing the remote monitoring, diagnosis and prescription for patients with chronic disease; and the validation of an on-site medical service using a portable X-ray diagnostic system. In the Regulation-Free Zone, thirty-two businesses, agencies and hospitals granted with regulation exemption are implementing projects. In 2020, Huraypositive, a digital healthcare provider that has relocated to Wonju Regulation-Free Zone from the Seoul Metropolitan Area, attracted an investment worth KRW 15 billion, and a local company succeeded in obtaining a digital healthcare technology certification. Gagnwon-do has assessed that the designation of the Regulation-Free Zone enabled Wonju’s medical devices industry to transform into a digital healthcare industry. Various validation projects in the Regulation-Free Zone are expected to further boost the nation’s digital healthcare industry centering on Gangwon-do.
(As of Dec. 31, 2020)