The very high global demand for coronavirus testing kits brings South Korea into the limelight appreciating its wisdom. The amendment of the 4th industrial revolution in 2017 helped to achieve the feat and become the major exporter of diagnostic kits and healthcare products.
The first SARS-CoV-2 cases were identified on Jan 20, 2020, in South Korea. In the March first week, there was a high number of infected cases. Later, the active steps like trace-down, screening, and self-quarantine action imposed by the Government resulted in flattening the curve. Now, they have registered with cases below 50. The first and only country with flattening of the pandemic spreading curve in a short duration of time is South Korea.
Now, the country has become the global hub for exporting both rapid and standard COVID-19 test kits. The quick testing kit follows the IgG and IgM antibody test (serological test), whereas the standard test kit follows RNA molecular identification (RT-PCR assay) of SARS-CoV-2. This unprecedented success is by the effort of 2017’s 4th industrial revolution and exhibits the importance of science and leadership.
Few reasons for the success
- MERS impact pave the way for a rapid decision on manufacturing diagnostic kits and associated plans
- 4th industrial revolution plan road map for the success of manufacturing and exports of health care products
- 5G platform for the implementation of trace-down
4th industrial revolution
In the 4th industrial plan, they have focused on many things for the nation’s development and better service for the people. Notably, the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) established new industrial policies for the healthcare or pharmaceutical industry such as
- Information Communication Technology (ICT) convergence
- Precision medicine
- Big data on healthcare
“South Korea will lead the healthcare industry by making full use of cutting-edge technologies, such as big data and artificial intelligence (AI), that are shaping the fourth industrial revolution” – The Health Ministry.
“Major changes are happening in the healthcare industry due to never-before-seen technologies” – Park Neung-Hoo, Health, and Welfare Minister.
Mainly, the Government focuses on promoting start-ups and upgrading industries with innovative technologies and ideas. Also, strengthening the support for the export of healthcare products is a vital issue. In an outlook, the Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (PCFIR) supported the infrastructure required for upgrading the healthcare industries to digital-healthcare industries. The Artificial Intelligence Development Support Center actively step-in to all the sectors with the successful amendment of the 5G network.
“KHIDI is aim to innovate our organizational culture by ‘active collaboration’ and ‘use of collective intelligence’ through ‘collaborating between departments.’ In addition, we will take the lead in the fulfill social values, such as taking full responsibility of governmental institutions to improve their integrity and contribute to the community” – Deok-Cheol Kwon, President, Korea Health Industry Development Institute.
The world’s first commercial 5G network launched in the South Korea (Asia’s fourth-largest economy) in April 2019 to support big data analysis, and research and development. 5G is an integral part of the 4th industrial revolution, being a skeleton for artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
4th Industrial revolution – COVID-19
In 2017, the 4th industrial plan was set up with the aim of forecasting the place of South Korea in the world platform and developing the living index of nationals. Through this execution, South Korea
- Implemented the commercial 5G network
- Supported the start-ups
- Strengthen the healthcare industries with good infrastructure
- Promoted export business
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the nation to benefit the fruit of the 4th industrial plan wisely. The well-developed infrastructure and resources result in the development of COVID-19 diagnostic kits for screening the cases. The successful outreach of the 5G network facilitated to trace-down every individual and supported them with medical service through a non-stop system.
Both the growing digital-healthcare industry and the 5G network with the help of people support successfully curbed the spread of the pandemic in the South Korea fence.
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