Medical device firms gather in Seoul to show latest products
Angela Jung, March 16, 2017, 9:29 a.m.
Nearly 1,300 manufacturers of medical supplies and equipment from both home and abroad showcased their latest medical technologies and products at an international exhibition held in Seoul on Thursday. The Korea International Medical Clinical Laboratories and Hospital Equipment Show (KIMES) kicked off at the Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) in southern Seoul for a four-day run. The annual event, the 33rd of its kind, is hosted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
The ministry said the goal of the event is to navigate the future of the global health care industry that is largely seen as the next new growth engine.
At the exhibition hall, the companies set up booths to promote more than 30,000 examples of advanced medical supplies and equipment, hoping to grab the attention of international buyers.
Major research centers and leading tech firms, including Samsung Electronics Co., also introduced their latest medical hardware to potential customers.
Samsung said it has focused on "access, accuracy, and efficiency" for its latest products, including digital a X-ray called "GM85."
"An era of future medicine has opened with the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), robots and the Internet of Things (IoT)," said Health Minister Chung Chin-yeob during the opening ceremony. "South Korea should prepare to nurture the medical device sector."
The Seoul government has been making various efforts to invest more in research and development (R&D) on medical devices as the country aims to become a global biotech and medical industry hub. The government forecasts that 940,000 new jobs will be created by 2020 in the industry. This could make it the country's leading growth industry after IT.
The government said it will also expand the R&D budget for the development of various medical devices and put effort into improving distribution channels to further promote exports.