SEJONG Telecom, Inc. will form a consortium with IRM Co., Ltd. and Pusan National University Hospital to build a platform for blockchain-based medical data management and NFT issuance for medical image data.
Sejong Telecom Consortium was selected the blockchain technology validation PoC (Proof of Concept) project which supports blockchain-related services before commercialization by the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA). The goals of this project are to develop cloud PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems), build a blockchain system, and build an NFT-issuance system service. Through this project, the consortium plans to increase the safety and utilization of medical data by moving existing medical PACS onto the blockchain and converting data into NFTs.
The significance of this project is the establishment of a platform for safely trading domestic medical data. Although the economic value of Korean medical data is estimated to be about 2 trillion won, it is only used in limited ways due to its closed nature, exclusivity, and the overall lack of available data. Concerns about the low-quality data and privacy violations of the illegal medical data market in Korea, estimated to have a market size of more than 10 billion won, have led to calls by industry professionals for transparent management of the provision, storage, and usage of medical data.
Sejong Telecom had previously been selected as a Busan Blockchain city demonstration operator and led the development of a blockchain-based data platform by establishing a medical My Data platform, B-Healthy. The know-how and expertise from their previous work will help with the implementation of this new project.
In addition, in order to lay the foundation for a medical video NFT exchange in the future, the consortium will issue NFTs for future medical data to clarify ownership and establish a platform to provide data usage fees to owners. Through this, it is expected to alleviate the problems of hospitals monopolizing and privatizing data and contribute to the spread of the My Data industry and the expansion of the scope of medical data usage.
For this project, Sejong Telecom is in charge of setting the business direction, overall operations management, leading research and development, developing blockchain systems (middleware, monitoring functions, etc.), and developing NFT-issuance systems for medical images. IRM will develop a cloud-based system for storing and transmitting radiographic images, pathology images, and surgery images in international standard format and implement web services for medical institutions and patients. Pusan National University Hospital is in charge of uploading video data, providing a test bed environment, and running and managing the personal information consent process.
Wang Young-Jin, Director of Sejong Telecom, said, "We have played a major role in expanding the base of the blockchain business and commercializing it by successfully carrying out various projects in education and finance." He added, “this technology verification project has enabled Sejong Telecom to form a business portfolio that includes NFT issuance and the opening and operating of exchanges. It is expected to create high added value through the recycling of medical data.”