SK Telecom announced on Aug. 21 that it has signed a business agreement with Macrogen, a precision medical biotechnology company, to develop a genome analysis solution based on artificial intelligence (AI).
Genomic analysis is to identify DNA mutations, sequence information, and disease information. This makes it possible to predict the onset of a specific disease for an individual, such as cancer or rare diseases, and access appropriate treatment.
For example, in the past, doctors administered anticancer drugs based on which is statistically the most effective drug for cancer patients. Genetic analysis would be able to find and administer the most appropriate anticancer drug for each individual patient.
However, the data obtained by analyzing the 3 billion pairs of human genomes is as big as 50 to 900 gigabytes (GB). It also takes a lot of time and money to analyze.
Through the agreement, SK Telecom plans to build a system that analyzes, accumulates, and manages a large amount of data, such as genome data and medical information, which Macrogen possesses. Analysis can be done more quickly through machine learning.
SK Telecom plans to provide its compressed storage technology. Therefore, hospitals and research institutes can store data without additional storage space to secure data. Operational costs can be reduced by up to 90%.
Both companies will use AI technology to develop solutions that can quickly and easily analyze integrated data such as diseases, family history, lifestyle, and environmental data, as well as individual genome information from hospitals and institutions.
With the help of AI genome analysis solution, hospitals will be able to offer individualized treatment for rare diseases and chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Pharmaceutical companies can use data to develop medicine for incurable diseases.
"We expect that Macrogen's genomic data will be easily accessible for more people through SK Telecom's ICT technology," said Yang Gap-seok, CEO of Macrogen. "In the future, we will make various efforts to get high-quality medical services based on precision medicine."