Interdisciplinary Program in Precision Public Health
Social Problems Caused by Entering an Aging Society
Korea has entered an aging society as the proportion of people aged 65 or older has exceeded 14% of the total population in 2017. Typical social problems arising in an aging society are increases in disease burden due to increased chronic diseases, mental health and emotional alienation in the elderly population, increased gap between life expectancy and life expectancy without the disease, and increased health gap due to accessibility of medical resources. Given these social problems, "Successful aging or Healthy aging" is an important issue of the present era and requires a new educational and research strategy to cope with it.
Limits of Personalized Medical Technology Development to Solve Aging-related Social Problems
Medical technology has advanced personalized medical technology such as precision medicine through advances in data science and big data, including clinical information and data science. Still, it shows various limitations in solving aging-related social problems. First, despite many studies showing that environmental factors are a major cause of disease, current medical technology focuses on individual patients' biological characteristics such as -omics and clinical information. Second, disease prevention is neglected as precision medicine is currently focused on the treatment of individual diseases. Third, as accessibility to medical technology is limited to specific classes with accessible resources, health disparities widen further.
Precision Public Health: The Joining of Precision Public Health and Technological Science to Solve Aging-related Social Problems
IIn order to overcome the limitations of medical technology, solve aging-related social problems, and achieve "healthy aging", convergence research between 'Science Technology' that including medical science, medical engineering technology and data science, and 'Public Health Science' that promoting public health and reduces health disparities, should be conducted. The Precision Public Health based on the 3P (Precision, Prevention, Population) aims to promote public health through optimal preventive intervention by groups.
The Interdisciplinary Program in Precision Public Health will be the pioneer in research and education of precision public health by integrating the Fourth Industrial Revolution's characteristics with public health to solve aging-related problems.
Beyond the Uncertainty Principle, Korea University's Precision Public Health Convergence Research and Human Resources Development Program
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, introduced in 1927, is a principle that the more precisely the position of some particle is determined, the less precisely its momentum can be predicted from initial conditions, and vice versa. It also means that increasing one value inevitably sacrificed the other value, and is analogous to the limits of personalized precision medicine that as the disparity of the individual decreases, the disparity of the population increases. Therefore, the Program organized to lead science technology to solve the two challenges simultaneously and cultivate global leaders who accumulate knowledge by analyzing various data.
Although the study of health science includes all-around research to promote population health, it is still hard to find an education group in which engineering is officially included in health science's academic curriculum. Therefore, the Education Research Group established a new interdisciplinary program which encompasses the five departments (Biomedical Engineering, Biosystems and Biomedical Science, Health and Environmental Science, Health and Policy Management, and Interdisciplinary Program in Global Health) under the College of Health Science with the Department of Artificial Intelligence, in Korea University. It is expected to be a pioneer in the education and research area of Precision Public Health by developing the hardware and software needed to realize Precision Public Health.
2. Vision and Objective of the Education Research Group
Solving the aging-related society problem implies moving toward “Health for All” by combining technological innovation based on precision and health agenda based on equity. The Interdisciplinary Program declared a vision to realize the health society for all through train precision public health experts who can solve the aging-related social problems through science technology.