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Telcos expand digital health care services amid pandemic

All News 16:18 September 14, 2020

By Chae Yun-hwan

SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean mobile carriers are racing to develop digital health care services, industry officials said Monday, as demand for remote personalized services grows amid the pandemic.

The country's three major carriers -- SK Telecom Co., KT Corp., and LG Uplus Corp. -- have recently joined hands with local health care companies to create new services to capitalize on the recent contactless trend driven by social distancing measures against the pandemic.

Telecom giant KT partnered with Green Cross Healthcare Co. to develop a personalized digital health management service using the carrier's artificial intelligence (AI), big data and cloud technology.

KT Corp. Vice President Jeon Hong-beom (R) and Green Cross Healthcare Co. CEO Jeon Do-kyu (L) pose for a photo after signing an agreement to develop a personalized health care service on Sept. 14, 2020, in this photo provided by KT. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE)(Yonhap)

The health care company, under local biopharmaceutical firm Green Cross Corp., currently provides an online health management and information service for cancer patients.

Under the agreement, KT will lead the development of the digital platform, while Green Cross Healthcare will be in charge of the service's operation.

"We expect users to minimize contact and maintain access to personalized health care even during the pandemic," KT said in a statement.

The latest agreement follows the mobile carrier's partnership with local health care company Huraypositive Corp. in June to develop an AI-based diet management service for diabetes patients.

The service aims to provide dietary information on patient meals by taking pictures through a mobile application.

Other telecom companies are involved in digital health care services as well.

Telcos expand digital health care services amid pandemic - 2

Invites Healthcare Co., a digital health care joint venture launched by SK Telecom and a local private equity firm, currently offers a health tracking service for type 2 diabetes patients.

The service, available through a mobile application, provides dietary and exercise tips based on user data.

No. 3 telecom operator LG Uplus has plans to develop health-tracking wearable devices for the elderly in nursing homes and aims to commercialize the service by next year.

The telecom operators' digital health care drive comes as the sector is expected to undergo rapid growth.

The global digital health care market is expected to be worth US$639.4 billion in 2026, compared with $106 billion last year, according to industry tracker Global Market Insights.


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