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SKT, Yonsei team up for 5G-equipped hospital

Apr 29,2019
The power of 5G technology will expand to hospitals by next year.

SK Telecom announced on Sunday that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Yonsei University Health System to build a hospital utilizing 5G telecommunications technologies. It will be the first “5G digital innovation hospital,” according to the mobile operator.

SK Telecom will provide services based on 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) at a new Yongin Severance Hospital, scheduled to open in Yongin, Gyeonggi, in February 2020. It will be separate from the existing Yongin Severance Hospital.

The partnership will increase patient convenience while reducing the burdens of hospital staff, according to SK Telecom.

Patients at the hospital will be able to control hospital facilities like the lights, beds and television using the mobile operator’s AI speaker Nugu. The speaker will also allow patients to call nurses without having to pick up a phone in case of an emergency, according to SK Telecom.

Augmented reality (AR) navigation solutions and 3-D mapping are also planned to be available at the hospital, helping patients find the location of offices following signs on their smartphones.

The partnership will also reduce the hospital’s security concerns. The telecommunications giant is considering applying quantum cryptography solutions to the hospital’s networks to prevent the hacking of patients’ medical information.

Hospital staff will be able to enter areas that usually require an authentication process using a facial recognition system. The new system will lower the chance of infection as it does not require any physical contact, unlike the existing biometric authentication system using fingerprints.

“The fact that the telecommunications and medical industries are collaborating is very meaningful,” said SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho in a statement. “SK Telecom will establish the world’s most innovative hospital based on services and technologies involving quantum cryptography, security solutions and more.”

Yoon Do-heum, president and CEO of Yonsei University Health System, said, “Currently, [we’re living in] the digital era, and it has become a must for medical institutions to go digital. Yongin Severance Hospital will play a key role with state-of-the-art and innovative technologies.”

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]