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2 phones dedicated to dealing with dementia

June 26,2018
Having a parent with dementia produces many worries. Two new phones have been designed to help.

SK Telink, a subsidiary of SK Telecom, has introduced a flip phone for people worried about their elderly parents getting lost. The so-called God of Hyodo phone - hyodo means filial piety - comes from two manufacturers: LG Electronics and a smaller local player Hucom Wireless. Each has slightly different features.

The phone is meant to be used by the elderly person with Alzheimer’s disease or with another form of dementia.

When a call comes through on the phone and is not answered, which may indicate some kind of emergency, the phone automatically sends its location to specific numbers registered on the device. That has been made possible by a hybrid positioning system, which uses several different positioning technologies to find the location of a mobile device, and T map navigation app, both of which were developed by SK Telecom, the mother company.

The hyodo phones boast several others features. Hucom’s device is able to set off a loud alarm sound and send its location to the pre-registered people when the volume up key is pressed for three seconds or longer.

The phones, the first of their kind, are examples of ICT industries developing technologies specifically for senior citizens in need of around-the-clock monitoring. One out of 10 elderly people aged 65 or more in Korea suffered from Alzheimer’s disease as of last year.

SK Telink is a budget wireless operator that offers cheaper monthly plans than the three major carriers.

The hyodo phones come on two monthly subscription plans.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]