KT Corporation, along with Samsung Medical Center (SMC), have announced the launch of a 5G-enabled medical service as an initial step to setup a 5G-based smart hospital. The pilot project, which is developed by the Seoul-based South Korean telecom giant, developed service environments in operating and proton therapy rooms and performed a test operation.
Based on the results from the pilot, both KT, formerly Korea Telecom, and SMC are planning to continue the development of smart patient care and 5G-powered new medical practices and better the hospital operational efficiency. Park In-Young, vice president of KT's ICT convergence business department, said: “KT, in partnership with the Samsung Medical Center, is pioneering innovative medical services for the new 5G era. We will continue to further refine 5G-powered medical technology by applying VR and AR technologies for real-time education.”
In the coming years, 5G-enabled medical services would in theory speed up surgery and other treatment processes by allowing uninterrupted access to surgeons that will help them obtain pathological data that is critical in determining the serious conditions of patients. The network would also provide quick access to CT and MRI data on proton therapy.
Last September, KT entered into roaming agreements with Italy’s TIM, Switzerland’s Sunrise, and Finland’s Elisa, allowing the company’s 5G subscribers to use the 5G networks provided by the three European operators. The Korean operator has standing agreements with operators in 185 countries for 3G and LTE roaming and now is extending those contracts to 5G as soon as 5G services go live in those countries.
According to reports from the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT, the country hit the milestone of four million 5G subscribers last December. As of October, the Ministry reported 3.98 million 5G subscribers in the country and in September, it said that 516,000 more people subscribed to the 5G services.
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