KT plans telemedicine service in Vietnam

  • April 25, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Korea Telecom has signed an agreement with Hanoi Medical University to launch a telemedicine pilot service in Vietnam for chronically ill patients.

Through this agreement, the two institutions will cooperate in the development of a chronic disease management service, joint research on medical AI and education of local medical staff.

They will first start verifying the chronic disease telemedicine service with a proof of concept before introducing the technology.

The service aims to provides self-care guides including self-measurement, medication management and exercise management for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. In addition, they are planning a care coordinator counselling service by hiring local medical staff.

They are also conducting joint research on medical AI. This study will be based on the Alzheimer’s early diagnosis technology developed by Hwang Gyo-sun from the Kyunghee University College of Medicine, which is collaborating with KT; KT is in charge of AI algorithm analysis.

Based on this cooperation, KT plans to launch a telemedicine platform pilot service in Vietnam within the year. To complete diversified services, additional discussions will be held with local stakeholders such as Vietnamese government agencies, pharmaceutical companies and medical IT companies.

KT judged this year to be the best time to enter the Vietnamese business in that interest in health and medical care has increased due to the spread of Covid-19. In Vietnam, as the proportion of the middle class rises, the demand for specialised medical services has increased, and spending on pharmaceuticals and medical services is also gradually increasing.

Recently, in Vietnam, the mortality rate from infectious diseases due to hygiene problems has decreased and the mortality rate from non-infectious diseases caused by lifestyle is increasing. Among these, chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes account for the largest proportion of mortality.

According to a report published by Kotra Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Trade Office in September 2021, the Vietnamese medical market is expected to reach $23bn in 2022.

KT signed an agreement with the Vietnam National Cancer Center in 2021 and is conducting joint research for early diagnosis and treatment of cancer using medical AI. The two organisations agreed to promote jointly the development of a follow-up management platform for cancer patients.

“I am delighted to be able to utilise KT’s excellent IT and medical infrastructure to solve Vietnam’s medical problems by utilising KT’s ABC capabilities of AI, big data and cloud,” said Jae-Ho Song, vice president at KT. “We will complete differentiated healthcare solutions and lead the market based on our Vietnam business, a forward base for digital healthcare.”