SK Telecom and Seoul National University College of Medicine have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to help identify dementia earlier.
The AI tool analyses the voices of patients by having a 10-minute conversation with them to determine if they may have dementia, the two organisations said on Monday.
They said the AI is able to do this as voice emitted from the vocal cord changes as it passes through the vocal tract and the way this happens is different for healthy individuals and dementia patients. The AI looks for this difference when making its diagnosis.
This accessibility will assist in early diagnosis, SK Telecom said, which it explained is crucial for slowing down the progression of dementia. It will also save costs for hospitals and the elderly.
South Korea had 788,000 dementia patients in 2019 and this is expected to increase to around 1.36 million by 2030, according to the National Institute of Dementia.
SK Telecom and the university will trial the program this month at major hospitals and local dementia clinics to improve diagnosis accuracy.
The program will be offered in app form for remote diagnosis.
The pair will also work to add speech pattern analysis, facial recognition, heartbeat monitoring, and blood pressure measurement to further upgrade the accuracy of the diagnosis program.
SK Telecom also signed a memorandum of understanding with Yonsei University to apply 5G to offer smart hospital solutions last year.
Uber will invest $100 million into a joint venture with South Korean telco SK Telecom.
The carrier said its remote services helped boost its profit despite the impact of COVID-19.
Base stations with sensors installed will detect and measure earthquakes and send that data to authorities to improve response times.
It will also check people's temperatures and ask them to wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the telco says.
The companies plan on deploying 2,500 Nanox Systems in South Korea and Vietnam.