LG Uplus Corp., South Korea’s third-largest cellular service provider, announced that it would develop non-face-to-face social services using information and communication technologies (ICT) for the aged. In particular, LG Corporation’s telecommunications unit would address the needs of the elderly population living in South Korea’s Namdong District.
Besides LG Uplus, the country’s Ministry of Health and Welfare also took part in the project, offering organizational assistance. The company’s project essentially plans to provide the local senior community with integrated, ICT-backed healthcare services. In addition to delivering support for the elderly, LG Uplus aims to create contactless social services to fill in the healthcare gap made by COVID-19.
Previously, local governments have only provided healthcare services for vulnerable groups through public centers. However, due to the ongoing pandemic and quarantine guidelines, people faced challenges in accessing services from public facilities. Although some local governments offered contactless assistance, the services they had had limitations because of difficulties in establishing integrated management.
Integrated Care Services for Vulnerable Groups
LG Uplus would conduct research and development programs with Namdong-gu Health Center and Gachon University’s College of Nursing. Moreover, LG Uplus’s non-face-to-face service R&D would provide healthcare platforms across local communities in Namdong District and Incheon City. In particular, LG Uplus would deliver patient-monitoring and contactless intervention services to local elderly communities using IoT devices. This project would focus on four key areas: Health/Safety/Relief, Leisure/Caring, Sleep/Emotion, and Dementia.
Besides providing data on care content effectiveness, the company’s healthcare platforms would constantly monitor senior citizens’ health status. The services would also analyze the collected data independently, gain insights, and use the information to create specialized care content. Even though LG Uplus optimized the healthcare platform to address the elderly’s needs, it could also support other vulnerable groups, including people with chronic diseases.
According to LG Uplus, the platform is especially beneficial in emergencies since it immediately notifies health centers around the area. Aside from providing safety solutions, the project also offers leisure content, including elderly-customized audiobooks and games, managing their loneliness index. This year, LG Uplus would focus on developing the new services, and in 2022, it would conduct pilot trials. By 2023, the company would commercialize its non-face-to-face integrated care services throughout South Korea.
“We will provide better non-face-to-face services to the elderly in need of care and strive to develop and commercialize models that can sustain independent lives,” said Son Ji-Yoon, Managing Director of LG Uplus’s new business promotion.
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