KT Corporation, South Korea’s largest telecommunications company, is diversifying its business from robotics to digital health as part of efforts to develop new growth engines in the next era of connectivity, media and other transformative industries.
In the latest move, KT has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sibel Health., an award-winning U.S. company spun out of the Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics at Northwestern University, specializes in ICU-grade biosensors, to boost its competence in artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data-_based digital health.
Under the agreement, KT and Sibel will launch a pilot project that employs an ICT-_base_d monitoring solution for digital health; conduct data analyses and modeling with the use of AI and Big Data; explore digital health business in developing countries; and collaborate with international funders on new projects and business models.
“With Sibel, KT will better explore business opportunities in developing countries as well as other global digital health markets,” said Kim Hyoung-Wook, Executive Vice President of KT’s future value task force. “KT’s Global Epidemic Prevention Platform (GEPP) and Sibel’s innovative sensing technology, when combined, will help provide optimal medical service for the COVID-19 and other epidemic and medical situations.
The new global partnership comes as KT seeks to transform itself beyond the country’s telecom leader after CEO Ku Hyeon-Mo took office in March this year. KT last week unveiled a business-to-business (B2B) strategy to lead innovation across industries, called ‘KT Enterprise,’ so as to become the world’s No. 1 digital platform company.
“As a medical technology company committed to a mission of delivering better health data for all, we are extremely pleased to sign this MOU with KT,” Sibel CEO Steve Xu said. “Together, we believe our advanced bio-integrated sensors and KT’s innovative infrastructure will unlock the potential of AI and Big Data for the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”
KT has gained a competitive edge in digital health since it developed the GEPP in 2019. The innovative multifunction platform warns of epidemic outbreaks and offers relevant information to travelers while tracing their movement to help stop disease transmission.
In 2020, KT has received a grant for a Next Generation Surveillance Study for Epidemic Preparedness from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a grant from Korea-_base_d RIGHT Fund to assist in measuring the risk of COVID-19 contraction. The fund finances health research and development projects worldwide.
Sibel, with advanced technology collecting biometric information in all patients, won the 2020 Spinoff Prize by Nature Research, the publisher of Nature journal. The award recognizes outstanding startup companies born at universities. In 2019 and 2020, Sibel’s technology is featured in publications on real-time monitoring of body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation in Science and Nature Medicine journals.
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