Yonsei University Health System to introduce 5G-powered digital hospital

Under the MoU, SK Telecom and YUHS will work together to build a 5G network and develop specialised solutions for the Yongin Severance Hospital, which is scheduled to open in February 2020.
By Dean Koh
02:36 AM

Credit: SK Telecom

Yonsei University Health System (YUHS), one of the oldest and largest private university hospital networks in South Korea, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SK Telecom, South Korea's largest wireless carrier, to build a 5G-powered digital hospital.

Under the MOU, SK Telecom and  YUHS will work together to build a 5G network and develop specialised solutions for the Yongin Severance Hospital, which is scheduled to open in February 2020, by leveraging SK Telecom’s technological expertise in areas of 5G, AI, IoT and media.

The 5G-powered digital hospital will be equipped with SK Telecom’s AI speaker NUGU to enable patients with physical difficulties to easily control their beds, lighting and TV with their voice. They can even use NUGU Call service to get medical assistance in case of emergencies.

AR-based indoor navigation service through the application of indoor positioning and 3D mapping technologies to enhance the convenience of patients and visitors will also be introduced at the new 5G-powered hospital.

SK Telecom is also considering to apply its quantum cryptography solutions to its network covering the Severance Hospital, Gangnam Severance Hospital and Yongin Severance Hospital (hospitals under the YUHS network) as a cybersecurity measure to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive medical information.

What’s the trend

It is important to note that 5G is not just an extension of 3G and 4G networks. The technology is rather a network that combines 4G, Wi-Fi, wireless access technologies and millimetre wave. It also leverages cloud infrastructure, intelligent edge services and virtualised network core. It promises a massive boost in transfer speeds that things like distributed computing or IoT devices in healthcare need to reach their full potential.

5G technology is not quite ready to be harnessed, but by 2019 the first vendors plan to bring this technology to its full potential. According to a Xinhua news article last month, China's Guangdong province will build its first 5G-based demonstration hospital, which is a joint partnership between Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital, China Mobile Group Guangdong Co., Ltd. (Guangdong Mobile), and the tech giant Huawei.

In the US, Rush System for Health in Chicago has partnered with AT&T to become what it says is the first in the nation to use a standards-based 5G network in a healthcare setting. 

On the record

“Today is a high-tech digital era, so the digital transformation for hospitals is a must,” YUHS President and CEO Yoon Do-heum said in a statement. “Yongin Severance Hospital will become the core of Yonsei Medical Centre as an intelligent digital innovation hospital.”

Park Jung-ho, President and CEO of SK Telecom, said: “SK Telecom’s partnership with Yonsei University Health System carries a significant meaning as it represents a new level of collaboration between two different industries.”

“SK Telecom will work closely with the Yonsei University Health System to build the world’s best 5G-enabled hospital by utilising cutting-edge ICT.”