SKT forges partnership with South Gyeongsang Province to provide AI health check call service

20, May. 2020

Image by sujin soman from Pixabay
Image by sujin soman from Pixabay

SEOUL, AJU - In an effort to ease the workload of health officials who have to make regular phone calls to check the health condition of quarantined people, SK Telecom has partnered with a provincial government to provide an artificial-intelligence-based phone call service that automatically makes calls to ask how people are coping with their isolated lives in a human-like conversation.

To stop the spread of COVID-19, it is obligatory for those who are suspected of carrying a novel coronavirus or contained patients to put themselves in quarantine for two weeks. The number of self-quarantined people once exceeded 27,000. Quarantined people should report their body temperature and health conditions regularly through a government-issued smartphone app.

Public health clinic officials make two phone calls every day. Sometimes officials make surprise inspections to see if quarantined people stay in designated places.

SK Telecom (SKT) said on Wednesday that it signed a cooperation agreement with South Gyeongsang Province to provide a free "NUGU Care Call" service based on its artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant platform. The automated health check call service can make regular calls to some 1,500 people.

SKT said that public health officials can designate phone numbers of self-quarantined people and the AI voice assistant will create a database with health information after human-like conversations.

AI voice assistants that can understand and carry out simple tasks such as searching for keywords in web portals and check monthly schedules were first introduced in South Korea by SKT in 2016. AI voice assistant platforms have been embedded in smart connected speakers. Currently, there are more than four million AI-based smart speakers installed at homes and offices in South Korea.