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Medical robots

KT, Samsung Medical Center extend ties in building robot-driven hospitals

The partnership dates back to 2019 when a wide range of 5G-powered medical services were adopted at the hospital

By Sep 16, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Samsung Medical Center's staff conducting 5G-powered HD surgical video analysis.
Samsung Medical Center's staff conducting 5G-powered HD surgical video analysis.

KT Corp. and Samsung Group’s medical facility Samsung Medical Center (SMC) have made another step forward in creating a next-generation hospital environment.

SMC on Sept. 15 said that it signed an agreement with KT to transform itself into a Robot-driven Smart Hospital powered by 5G technologies.

Under the deal, the two parties will mobilize a wide range of robots from logistics robots that deliver blood to operating rooms for surgeries to disinfection robots that maintain the level of sanitation within the hospital.

Other robots to be potentially deployed at the hospital include automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that can deliver a wide range of medical items to physicians. Artificial intelligence (AI) technology that can immediately notify emergency situations is also expected to be in use.

The deal marks the second major partnership between the two parties. SMC and KT first signed an MOU in September 2019 to apply 5G technology in medical practice for the first time in the world. Following the agreement, Samsung and KT started offering a wide range of 5G-powered medical services ranging from digital diagnostic pathology, access to proton therapy information as well as AI-enabled care for in-patients.

The diagnostic pathology service caught particular attention as it enabled real-time HD video analysis of surgery by transmitting large amounts of data using 5G networks. KT had also developed a 5G-assisted medical education program in 2020, which is currently used by SMC in teaching interns and medical students.

SMC has been Korea’s industry pioneer in expanding the usage of robots in the medical field. The hospital also operates robots that automatically dispose of medical waste from operating rooms after surgeries, and also offers the AI-powered Smart Caregiver service that checks the conditions of the in-patients in real-time.

“We will continue to launch new robot services at hospitals by combining our expertise in medical care and KT’s digital capabilities,” said SMC.  

Write to Sun A Lee at suna@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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