​S. Korea demonstrates AI-based 5G-connected smart emergency medical service platform

By Park Sae-jin Posted : December 18, 2020, 16:03 Updated : December 18, 2020, 16:03

[Courtesy of the Ministry of Science and ICT]

SEOUL -- To enhance the survival of critical patients, South Korea has demonstrated an artificial intelligence-based 5G connected smart emergency medical service platform that will help emergency ward physicians get ready to treat patients before they arrive at the hospital. It will be commercialized in 2021.

Currently, emergency room workers and ambulances share information about a patient over a radio or a phone. Sometimes, the condition of patients is misdiagnosed by doctors due to miscommunication. Ambulance drivers also find it hard to check a fast route to hospitals.

The platform is part of a 23.1 billion won ($21 million) state project involving the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the National Fire Agency as well as seven medical organizations and 14 information communication technology firms to establish a rapid and consistent emergency management system.

The science ministry said in a statement that the AI-based platform was demonstrated to simulate an emergency situation on December 17, using an ambulance hooked onto a 5G data communication network. Corresponding devices were set up at a simulated emergency ward.

For demonstration, a real-time communication link was established between the ambulance and the hospital. The control tower diagnosed and analyzed the patient's medical information before delivering it to doctors. The ambulance was guided to take the fastest route while emergency room personnel prepared for quick treatment.

"This service is a condensed result of the world's top-class medical staff and information communication technology capabilities," Second Vice Minister of Science Jang Seok-young was quoted as saying. Jang's office said that the platform will be useful to treat patients suffering from heart arrest, physical trauma and chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.

Based on 4G and 5G networks that ensure the fast transmission of data, South Korea is undergoing a major change in its emergency response system by adopting AI, big data and drones to quickly respond to emergency situations.

New services have been developed by research institutes and communication companies. In 2018, KT showcased a mobile command platform that consists of a command truck loaded with rescue robots and a helium-filled floating mothership carrying drones for search and rescue missions. The blimp served as a mobile 5G base station that connected rescuers and doctors wearing augmented reality glasses to share medical information. Vehicle-type robots were used to carry a patient to a safe place.
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