KT's epidemic research project app collects data from coronavirus patients to prepare for next pandemic

By Park Sae-jin Posted : March 15, 2022, 17:24 Updated : March 15, 2022, 17:24

[Courtesy of KT]

SEOUL -- To prepare for the next possible event of another global pandemic, South Korea's largest telecom company KT has started collecting information from those who were infected with a novel coronavirus through SHINE (Study of Health Information for Next Epidemic), a healthcare research smartphone app.  
SHINE is a research project launched in 2020 by KT, Bill & Melinda Gate Foundation and other organizations including hospitals, research institutes and tech companies. SHINE aims to develop an artificial intelligence-based algorithm that predicts the risk of the infectious virus.
KT said that SHINE's area of research was expanded from flu to the novel coronavirus including COVID-19 and its variants. The company said it was necessary to collect information of the main type of the virus of the ongoing pandemic to prepare for future epidemics.
SHINE users can now conduct self-checks on symptoms of COVID-19 and input polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results, vaccination records and side effects. The smartphone app also provides information about nearby screening centers and quarantine requirements of other countries. KT is also analyzing the moving routes of people using smartphone GPS systems, base station location data and communication data to calculate the risk of infection. All collected data is protected by a blockchain system which is basically a network of unhackable virtual ledgers.
"With this research, KT seeks to strengthen its social role and find a solution to prevent the spread of infectious diseases through early diagnosis novel and varied manifestations of infectious diseases through early screening," KT's AI and digital transformation integrated business division head Song Jae-ho said in a statement on March 15.

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