KT Corporation expands into Vietnam's healthcare market

June 08, 2023 | 10:24
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KT Corporation, a South Korean telecom company, has unveiled plans to establish a state-of-the-art medical checkup centre in Hanoi as part of its strategic expansion into the digital healthcare sector in the Southeast Asian nation.
KT Corporation expands into Vietnam's healthcare market

In addition to the medical checkup centre, KT Corporation aims to introduce telemedicine services employing AI technology in Vietnam, as reported Kedglobal.

The company announced in mid-May that it intends to launch the centre within the first half of next year, with a daily capacity to accommodate 100 individuals.

Lim Seung-hyuk, head of KT's Digital and Bio Health Business Group, highlighted the significance of this venture by stating, "We are the first domestic ICT company to enter the medical checkup sector abroad. By applying communications data and AI technology to the field of medicine, we are expanding into new domains beyond traditional communications."

Covering an area of 3,300 square metres, the centre will occupy one floor of a building in Hanoi. The initial phase of the project, expected to be implemented next year, will involve an investment of millions of US dollars, covering expenses such as the rental of CT and other medical equipment, as well as labour costs.

The Hanaro Medical Foundation, which currently operates two medical centres in Seoul, will provide medical consulting services for the new facility in Hanoi.

KT Corporation aims to target the top 10 per cent income bracket of Hanoi's population of 9 million, amounting to approximately 900,000 residents. This group includes employees of partner companies of Samsung Electronics, including an estimated 70,000 South Koreans living in the area.

Vietnam's medical environment is regarded as lagging behind that of South Korea. While Vietnam has 76 hospitals offering medical checkups, only eight of them provide comprehensive examinations.

In the first year of the health screening project, KT aims to serve 30,000 individuals. With the cost of each checkup set at around $447 per person, the company anticipates a swift return on its investment.

According to Kedglobal, this endeavour by KT Corporation is seen as a pioneering move, as the company is not traditionally involved in the medical sector.

Seung-hyuk emphasised the growing importance of data-driven and personalised medical care, given the rapid ageing of the population and the increasing numbers of chronic disease patients.

This project marks the beginning of the expansion of KT's digital healthcare division, both domestically and internationally. KT Healthcare Vina, a medical corporation established in Vietnam in January, recently commenced a pilot service for contactless care targeting cancer and chronic disease patients.

Founded in 1981 as a public utility, KT played a major role in South Korea's development in the IT hub sector.

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