SEOUL, May 25 (Korea Bizwire) – The Korean government will establish what it is calling a ‘smart quarantine system’ in order to prevent the influx of foreign diseases. The government will coordinate with KT, a major phone service provider, and use international roaming information as part of its efforts.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, alongside the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), selected KT’s ‘foreign disease inflow prevention service’, which uses big data from roaming information, as their big data pilot project, and decided to establish a smart quarantine network.
Once a KT subscriber uses a mobile device in an overseas territory that has a risk of infectious diseases, the network will automatically send the information to the CDC. The CDC will then use this information to send a text alert to the subscriber upon his or her return, regarding precaution measures. The CDC will also provide the subscriber’s travel information to medical institutions.
The government plans to launch the pilot project in September and expand the services to two other major service providers, SK Telecom and LG Uplus.
Authorities are currently using passport information and passenger name records to track down visitors to danger zones. They are alerting the travelers upon their reentry, and travel information is being shared with medical institutions to help with diagnoses.
But due to a wide gap between passport renewal periods, much of the contact information has turned out to be inaccurate, which has also been the case for passenger name records. It is also difficult to track down travelers who pass through other countries after visiting the danger zones.
Although the new service will help to alleviate the current systematic flaws, it is still difficult to gather information if a subscriber does not use their cell phone when travelling.
“Coordination with phone service providers will allow us to obtain more accurate travel information,” said a CDC official. “We’ll cross reference the roaming information with the data we gather from our existing systems.”
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)