Korea Telecom (KT) is using big data from mobiles to inform people about current diseases, reducing the chances of infectious diseases spreading.

This service works by sending SMSs to alert people who have visited infected areas by using roaming data from their mobile phones. The service, launched by KT in South Korea in 2016, helps to inform people about the prevalence of infectious disease, and aims to change behaviors at the individual level in order to minimize the chances of infectious disease epidemics in South Korea.

Why you should care

Along with globalization over the last century has come the increase in ease for infectious diseases to spread quickly and widely. By informing people when they have been in a potentially higher risk area, they can take steps to reduce their vulnerability to the disease and ensure it is not passed on further to those around them.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Good health and Well-being

Global epidemics from influenza alone are estimated to cause 3-5 million cases of severe illness every year. Using big data to help prevent diseases from reaching epidemic levels is an innovative way to reduce this.

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

As mobile phones and the internet permeate the global marketplace, harnessing the power of big data and the telecoms industry for public health and other outcomes will be crucial for sustainable development.