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Korea startup develops COVID-19 early detection patch

By
Lee Jong-hwa, UPI News Korea
South Korean biotech startup uLikeKorea said it has developed a body patch system designed to monitor symptoms of COVID-19 in real time. Photo courtesy of uLikeKorea
South Korean biotech startup uLikeKorea said it has developed a body patch system designed to monitor symptoms of COVID-19 in real time. Photo courtesy of uLikeKorea

SEOUL, May 28 (UPI) -- A South Korean biotech startup is showing off a stick-on body patch designed to monitor symptoms of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

UlikeKorea announced the patch on Wednesday, which measures about 5 centimeters on each side and is attached to users' chests to check vital signs. The patch measures body temperature, heart rate, activity level, coughs and an individual's location.

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The Seoul-based outfit will analyze the information through its artificial intelligence-powered mobile app and Internet program to check for the possibility of a COVID-19 infection.

UlikeKorea said those under 14-day self-isolation can also use the patch system to alert authorities of when an individual violates state-ordered quarantines.

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Information collected by these patches will be shared with users and regional health authorities, according to the company, whose main business is livestock health management through "Internet of things" (IoT) technology.

"COVID-19 cases around the world surpassed 5 million, and more than 300,000 have died due to the pandemic," uLikeKorea CEO Kim Hee-jin said in a statement.

"We took advantage of our in-house technology, which enables early detection of disease for livestock, to make the COVID-19 monitoring system," she said.

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Kim said that uLikeKorea is currently holding talks with global IT giant SoftBank to make a foray into global markets such as the United States and Brazil.

She said that the price will be about $30 per patch.

"We plan to provide the patch-based monitoring system to Korean customers first, after gaining approval from the government," she said.

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South Korea was once home to the second-largest COVID-19 outbreak after mainland China, with daily infections at one point reaching 1,000 earlier this year.

The country has now largely brought COVID-19 under control, though daily infections are starting to rise again.

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Visitors wear face masks as they tour the Whitney Museum of American Art as it reopens on September 3. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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