Ten minutes is all it takes to figure out, with a high degree of accuracy, where COVID-19 patients have recently been.
This is thanks to the South Korea's very own COVID-19 Smart Management System based on the so-called smart city data hub.
"It's crucial that we stop additional infections, but relying on patient interviews can lead to errors and omissions. This system ensures that there is no missing information about a patient's recent activities."
This system enables the health authorities to get information on patients' credit card transactions through 27 agencies and companies along with relevant CCTV footage in just ten minutes.
Before, investigators had to request such data from the police, which in some cases took up to 24 hours.
On top of its speed and accuracy, the system's advanced technology eliminates misleading data.
"The system applies big data analysis and AI technology. When investigating infection routes, we use advanced technologies to filter unusual data, given that confirmed patients can have different walking speeds."
Ensuring security and privacy, of course, comes as a top priority.
"Access to the information is limited to the KCDC and local epidemiological investigators, of whom there are very few. The system also retains all log-in records, so the risk of abuse is very low."
In addition, all collected personal information will be destroyed as soon as this pandemic ends.
The South Korean government plans to actively engage in technical cooperation with other countries and international organizations who are interested in adopting the system.
With this experience as a stepping stone, the government has pledged to make full use of and apply the smart system where the people need it most in the future.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.