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Local startups combating COVID-19 with latest technology
Updated: 2020-03-17 17:06:14 KST
Faced with a mask shortage amid the COVID-19 outbreak, many people across South Korea line up in front of pharmacies on their designated day to buy protective face masks.
But instead of lining up at this pharmacy in Seoul, people enter their mobile number and their birth year into the kiosk, and the system sends them a message when their masks are ready for pick up.

"Thanks to this service, people looking to buy protective face masks don't have to wait in long lines in front of pharmacies."

One pharmacist says this method not only saves time but is also safer.

"Before using this service, I had to tell the customers that the masks were out of stock about 300 times a day. This service also prevents infections as people don't have to wait in line."

Another South Korean startup company has developed an app called Easydoc which directs them to the nearest COVID-19 screening center and lets them fill in medical questionnaires in advance to save time.

"Asking patients about their medical conditions takes up a lot of time. Filling out the questionnaires beforehand shortens the time they're exposed at screening centers and thus they are less vulnerable to possible infections."

The app also offers services for foreigners where they can fill out questionnaires in a range of languages before going to hospitals in South Korea.

"The doctor knew very easily what I was feeling without any language barrier or any trouble. So I think that the app was really helpful for me to find the right treatment for my symptoms."

Other startup companies in South Korea are also contributing to the fight against COVID-19. Those contributions include creating an online map service that locates pharmacies where masks are available and offering an online conference service to local businesses that are encouraging employees to work from home.
Eum Ji-young Arirang News.
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