Introducing South Korea's innovative elderly care robot Hyodol

신태섭 기자l승인2022.03.07






▲ Hyodol / CEO Jihee Kim

South Korea was shamefully ranked number one in elderly suicide among the OECD members between the period 2011 and 2017. A WHO report in 2016 showed South Korea had 2.9 times more number of old people (53.3 as opposed to average 18.4) per 100,000 population. Gloomy still, the Ministry of Health and Welfare reported the number of elderlies died without family or friends are more than 4,000 for the last 5 years. It is 3 deads a day. Taking care of elderlies has been a social issue for a long time but effective measures still seem to be a long way to go. But not all is frustrating. A South Korean elderly care services company Hyodol has introduced an innovative AI-based smart elderly care services robot Hyodol.

Hyodol robot works 24/7 to alarm an elderly to do a certain thing on a set time such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, taking the medicine, stroll, stretching, ventilating the air, and visiting a clinic or a welfare center. It greets his master when he or she comes back home and reacts when stroked on the head. More than 3,000 sounds, religious words, music, exercise, English class, playing and quiz games are loaded in Hyodol to make his master not boring during the day. Research teams at Kangwon National University College of Medicine, Seoul Medical Center, Sungkonghoe University, Kukmin University, Dongguk University, and the University of North Caroline at Charlotte published papers on effectiveness of Hyodol that the robot can improve depression and quality of life of elderlies. Thanks to these excellent reviews, Hyodol has received Science and ICT Ministerial Prize twice in a row and obtained the ICT Convergence Quality Certificate from the ICT Testing & Certification Laboratory. 

Since its first release in 2018, Hyodol is now functioning big data-driven customized care services and smart control. The robot is connected to the person in charge of the care for real time monitoring so that action is made promptly when a situation occurs. An elderly in emergency is advised to hold firmly the hand of Hyodol for 3 seconds so the a phone call is automatically made to the person in charge or  to a responsible officer.

Hyodol is being used by 96 local governments and 224 public institutions nationwide at the moment. As of February 2022, Hyodol is sharing the largest market in the nation with up to 73% continuous use by elderlies based on 1 year period. <PowerKorea>

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