It has been 10 years since Seoul started to actively operate the Metabolic Syndrome Control Project through the community health centers in 25 autonomous districts. Now, the city is pursuing smart healthcare by introducing ICT-based U Health Zones to find subjects and support self-healthcare. 100 U Health Zones will be established at workplaces and branches of community health centers to reinforce a close management of chronic diseases for office workers in their 40s and 50s and other residents.
The idea of Seoul’s Smart Healthcare is to operate U Health Zones based on the latest ICT. In them, users can have a health check-up through finger vein recognition → measurement of body size, body fat, blood pressure, and stress → checking the result on the spot on the kiosk or through an app on their mobile phone. This way, users can learn whether they need to take measures against obesity, blood pressure, or diabetes.
The city will be pursuing Smart Healthcare by providing check-ups for risk groups with high body fat and blood pressure using the U Health Zone. Risk groups will be encouraged to participate in a metabolic syndrome control program and to take care of themselves in order to prevent the contraction of chronic diseases.
Seoul first began the pilot program for metabolic syndrome control in 2009 and expanded the program to all community health centers in all autonomous districts. The goal of the project, “Discovering A Million Seoulites with Metabolic Syndrome,” was achieved in 2016. Until August 2019, a total of 1.5 million people have participated in the program.
The introduction of the ICT-based U Health Zone is part of efforts by Seoul to make a new leap after evaluating the existing metabolic syndrome control project. This will improve the accessibility for male office workers in their 40s and 50s, a group with a relatively high metabolic syndrome prevalence rate who rarely visit community health centers, and enhance the daily environment to facilitate the self-healthcare of citizens.
U Health Zones will be established at branches of community health centers and workplaces in Seoul that will participate in the metabolic syndrome control program. This will make the U Health Zone available for office workers, who have found it difficult to visit community health centers due to their busy working schedule, allowing them to check their health regularly and receive direct help in managing chronic diseases through the health control system that will be followed by visits from specialist from the community health center to provide counseling.