The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has global pharmaceutical companies and startups in a race to develop new products and services in all sectors. The field of healthcare is no exception with the U.S. leading the way in AI startups. Many startups partner with bigger companies or become part of the latter.
The National Information Society Agency released a report Tuesday on promising AI startups in Korea, including six in the field of healthcare -- Neofect, Vuno, Tomocube, Lunit, Standigm, and Bitfinder. The following are brief introductions of them.
Neofect네오펙트 is an AI startup that provides rehabilitating training products and services “available anytime and anywhere.” As a rehabilitation hardware and software manufacturing company, they secured around 11.8 billion won ($10.34 million) of investments from several venture capitalists from 2012 to 2016. It won the ninth digital innovation awards in 2014, and the CES Innovation Awards this year.
Its “Rapael Smart Rehab Solution” – composed of Rapael Smart Glove, Smart Kids, and Smart Board – is a customized rehabilitation solution for patients with neurological and musculoskeletal injuries. Rapael uses portable, lightweight equipment to use at home while providing rehab training contents in the form of games, called “gamification,” adding fun to the therapy experience.
|Source: Neofect homepage|
The company is expanding fast, having established its San Francisco branch in 2015 and German office in 2016. Their products are used in more than 10 domestic hospitals, having gained U.S. FDA approval in 2014. They have partnered with Samsung Medical Center, Severance Hospital, Seoul National University Hospital, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison to perform clinical trials as well as collaborating with Dankook University, National Rehabilitation Center, Seoul National University, and KAIST to develop its products.
Vuno뷰노코리아 uses deep learning to develop software to deliver assessments of patient data and put “the world’s medical data to work.” VunoMed, a medical data analysis platform that provides data analysis of medical videos, ECG/Brain wave data, and EMR data, boasts 91 percent accuracy in diagnosing lung cancer, compared with a 60 percent match probability when two different doctors diagnose using the same CT scan.
VunoNet is its proprietary deep learning engine that processes medical data such as X-ray, CT, and MRI data to build models for how diseases develop in the body. The company took the fifth place in the national competition called ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge.
|Source: Vuno homepage|
This biotechnology company specializes in three-dimensional holography technologies to solve problems of current microscopy techniques that limit information available to researchers and clinicians. Their innovative, world-class holotomographic microscopy enables users to investigate biological cells and thin tissues quantitatively and noninvasively with optimal diffraction tomography (ODT).
Tomocube토보큐브 is also making advances in software platform for 2D, 3D, and 4D image analyses with TomoStudio as well as using machine learning to help early diagnosis and treatment of diseases cancers or diabetes.
|Source: Tomocube homepage|
The company won Korea Institute of Industrial Technologies’ award conferred on 10 major technologies that have developed machine technology.
Lunit루닛 uses deep learning technology to develop advanced software for medical data analysis and interpretation. Its “Data-driven Imaging Biomarker” (DIB) solution has won them 100 million won of investment from K Cube Ventures in 2014. In 2015, it won 2 billion won from Soft Bank Ventures, Formation8, K Cube Ventures. Last year, it also won 3 billion won from Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Soft Bank Ventures Korea, and K Cube Ventures in 2016.
DIB is an imaging biomarker made from large-scale medical image data to bridge the gap between doctors and technology, particularly for chest radiography and mammography. In contrast to conventional Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) heavily dependent on radiologists, DIB lets the machine define important diagnostic features by itself solely from large-scale data.
|Source: Lunit homepage|
Standigm스탠다임, the software that increases success rates and efficiency of new drug development, is under development for use by next year. The company won 3.4 billion won of investments from LB Investment, K Cube Ventures, and Atinum Investment in 2016.
|Source: Standigm homepage|
Its solution combines intelligent bot and machine learning to reduce the costs and time taken in the development process for new drugs. Its AI reveals patterns hiding in biomedical data to remove the traditional guesswork from data analysis and uncertainty in the drug discovery process. The software will use active data parsing, bot modeling, and biological interpretation.
Bitfinder비트바인더 is the company that developed Awair which uses a new generation of sensor technology and Internet of Things (IoT) to track toxins and chemicals in the air to give personalized recommendations for health. Users can link Awair to other smart devices such as air cleaning products, thermometers, and other smart devices with its application program interface (API) to keep indoor air clean for those with atopy and allergies
|Source: Bitfinder homepage|
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