The coronavirus has brought a lot of attention to the Medical industry in South Korea. South Korea has been praised not only for its fast response but also for its innovative technologies in regard to testing for the coronavirus. The use of AI in the healthcare industry in South Korea exploded in 2019. Korean investors were putting a lot of their money into Korean medical startups that were incorporating AI technologies into their products and services. In addition Corporations and Universities in Korea are increasing their partnerships with AI startups in Korea that can help them compete with newer players entering the space. In addition, AI simplifies the lives of doctors, patients, and hospital staff by performing tasks that are typically done by humans. However, with AI technology, this can be done in less time and at a much lower cost.

AI medical startups in Korea are looking into links between genetic codes, robots that can perform surgeries, or software that can improve the efficiency of a hospital. In addition, a lot of funding is going into these healthcare startups because Korea is starting to realize the importance of having a strong and innovative healthcare industry. Therefore here are some top medical startups in Korea that are using Artificial Intelligence to revolutionize the healthcare industry.

List of the Top Korean Medical AI Startups

1. Lunit

Lunit Korean Medical AI Startups

Lunit is a Korean medical AI software company that focuses on deep learning and medical data. They are devoted to discovering, designing, and developing data-driven imaging biomarkers. These biomarkers help bring a high level of accuracy and efficiency in diagnosis and treatment. In addition, Lunit focuses on radiology and cancer treatment. Their product Lunit Insight CXR-Nodule is a web-based AI medical image diagnostic software. It helps make accurate diagnostics for lung cancer. Furthermore, they have tested their accuracy through clinical trials at Seoul National University Hospital. Currently, they are looking to sell their products and services to the global market.

“Data-driven medicine using AI technology has some similarity with evidence-based medicine as both analyze data to detect illnesses, but the difference is that deep-learning technology performs better than humans,” said Anthony Paek, Co-Founder of Lunit.

Their latest product for breast cancer detection is called Lunit Insight for Mammography (Lunit MMG). In addition, they were named by CB Insights as one of the AI 100 startups that are transforming the healthcare industry.

Granted Korea MFDS Approval for Lunit Insight MMG

The Korea MFDS (Ministry of Food and Drug Safety) approved Lunit’s AI solution for breast cancer. Therefore, it is now available for sale in Korea. It was co-developed with Yonsei Severance Hospital, Asan Medical Center, and Samsung Medical Center. In addition, Lunit provides an online demo for users to test the performance of its software.

Shinhan Investment Leads $26 Million Series C Funding for Lunit

Shinhan led Lunit’s series C round along with InterVest, Kakao Ventures, IMM Investment, and Lenovo Group’s Legend Capital. To date, Lunit has raised $50 million and will use its latest investment to accelerate the global sales of its AI software for chest and breast radiology. In addition, they will continue to drive their R&D efforts in oncology and pathology.

2. Standigm

Korean Medical AI Startup

Standigm a Korean AI Startup that uses AI technology for drug discovery and development. The startup has put together a strong combination of talent and technology to speed up the discovery of new medicines. Therefore, their team has experts in AI, chemistry, systems engineering, and systems biology. Their aim is to help drug discovery teams around the world with challenges from target identification to novel compound discovery bypassing, modeling, and interpreting complex datasets.

They were able to raise a total of $15 million from Kakao Ventures, Atinum Investment, DSC Investment, LB Investment, Wonik Investment Partners, as well as Mirae Asset Venture Investment and Mirae Asset Capital. The funds will go towards scaling its AI technology platform.

“We demonstrated in vitro and in vivo data of our repurposing drug candidates. This latest round from top investors and innovators in AI and biotechnology fields represents their confidence in our technology to innovate the drug discovery process in the pharmaceutical industry. We will create partnerships with leading healthcare organizations to accelerate this mission and bolster our pipelines,” said CEO of Standigm Jinhan Kim.

Furthermore, Standigm AI has a strong reputation in the pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, for 2020 they will look to create partnerships with leading healthcare organizations to grow their pipelines.

3. Oncocross

Oncocross

Oncocross is a Korean AI biotech startup that checks new medicine material adaptability with the existing medicines with its AI-engine. They specialize in drug discovery and cancer drug development. Their AI Platform is called ONCO. It allows patients to get the best care possible and the correct medicine. In addition, it helps pharmaceutical companies to increase the success rate of drug development at affordable prices and in less time. Furthermore, Oncocross got $ 14 million for its Series B investment. Investors included Hanvit Investment, SmileGate Investment, G N Tech Venture Investment, KDB Capital, Hana Financial Investment, Wooshin Venture Investment, NAU IB Captial, Magna Investment, ID Ventures, KB Securities, SM Sino Technology Investment, Vision Creator, and eBest Investment & Securities.

4. VUNO

VUNO Korean Medical StartupKorean Medical AI startup VUNO develops products and systems that provide solutions for doctors and patients. The platform provides consulting services for medical data analysis. Their software called VUNO DTAS (Deep Triage and Acuity Scale) is an AI-based emergency patient classification software. Furthermore, the software can predict cardiac arrest chances in patients within 24 hours. In addition, VUNO created the first AI-based medical device in Korea called VUNOmed-BoneAge. It is an image diagnostics device that uses a deep learning engine to read an X-ray scan or of a person’s left hand to instantaneously determine his or her bone age, or skeletal age.

“VUNO will actively cooperate with leading medical institutions in Korea by supporting the diagnosis of specialists and increase benefits for patients,” said the CEO of VUNO Lee Yeha.

Vuno offered their services to fight COVID-19 by offering their AI solution for free to read lung images. Furthermore, Vuno’s two solutions, VUNO Med-LungQuant and VUNO Med-Chest X-ray for COVID-19 were released as a cloud-based web service that can be found through their website.

5 VUNO Products win the CE Mark Certification

5 VUNO Products won the Conformite Europeene (CE) Certification. These 5 include VUNO Med-BoneAge, VUNO Med-DeepBrain, VUNO Med-Chest X-Ray, VUNO Med-Fundus AI, and VUNO Med-LungCT AI. The CE Certification allows VUNO to sell or commercialize its AI-based medical solutions to the European Free Trade Association and EU members. Currently, more than 100 medical institutions are using VUNO products in South Korea.

5. 3billion

3billionKorean Medical Startup 3billion provides an AI-based medical diagnostic service to diagnose rare diseases. 3billion offers direct-to-consumer genomic rare disease screening tests. Their machine learning-based automated variant interpretation system reduces the time and cost of the process. Furthermore, they also offer a solution that scans for DNA mutations and helps physicians diagnose rare diseases faster and more accurately. The process works like this. First, the customer takes a sample of their saliva sample and sends it to Macrogen, their parent company. Macrogen is then able to create the genomic data from the sample.

“We are going to expand clinical studies to thousands of rare patients and sophisticate our variant interpretation system by using large-scale rare genome data from the studies,” said the CEO of 3billion, Changwon Keum.

3billion has raised over $10 million to date.

Next Korean Unicorn?

3billion was the winner of the ASEAN- Korea Scale-up contest at Try Everything Korea. They won the Next Unicorn award. As the winner, 3billion will join the final round of eXtreme Challange (XTC), the world’s largest startup contest for entrepreneurs looking to tackle global challenges. The XTC contest will be held in France in 2021.

6. AITRICS

AITRICSKorean medical startup AITRICS provides AI-based healthcare solutions. Their aim is to make AI-solutions more accessible to all businesses for more predictive and personalized care. They are the developers of a predictive solution called VitalCare. It is able to predict the occurrence of emergencies related to sepsis and mortality in hospitals in advance. In addition, it provides accurate and predictive scores to help medical staffs understand when and how to treat their patients in a proper way. In addition, the medical startup has raised over $7 million to date from investors BNH Investment and Premier Partners just to name a few.

7. Deep Bio

Deep Bio Korean AI Startup MedicalKorean AI Biotech startup Deep Bio Inc. is focused on improving reliability and decreasing the turnaround time for medical diagnoses. Therefore, they collaborate with medical professionals in integrating AI into existing clinical workflows to help them make better-informed decisions that will lead to the best outcome for patients. Furthermore, Deep Bio has a team of medical experts and engineers to curate ideal datasets.

Their AI goes through many cycles of review to establish the highest performance standard. Furthermore, it is seamlessly integrated into existing LIMS. In addition, it can be hosted on their DeepDx platform. Their first product was the DeepDx Prostate. It uses deep learning to recognize and localize acinar adenocarcinoma of the prostate in scanned, H&E-stained histopathology slides.

8. NEUROPHET

neurophetKorean Medical AI-based software startup Neurophet created tES Lab 2.0 which automatically segments brain magnetic resonance (MR) into 107 regions within a minute. Therefore, the Neurophet tES Lab 2.0 is a complete transcranial electrical stimulation simulation software. In addition, It allows users to calculate and visualize brain stimulation effects. This is based on the individual’s brain structure and stimulus conditions.

Furthermore, Neurophet was able to secure $5 million in series A funding in late 2019.

Some of the Key Features of Neurophet tES Lab 2.0

  • AI-driven
  • Fully automated brain segmentation
  • Personalized 3D model generation
  • Simulation of user-defined brain targets
  • Automatically electrode positioning for user-defined brain targets
  • Effective simulation result analysis

9. KaiPharm

KaiPharmBig data AI-based drug development startup KaiPharm are the developers of KMAP, a platform for analyzing drug-induced transcriptome data. Therefore, they can generate dataset of 2,000 drugs using next-generation sequencing (NGS). The dataset will include all the FDA-approved drugs to date. In addition, they have raised over $5 million to date from KB Investment, Kolon Investment, and Innopolis Partners just to name a few. The startup was founded in 2018 by Professor Wan-Gyu Kim’s research team at Ewha Woman’s University.

10. Tomocube

TomocubeKorean AI BioTech startup Tomocube creates real-time 3D imaging products for optical solutions. They developed a diagnosis program for which 3D holographic microscopy and AI technology can be combined. Furthermore, their platform allows researchers to measure nanoscale, real-time, dynamic images of individual living cells without the need for sample preparation. Their main product, a microscope called HT-1, measures 3D refractive index tomograms of live cells and tissues. Therefore, this allows for high-resolution 3D refractive index tomograms of cells. This is important in showing the development of apoptotic features in early Parkinson’s disease (PD) progression. Therefore, this technology allows researchers to conduct long-term studies without the fear of photobleaching and phototoxicity impacting their results.

Tomocube has worked closely with the top technical university in Seoul, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). They are working together to develop the custom stitching software for the motorized stage.

Winner of the Innovation Award

The Tomocube HT2 holographic microscope is the world’s first microscope to combine both holography and 3D imaging into one unit. In addition, It can capture high-resolution 3D optical diffraction tomography and 3D images simultaneously.

“We, as the first mover in the 3D holographic image industry, feel a great sense of responsibility and burden to move ahead at the same time. But I believe we can and will grow even more to give benefits to the medical industry and patients by releasing innovative products,” said the CEO of Tomocube Hong Ki-hyun.