An AI platform for the “Health of Humanity”
JLK Inspection manufactures and supplies AI-Hub, an AI-based medical diagnostics platform. The company aims to help people lead healthier lives through early detection and diagnosis of brain diseases, prostate cancer, and other conditions. With years of related knowledge and expertise, JLK Inspection has been expanding its business to develop and supply accurate AI-based security scanners that can be easily used in public organizations, private companies, and customs offices.
Finding opportunity in an aging society and joining the Fourth Industrial Revolution
JLK Inspection was founded in 2014. Kim Won Tae, the founder and CEO, has been an engineer for over 20 years. He studied nuclear engineering at KAIST, earned his Ph.D. in machine engineering at Drexel University, and worked as a researcher at KEPCO Engineering and Construction Co. and J&D Thermo-Fluid Technology, Inc.
“As I led a variety of research projects, I was able to personally experience that the Fourth Industrial Revolution was coming,” explains JLK Inspection CEO Kim Won Tae. “I knew that AI would bring revolutionary changes, and I dreamed of starting a business in AI.” Kim chose AI-based medical imaging diagnostics?for diagnosing strokes in particular. He believed that since one of every six people suffer from stroke at least once in their lives, many will benefit from an improvement in the diagnostics technology.
“I felt that improving the technology for diagnosing strokes would improve people’s quality of life and also reduce the related social costs, since Korea has become an aging society,” said Kim. Founded in February 2014, JLK Inspection created a team of AI experts in January 2015 and is stepping into becoming an AI-based medical device company.
Big data-based robot doctor
JLK Inspection’s signature service is the AI-based medical platform AIHub. Short for “AI Humanity Benefit,” AIHub is a solution that analyzes various types of medical images and clinical data through a big data-based AI algorithm. It can detect and diagnose 33 medical conditions in 14 regions of the body, which is the largest number of any existing medical diagnostics device in the world.
JLK Inspection’s product lineup includes the JBS series - medical systems that helps detect acute and hyperacute cerebral infarctions based on MRI, CT scans, and clinical data - and the JPC series, which help diagnose prostate cancer using MRI. Similar competitor products can only detect
one of a small number of medical conditions, and use only CT scans and X-rays to detect them.
AIHub, on the other hand, can detect 33 medical conditions and can diagnose the causes of those conditions. It has also been hailed for its versatility, as it makes use of imaging technology including X-rays, CT scans, MRI, MRA, and even ultrasound. In addition, AIHub has also had its AI technology upgraded using big data validated by specialists from 11 university hospitals in Korea. JLK Inspection is also getting ready to expand application of its years of expertise into the security and inspection sector.
This has all been possible through years of collaboration with the Korea Customs Service and the accuracy of big data that has been gleaned from over 40 million images.
Currently, the company has succeeded in commercializing the modules for customs security, corporate security, and government office security. The only Korean company to participate in the International Security Expo held in the UK in November 2018, JLK Inspection presented its products to the world and is working to supply them to major public facilities in South Korea while advancing into the corporate security market.
The difficulty of pioneering and plans to go abroad
Kim says that JLK Inspection is currently facing difficulties in all areas of business, from collecting and analyzing data to acquiring licenses, permits, and certifications, as it is a pioneer in its field in Korea. There were no precedents he could study or follow. “There are no guidelines in the medical AI business as of now,” Kim explains. “So for every bit of research we conduct, we have to review whether it is permitted institutionally or whether it is illegal. We pay close attention to complying with regulations in each country whose market we enter.” Under such circumstances, K-ICT Born2Global Centre’s systematic support has been of great help for JLK Inspection to enter foreign markets. The Centre provided multifaceted support, offering overseas advancement strategy seminars, arranging meetings with foreign buyers, providing legal consulting services on foreign laws and regulations, issuing articles about companies through overseas press agencies, introducing PR agencies, and helping the company develop marketing strategies. Thanks to the Centre’s support, JLK Inspection’s entry into international markets is accelerating. JLK Inspection plans to employ a large workforce, including local staff, and open company offices in five other countries in 2019. The company is also preparing for joint research and clinical testing with hospitals in the United States, United Arab Emirates, China, and Sweden. To this end, JLK Inspection has formed a strategic partnership with a global medical imaging device company with a worldwide business network and plans other strategic partnerships with insurance companies in foreign countries to provide medical services.
Becoming a major global market player in 2019
In 2019, JLK Inspection expects to take its first quantum leap since its founding, planning an IPO on KOSDAQ, underwritten by Korea Investment & Securities. The company is looking for public listing in Q2 2019, and if successful, JLK Inspection’s value could increase four or five-fold.
In 2017, JLK Inspection secured about KRW 10 billion in investments from several venture capital firms, including KB Investment, Medici Investment, and Intervest, which attests to the great expectations the market has for JLK Inspection.