Exosystems, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based digital healthcare company and a member of Born2Global Centre, has succeeded in attracting Series A funding worth USD 3.9 million from SBI Investment, Laguna Investment, and Korea Technology Finance Corporation. With the addition of the new investments, the company has now amassed a total of USD 4.5 million in funding.

 

Exosystems is known for its digital care solution, consisting of a wearable medical device and connected user app, which enables patients undergoing neurorehabilitation or suffering from musculoskeletal disorders to monitor their health and receive appropriate treatment. The wearable sensor analyzes digital biomarkers related to musculoskeletal disorders and, through digital treatment software complete with behavioral intervention components, offers recommendations on exercise program or electrical stimulation therapy.

 

The technology of Exosystems has been verified through clinical research conducted in cooperation with the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital and other prominent Korean medical institutions. The device and its technologies have also been approved by the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and the CE-MDD (Medical Devices Directive) in Europe.

 

Exosystems' technology and growth potential were recently recognized when it was selected by government-funded R&D project worth USD 5 million. The company's digital healthcare device is now covered by public health insurance of Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

 

With the latest investments, Exosystems plans to expand clinical & technical capabilities to further develop the company's technology and overseas business.

 

"Exosystems is a company with both AI software and hardware technology, and it makes products in the digital healthcare field that can be commercialized," said SBI Investment Team Lead Lee Joo-hyuk. He added, "Providing continuous monitoring and treatment outside the hospital is a critical factor in future medical care, and we expect Exosystems to bring about digital innovation not only to musculoskeletal healthcare but to all aspects of people's health and lives."

 

"Exosystems will be able to secure competitiveness in the overseas markets because of its unique technology that analyzes digital biomarkers and provides behavioral intervention protocol based on scientific evidence," said Exosystems CEO Lee Hoo-man.

 


Sky Labs, a global healthcare startup, has closed a 22.5 billion KRW (~$20 million USD) Series B round, which brings its total investments raised to about 34.3 billion KRW (~$30 million USD).

 

New investors, such as KB Investment, Korea Investment Partners, and LB Investment participated in this round along with prior investors, such as Atinum Investment, Anvil Asset Advisors, and Soo Investment Capital. The involvement of large domestic investors this time around can be attributed to the company’s technological competitiveness and business capabilities. 

 

Sky Labs uses an AI-based cardiac monitoring platform CART-I consisting of a ring-shaped wearable medical device and an accompanying app for the users, as well as a web platform for doctors so that patients with atrial fibrillation can be monitored outside hospital walls. An irregular pulse wave is measured by automatically observing the blood flow in the finger through the PPG optical blood flow measurement sensor. This data is then sent to a cloud storage to detect and analyze atrial fibrillation through AI analysis, and the results are delivered to the user app and the doctors-only web.

 

The accuracy of atrial fibrillation detection had been certified through simultaneous conduction of product development and clinical research with leading domestic and international medical institutions. With this, they have obtained the Medical Devices Directive CE-MDD Global Product Certification, which is licensed to medical devices in Europe, as well as those approved by the Korean Food and Drug Administration. Sky Labs is the only Korean company to be invited to the European Heart Association (ESC) for the second consecutive year in the digital health sector, having been selected as a Technology Pioneer at the 2019 World Economic Forum and recognized for its technology and competitiveness in the global market. 

 

Through this investment, the company plans to expand global clinical research in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and the US, as well as to strengthen international marketing in the US and European branches to target overseas healthcare markets. Also, Sky Labs aims to launch various chronic disease monitoring functions, while investing in hiring top personnel.

 


 



Aiming to Become the World’s No. 1 Rehabilitation Platform

 

 

NEOFECT is a company that focuses on developing and providing smart rehabilitation solution.

NEOFECT became widely known for its smart glove when Korean President Moon Jae-in tried it on at the medical device exhibition hall in Seoul National University Bundang Hospital in July 2018, earning it the nickname “Moon Jae-in glove”.
The RAPAEL Smart Glove that attracted media attention at the time is NEOFECT’s signature product. A patient can wear the glove, which is connected to a table through Bluetooth, and play games that help with rehabilitation. NEOFECT is a company that has been attracting attention in the United States, the largest medical device market in the world, but its journey has not been easy.

 

After leaving the corporate world,CEO Ban founded his first startup company but failed.

 

NEOFECT CEO Ban Hoyoung’s first idea for a startup was not medical devices. After leaving Samsung Electronics, he focused on IPTV services for his first startup. Ban wanted to try something new instead of simply being another cog in the corporate business wheel. He left Samsung Electronics and started his own business with a partner in Los Angeles, United States. Unfortunately, two years later, the business remained unsustainable.
Ban said that his first business was a difficult but important experience. He explains that one of the most important things in a startup is experience. He emphasizes that having experience with launching or working in a startup is necessary to reduce trial and error. Afterward, Ban earned an MBA in the United States and met Choi Yong-Geun, also a KAIST alumnus and currently the CTO of NEOFECT. At the time, Choi was working on his Ph.D. in the United States for research on stroke rehabilitation, algorithms, and robotics. It was Choi who first suggested a medical device startup to Ban.

 

 

 

Ban recognized the importance ofrehabilitation services from personal experience.

 

In college, NEOFECT CEO Ban lost both his father and an uncle to stroke. Seeing the effects on the elderly members of his family, he became keenly aware of the need for low-cost products and services that help with sustainable stroke rehabilitation. This was a decisive factor in Ban launching another startup in 2010.
“I gained the confidence to run a globally-competitive business during my MBA program in the United States,” explains Ban. “The best thing I learned from competing with people from all around the world during my time in the program was the confidence that I can do it too?that I can survive in the global market.”
Seeing the size of the American market, Ban decided that he should prioritize launching his business in the United States. After four and a half years of development, he was able to open an office there in America in October 2015 and in Germany in October 2016.

 

 

Recipient of the CEO Innovation Award fortwo consecutive years,

NEOFECT and its technology have been recognized by the global market

 

NEOFECT aims to become the No. 1 rehabilitation platform in the world. The company has a strong lineup of products as well, including RAPAEL Smart Glove, RAPAEL Smart Kids, RAPAEL Smart Board, RAPAEL Smart Pegboard, and RAPAEL ComCog. Existing analog devices have been digitalized, and related game content helps patients suffering from stroke to focus on and have fun in their rehabilitation programs.
NEOFECT pursues more than simple fun. Data from patients in rehabilitation are collected on the platform and analyzed by AI, which recommends different rehabilitative games for the next day. NEOFECT is the first company in the world to provide comprehensive rehabilitation programs that are customized for each user. NEOFECT has succeeded in selling its smart gloves to rehabilitation hospitals around the world. They have also been approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which supports rehabilitation programs for veterans. NEOFECT has also published a number of papers on the effects of its rehabilitation programs.
Based on these achievements, NEOFECT received an Innovation Award at the CES in 2018, the largest consumer technology show in the world, for the second consecutive year. Its products stood out from those made by large conglomerates and have also attracted the attention of foreign media outlets, including CNN, CNET, and ZDNet.

Making active use of legal and accounting consultation as well as other forms of external support

 

Since NEOFECT’s products are medical devices, references, such as global clinical trials and approvals, are particularly important. These are aspects that require the help of organizations that support startups, such as the K-ICT Born2Global Centre. NEOFECT CEO Ban explains, “The healthcare industry is regulated, and therefore paying attention to related law is very important.”
He stresses that K-ICT Born2Global Centre’s accounting, marketing, and legal consultations were particularly helpful. Startups often have difficulty getting management support, and Ban recognizes the necessity of receiving help from supporting organizations in these areas. “When companies want to hire a lawyer, they don’t really know the specifics, like who the good ones are and how much they cost,” Ban explains. “We were able to receive advice and recommendation on such things.”

 

A company that gives hope through rehabilitation services

 

NEOFECT officially began trading on the KOSDAQ this year. Ban, the CEO, says that its debut was meaningful as listing provides stability to the employees and increases customer confidence. It also provided an opportunity for Ban to think once again about his goals. He launched this startup because he knew the difficulties people face in receiving rehabilitation after stroke or other illnesses as well as the hardships their family members experience. “NEOFECT’s slogan is ‘We inspire hope’,” remarks Ban. “I’d like NEOFECT to become a company that gives hope to people, that they can return to their daily lives by improving their movement through our rehabilitation programs.”

 

 

 

 



Manufacturers are increasingly looking at locations other than your wrist to monitor health. At CES 2019, a Korean-based startup called Welt unveiled its smart belt.

 

A few years in the making, Welt looks like a normal belt but can keep tabs on a wide range of health data. The device tracks waist size, activity, and overeating to provide comprehensive health analysis while also providing health guidance via the smartphone app. Similar to the latest Apple Watch, it even has fall detection.

 

 

For fitness, Welt’s pedometer tracks steps and calorie burn while the belt also monitors sitting time and will nudge you occasionally to get up. Abdominal fat is a product of excess calorie intake. Based on calorie intake, your waist can expand and contract over a duration as short as half an hour. Welt keeps track of these rapid variations in waist size chart patterns of overeating.

 

 

As for charging, the battery is rechargeable through a micro USB cable and can last an impressive 20 days.

 

“Welt takes the health tech industry to an entirely new level with its customized plans for fitness goals,” said Welt CEO and co-founder, Sean Kang, in a statement at CES.

 

“We will demonstrate many of our new software updates, including the fall-risk assessment that can help the elderly or consumers who are at risk of falls.”

 

Welt has certainly come up with an original concept. The company raised over $70,000 on Indiegogo back in 2016 to make the smart belt a reality. A couple of years (and a few delays) later, the belt is ready for sale in the US.

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The Digital Healthcare market is growing rapidly than ever. We are looking for ICT startups who are willing to expand their businesses to the healthcare industry. 

This is the perfect opportunity to learn about the current market trends, and how you can apply your technologies and services (VR/AR, AI, Fintech, Smart farm, Bigdata, Mobile service, etc.) to the healthcare industry.

Grants4Apps team at Bayer will guide your business to fit the European market needs.

If you are interested in expanding your business to the healthcare market, do not hesitate to join us on The Meetup Night!

 

Introduction of Berlin startup ecosystem and Grants4apps project | Bayer Grants4Apps

The key to survive as a hardware startup | Mtreecare

How and why I started building my business in the United states | Ovitz

Startup pitches and feedback from experts | Startups&Bayer

 

Online registration is available at http://www.onoffmix.com/event/97514

 


The Grants4Apps® Accelerator is a mentoring program for digital health startups taking place in Berlin.

The program offers mentoring by entrepreneurs and Bayer experts, office space for 100 days, and funding of 50,000€.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Digital Healthcare market is growing rapidly than ever. We are looking for ICT startups who are willing to expand their businesses to the healthcare industry. 

This is the perfect opportunity to learn about the current market trends, and how you can apply your technologies and services (VR/AR, AI, Fintech, Smart farm, Bigdata, Mobile service, etc.) to the healthcare industry.

Grants4Apps team at Bayer will guide your business to fit the European market needs.

If you are interested in expanding your business to the healthcare market, do not hesitate to join us on The Meetup Night!

 

Introduction of Berlin startup ecosystem and Grants4apps project | Bayer Grants4Apps

The key to survive as a hardware startup | Mtreecare

How and why I started building my business in the United states | Ovitz

Startup pitches and feedback from experts | Startups&Bayer

 

Online registration is available at http://www.onoffmix.com/event/97514

 


The Grants4Apps® Accelerator is a mentoring program for digital health startups taking place in Berlin.

The program offers mentoring by entrepreneurs and Bayer experts, office space for 100 days, and funding of 50,000€.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Digital Healthcare market is growing rapidly than ever. We are looking for ICT startups who are willing to expand their businesses to the healthcare industry. 

This is the perfect opportunity to learn about the current market trends, and how you can apply your technologies and services (VR/AR, AI, Fintech, Smart farm, Bigdata, Mobile service, etc.) to the healthcare industry.

Grants4Apps team at Bayer will guide your business to fit the European market needs.

If you are interested in expanding your business to the healthcare market, do not hesitate to join us on The Meetup Night!

 

Introduction of Berlin startup ecosystem and Grants4apps project | Bayer Grants4Apps

The key to survive as a hardware startup | Mtreecare

How and why I started building my business in the United states | Ovitz

Startup pitches and feedback from experts | Startups&Bayer

 

Online registration is available at http://www.onoffmix.com/event/97514

 


The Grants4Apps® Accelerator is a mentoring program for digital health startups taking place in Berlin.

The program offers mentoring by entrepreneurs and Bayer experts, office space for 100 days, and funding of 50,000€.

 

 

 

 

 

WELT is a healthcare startup and the creator of the WELT smart belt, the world’s first smart belt to 

target the healthcare market. With a name created by combining the words “wellness” and “technology,” 

WELT aims to become a healthcare company based on next-generation technology. With its built-in 

sensor, the WELT smart belt measures the user’s waist circumference, number of steps taken, time 

spent sitting, and instances of overeating. The belt’s smart module sends this body- and activity-related 

informationdirectly to the WELT belt’s mobile application, which analyzes the user’s lifestyle and caloric 

balance to provide information and suggestions, such as recommending a certain number of steps that 

the user should take, thereby helping the user manage his or her overall health. In the short term, the 

smart belt allows the user to manage waist circumference, while, in the long term, it helps prevent metabolic 

syndrome and abdominal obesity, which are major causes of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

 

WELT has attracted attention at home and abroad with the uniqueness of its product, which connects 

a fashion accessory—in this case, a belt—with healthcare-based technology. As a result, the company 

succeeded in securing more than USD 70,000 in funding, more than double its target of USD 30,000, 

through the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter.

 

 

Transformed Himself from a Doctor into a Corporate Worker and Then into a Startup Founder

 

The backgrounds and relationship of WELT’s co-founders are quite unique. CEO Sean Kang graduated 

from medical school to become a public health doctor, after which he became interested in health policy,

including policy on remote medical diagnostic and monitoring systems. This interest led him, along with 

Director Ken Roh, to start a venture business that sought to offer a service based on a combination 

of games and healthcare. However, the business failed, and Kang returned to his career as a doctor. 

Later, he was inspired once again, this time by Samsung Electronics, to launch a startup. Samsung 

Electronics’ wireless division had decided to hire a doctor to promote its healthcare business, and it offered

 the job to Kang. At around the same time, Director Noh had passed the screening process for a position 

with Samsung Electronics to provide software education to liberal arts majors and hire them as programmers. 

So, the two men met again at Samsung Electronics, and soon came up with the idea to start a business on 

the back of Samsung Electronics’ in-house venture support program. Kang said, “I came up with the idea 

while doing research on healthcare diagnostic and monitoring devices, such as wearables.” He added, 

“To ensure that people are able to use smart bands or wearables properly, the devices should be easy 

to use, so I thought it would be great to apply the idea to a belt, as most men wear belts every day.”

 

To Enter the Global Market, the CEO Took a Plane to France the Day after Starting His Business

 

With the full support of the company, Kang spent about a year and a half focused on the development of 

his smart belt at Samsung’s Creative Lab (C-Lab). In July 2016, WELT spun off from Samsung Electronics, 

becoming the 11th company under C-Lab. Immediately after the company’s spin off, which occurred after 

more than a year of product development and extensive research on and preparation for entering overseas

markets, Kang and his WELT smart belt were on a plane to France. Kang said, “I felt that I shouldn’t waste 

even a single day, considering that I had already spent over a year developing the product, so I searched 

for and applied to various overseas market entry programs, such as KOTRA, prior to the spin-off.” 

He went on to add, “Following discussions with representatives of a European luxury fashion company that 

I had met at CES, WELT signed an MOU with the company on the sidelines of the Korea-France summit.” 

WELT participated in CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2016 in Las Vegas, as part of Samsung Electronics’ 

in-house venture development program. At that time, a senior executive of a company, who had learned about 

WELT through a pre-press release distributed by Samsung Electronics, visited WELT’s booth, initiating a 

meeting that would pave the way for WELT’s entrance into overseas markets.

 

 

Smart Belt Designed to Meet Both Health and Fashion Needs

 

WELT believes that preparation is essential to successfully entering global markets, especially promotion 

strategies and the provision of information tailored specifically to overseas target markets. Based on this belief, 

the company made thorough preparations to meet and consult with its overseas partners, using the prototype 

or demo for reference. In addition, it received consulting services in relation to legal, patent, and marketing issues 

through the support of other member companies of Born2Global. Based on the experience and knowledge it had 

accumulated through participation in the overseas Demo Day events, which was made possible with 

Born2Global’s support, WELT managed to draw up a strategy for entering overseas markets. It was particularly 

important for the company to engage in attention-grabbing marketing at global events. For example, it attracted 

the attention of visitors at CES 2016 by decorating its booth based on a luxury menswear shop concept, parodying 

the popular movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, as a means of promoting its smart belt.

 

 

Although it has been less than a year since the company was founded, WELT has already released products that 

it developed in collaboration with large corporations. In time for the 2016 Christmas season, the company launched 

a smart belt in partnership with Bean Pole. Kang noted, “The belt is a fashion accessory, so we are considering 

collaborations with various fashion brands.” He also stressed, “Currently, major global companies are leading the 

effort to combine wearable devices with fashion brands.”

 

 


 

 

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