Have you imagined having a system that can enable medical services at the tip of your finger?
Well, yes! Technological development has taken a leap in convenience, and efficiency and we are experiencing this game-changing development. One such development is the establishment of ECOSYSTEMS’ virtual platform to recover from physical abilities. It works on an AI technology that makes physical constraints like time and space cancel out. It specifically focuses on providing care solutions in musculoskeletal rehabilitation.
Under the visionary leadership of its Founder and CEO, Hooman Lee, the company has gathered an efficient team that caters to the needs of the Korean Medical market.
In an interview with Insights Care, Hooman speaks about the emergence of Exosystems and how is it impacting the healthcare industry.
Below are the highlights of the interview.
Please brief our audience about Exosystems, its USPs, and how it is positioned as a reliable name in the healthcare sector?
Exosystems is a startup that provides digital care solutions for musculoskeletal systems based on cutting-edge technology from robotics hardware to artificial intelligence software.
Founded in 2017 as a government-funded research institute, ETRI, a spin-off startup, we dream of a day when people can recover their physical abilities and enjoy healthy life values through our technology and services.
Based on AI technology, we are targeting the successful musculoskeletal rehabilitation of CNS patients at home and in hospitals through a Tele-rehabilitation solution. The technology development team consists of veterans in the field of artificial intelligence and medical device development and has continued to cooperate with university hospitals for clinical research to secure expertise in solving problems.
Shed some light on your offerings and how they impact the healthcare industry as well as your clients.
We offer our clients a Professional Digital Care solution for Join Pain and Muscle Loss, from in-hospital to in-home care, to meet patient healthcare needs.
Tele-rehabilitation solutions of EXOSYSTEMS go beyond physical constraints such as time/space and enable medical services suitable for medical consumers around the world.
The product, exoRehab, provides effective rehabilitation for post-operative patients with Central Nervous System diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, and general musculoskeletal disorder. Its key features are Bio-signal analysis(sEMG) and functional electrical stimulation(FES), and remote patient monitoring.
AI algorithm analyzes digital biomarkers from electrical signals of muscles, then Digital Therapeutic SW(DTx) provides personalized treatment through app-based exercise protocols and device-based electrical stimulation. Most processes can be done remotely, and personalized health data can be monitored remotely.
What are the core values upon which your organization is built? What is the vision and mission of your organization?
The core values of EXOSYSTEMS are ‘excellence,’ ‘fast execution and learning,’ and ‘communication.’
Excellence – I think the best consideration for our colleagues is our excellence. When excellent talents gather and grow together, they always produce excellent results.
Fast execution and learning – No one can make a perfect plan. We must learn the real voice of customers through minimal planning and quick implementation. If everything’s under control, we’re moving too slowly.
Communication – Communication is not just about having a conversation. We must understand the importance of sharing information to make the right decisions in each position.
Based on these core values, EXOSYSTEMS’ vision is to be the ‘No.1 Digital Healthcare Company in the world’.
Hooman, being an experienced leader, share your opinion on how modern technologies have impacted the healthcare sector and how has Exosystems incorporated such technologies into its daily operations?
Today’s advanced network technology allows most tasks to be done remotely. This trend has also had a great impact on the medical field, and we expect the telemedicine market to grow significantly in the future.
Until now, technologies such as video calls have been mainly used in telemedicine so far. I think more professional services will be required in the future, such as remotely monitoring patients’ biometric signals using digital medical devices.
EXOSYSTEMS is preparing for this future, and the digital care solutions we provide have been developed to provide professional service and data management anytime, anywhere.
In addition, new digital medicine, called Digital Therapeutics(DTx), will be used broadly in the future in areas where it is difficult to develop biochemical drugs.
Several FDA-approved Digital Therapeutics are already emerging, and this trend will affect the global pharmaceutical market. In this context, EXOSYSTEMS has a plan to start the FDA process of our Digital Care SW.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the healthcare space?
In the healthcare market, it is important to decide how to do profitable business first.
For example, the ecosystem of the Korean medical market has a structure in which public insurance covers most areas. Therefore, to do business within the Korean medical market, it is necessary to understand the structure of public insurance reimbursement.
Since much of the U.S. healthcare market is covered by private insurance, another strategy is needed to figure out which insurance plan to target here. This strategy will eventually have a major impact on deciding whether to prepare for FDA approval as a medical device or target the wellness area as a consumer electronics device.
How do you envision scaling your organization’s operations and offerings in 2022 and beyond?
In 2022, joint research is planned with a global pharmaceutical company. The good results of this study will be a good opportunity for our technology to be applied to new drug development in the future, so we will pay a lot of attention to this study. Since we finished the Series A fundraising by the end of 2021, we plan to increase the capability of technology development through the active recruitment of talented people.
While continuing technology development, we plan to release products developed by applying some technologies in 2022 and aim to collect as much real-world data as possible from patients.
Please give us a few testimonials of your clients/customers and a list of awards/recognitions that accurately highlight your organization’s position in the market.
The most satisfying part for users is that they can receive professional rehabilitation treatment such as NMES electrical stimulation at home, which was previously only available at professional medical institutions. In addition, performing an exercise program with feedback of the user’s bio-signal in real-time is highly satisfying for enhancing the exercise effect. Some users are also delighted with digitally recorded data.
– 2019: Minister Award from Minister of Science and ICT Award
– 2020: CES 2020 Innovation Award
– 2021: Minister Award from Minister of SMEs and Start-ups
– Total of $ 4.5M in funding
– Leading $ 5M government granted research
– Public Procurement Service’s selection of innovative products
– Medical Device Certification and Insurance Reimbursement Confirmation
Hooman Lee, the founder of EXOSYSTEMS, studied robotics at graduate school and worked as a researcher at the Government-funded Research Institute. One day, he realized that there was a serious medical blind spot in rehabilitation from experiencing severe injuries and long, painful rehabilitation.
At that time, he was doing research on wearable robots and began to seriously consider applying these technologies to rehabilitation treatment. After making up his mind to solve problems in this field through related technologies, he visited professors at prominent university hospitals for advice. Then he could figure out new types of solutions with appropriate technology.
He gathered team members who sympathized with these goals and then succeeded in fund-raising from one of the best early-stage investors in Korea. Thanks to investors, the team was able to start to develop the technology and has been growing so far. Today, with the success of attracting investment in the Series A stage, the team is running toward its dreams while recruiting more talented people.