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  • 작성자 사진VentureBlick

K medical device ‘AR glasses’ penetrated U.S. hospitals

Korean newspaper headline coverage of VentureBlick and MediThinQ's partnership
Seoul Economic Daily's headline feature of VentureBlick and MediThinQ's partnership.

In the future, it will be common to see doctors performing surgeries wearing smart glasses developed by local healthcare startups at major hospitals in the United States, the world's largest medical market. MediThinQ signed a contract with Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device company, to supply medical augmented reality (AR) wearable displays throughout the United States. It is believed that customised support from VentureBlick, a company specialising in incubating healthcare startups, was effective in achieving these achievements. 

Chris Lee, CEO of VentureBlick, with Mr Seungjoon Im, CEO of MediThinQ
Chris Lee (right), CEO of VentureBlick, and Seung-joon Im, CEO of MediThinQ, at a press conference held at FKI Tower in Yeouido, Seoul, on 20 February.

Chris Lee, CEO of VentureBlick, held a press conference at FKI Tower in Yeouido, Seoul on 20 February and announced investment results and development plans for innovative global healthcare startups such as MediThinQ, its first Korean incubated company. 

CEO Lee said, “It is rare to see a local medical device being used in an American operating room.” He added, “Until now, Korean startups have had a high proportion of platform-based unicorns (unlisted startups with a corporate value of KRW 1 trillion or more), but MediThinQ is Korea’s first technology-based healthcare company. “We are confident that it will grow into a healthcare unicorn,” he said. 

Table overviewing VentureBlick's core operations and partnership results with MediThinQ
VentureBlick's key business is to uplift promising medtech startups like MediThinQ.

MediThinQ, established in 2018, signed a contract with Medtronic last month to exclusively supply medical AR wearable display ‘SCOPEYE’ throughout the United States. This product is a solution that allows clinicians to perform surgeries and procedures in a comfortable position while viewing high-definition, vivid medical images right in front of their eyes by connecting existing imaging medical devices without installing separate software. SCOPEYE is exported to more than 60 hospitals in 30 countries, including the United States, Japan, France, and the United Kingdom. 

In Korea, this product is being used in five large hospitals, including Asan Medical Center in Seoul and Korea University Anam Hospital. Im Seung-jun, CEO of MediThinQ, said, “Smart glasses introduced by global information technology (IT) companies such as Meta (formerly Facebook) are made for industrial or home use, while MediThinQ products are specialised for medical use. Surgery is performed using SCOPEYE. “There has never been a case where a doctor complained of dizziness while doing surgery using SCOPEYE, and there was even a doctor who operated for 12 hours,” he explained. He added, “Based on this supply contract, we expect the company’s total sales this year to reach approximately 13 billion KRW, a 10-fold increase compared to the previous year.” 

This is an achievement that CEO Lee achieved within two years of starting his business, which has laid the foundation for VentureBlick's MedTech innovation vision. 

VentureBlick, headquartered in Singapore, was founded in 2022 by CEO Lee, who served as Asia Pacific president global pharmaceutical and medical device companies such as Medtronic, Merck, and Bayer. Our strength lies in our large-scale global healthcare advisory network comprised of over 2,000 medical professionals and healthcare experts from over 50 countries. It operates a ‘Super Incubator’, a customised one-stop solution that discovers promising healthcare startups at each stage of growth, fosters them, and systematically supports them through investment. 

MediThinQ's novel device, ScopEYE XR wearable
MediThinQ’s medical wearable AR device, ScopEYE.

CEO Lee said, “The three success factors for medtech innovation are early-stage verification of market needs to deliver true market value, instant access to operational know-how, resources, and expertise, and rapid market entry to quickly go to market and be widely adopted,” adding, “We are helping to validate ideas, attract investments, and increase awareness,” he emphasised. 

VentureBlick now plans to raise a ‘second MediThinQ’ by creating a global healthcare venture fund worth 20 billion KRW. CEO Lee emphasised, “We will create a fund within this year and invest in early-stage startups,” and added, “We will play a role as a facilitator for healthcare companies to advance into the global market.” 

Reporter: Kim Ki-hyuk 

This article was originally published by Seoul Economic Daily on 20 February 2024. Read the original article in Korean here. 

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