[Startups to Watch]MedySapiens’ weapon in treating humans and pets – CDSS

Lee Han-soo  Published 2018.07.23  12:49  Updated 2019.03.15 16:16


MedySapiens is actively using bioinformatics and big data in providing premium healthcare. Unlike most other big data companies, however, the company applies its AI and BT to develop a clinical decision support system (CDSS) not just for humans but also for pets.

With more than 1 out of 4 households in Korea living with pets, their lifestyles are becoming more and more similar to that of humans, which has led them susceptible to illnesses such as dementia, diabetes, obesity, hypertension and atopy.

MedySapiens CEO Kang Sang-goo explains how the company can help treat both people and pets using big data, during an interview with the Korea Biomedical Review at Seoul National University in Bongcheon-dong, Seoul, on Friday.

MedySapiens CEO Kang Sang-goo, who has had a fondness for animals, believes that a platform that can manage, prevent and treat pets is essential as animals cannot express their symptoms.

“If we manage to discover genetic markers for disease, veterinarian hospitals can use our AI system to prevent such diseases at an earlier stage and may treat the illness later on,” Kang said. “Our company is working out technologies that can diagnose metabolic diseases, dementia and genetic diseases that occur at high frequency in elderly dogs.”

The system can also suggest therapeutic methods, and present customized food based on genetic analysis, Kang added, stressing that the company’s platform could also help treat health problems peculiar to Korea.

“Genetic markers for pets are essential, as Koreans are obsessed with pure breeds, which results in inbreeding among pets,” Kang said. “Such a trend can lead to many dogs from the same breed having the same genetic disease such as collie eyeball anomaly.”

MedySapiens is working with PNV, a company that provides electronic medical record (EMR) solutions for veterinary hospitals, to develop its CDSS platform. If completed, MedySapiens hopes its platform will have a significant impact on the global market as there is a high demand for such platforms abroad, too.

The company expects that its animal CDSS may enter the market faster than that aimed at treating people.

“Regarding pets, there are no concerns such as privacy protection law, which makes it possible for us to collect large amounts of data in a short period,” Kang said.

The company is not focusing only on pets, however. MedySapiens is developing a CDSS, along with Asan Medical Center’s big data center, for coronary artery diseases.

The system, which uses both AI and big data, evaluates the extent and area of a patient’s coronary stenosis through analyzing X-ray images and provides a “syntax score,” a marker for determining whether to conduct a percutaneous coronary intervention or a coronary artery bypass grafting, Kang explained. The company plans to launch its prototype by the first half of next year and plans to spend the rest of the year updating and improving the platform’s learning and application process, he added.

"We are developing a solution that can diagnose by using only x-ray images," Kang said. "Since most cardiovascular cases require immediate attention, our CDSS will allow doctors to give prompt treatment to patients without having to go through computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can take up time the patients do not have.”

MedySapiens has received about 5,000 images from AMC and is trying to obtain more to improve the accuracy of its system, Kang stressed.

MedySapiens is trying to benefit human beings and animals both by consolidating Bio and AI technology without bias to one or the other, he added.

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