Medical simulator robot Mikoto wins Health 2.0 Asia-Japan 2017 pitch competition


See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based MedPeer, the Japanese startup offering collective intelligence service and community site for medical doctors under the same name, held a health tech-focused annual conference called Health 2.0 Asia -Japan earlier this month. During the conference, there was a pitch competition sponsored by Nippon Life Insurance Company, Intage Group and Life Science Innovation Network Japan (LINK-J) with support from Bayer.

Six teams including five Japanese teams and a Danish team gave pitches there. The judges were as follows:

  • Eugene Boruknovich (Global Head of Digitlal Health & Innovation, Bayer)
  • Genichi Tamatsuka (CEO, Hearts United Group)
  • Rubin Farmanfarmaian (Author of ‘The Patient as CEO’)
  • Tomoyuki Yuasa (CEO, Revamp)
  • Takuya Miyata (Founder / General Partner, Scrum Ventures)
  • Shinichiro Hori (CEO, YJ Capital)
  • Satoshi Tanaka (Director / Officer, Nippon Life Insurance Company)
  • Yuichi Yahagi (CEO, Askrep)
  • Yo Iwami (MD, Ph.D / CEO, MedPeer)

See also:

Top Award / LINK-J Award: Mikoto by Micoto Technology

Supplemental prizes: 1 million yen (about $8,900 ) and 2 participation rights for 12th Health 2.0 Annual Conference (will be held at Silicon Valley in September of 2018)
Supplemental prizes: Use right of share office in Nihonbashi / one-year membership of LINK-J

Tottori-based Micoto Technology, mainly engaged in robot development, develops the simulator robot for medical students named Mikoto, allowing students to simulate nasotracheal intubation process to secure airway for training.

Other than nasotracheal intubation, the firm develops medical simulation robots targeting various parts for treatment, and will continue to make further efforts receiving feedbacks from doctors through partnership with Tottori University Hospital.

Smart Heel by Japan Healthcare

Bad walking posture such as flat walk or bow-legs is one of the risk factors of future physical disability such as knee pain or lower back pain. The total medical expense to treat these patients is estimated to total at 1 trillion yen (about $8.9 billion) annually in Japan. Daichi Okabe, a medical doctor working at the Graduate School of Chiba University, founded Japan Healthcare in June of 2017 and has been developing the walking posture visualization system capable of recording walking posture / rhythm via app and the high heel-shaped IoT (Internet of Things) device Smart Heel, with 3-axis sensors mounted in the heels.

Okabe pointed out the reason why bad walking posture is hard to correct as it is not easy to grasp one’s own walking style. Smart Heel solves this problem by visualizing it. The firm had conducted verification testing on 15 females, and two-thirds of them came to walk with a beautiful posture with Smart Heel. For the remaining
third, improvement of their walking posture can be expected by giving them close feedbacks as well. The firm aims to commence the sale of the product at October of 2018. It will cost about 15,000 yen (about $130) for general users.

Oton Glass by Oton Glass

Oton Glass, as we have repeatedly reported in THE BRIDGE, was initially developed as an glasses-shaped IoT device capable of reading out characters to support people with dyslexia. Currently, it has been developed for various applications such as a translation tool for non-Japanese speakers who are visually impaired or unable to read characters.

The firm had already commenced the order production and has been developing next-generation model capable of linking to internet without requiring external devices. OTON GLASS will create user communities and build the supply chain based on it, aiming to gain insurance approval which allows patients to purchase the OTON GLASS product in 10% copayment under the insurance coverage.

Since it can save user data about what was seen on cloud, the firm also plans to provide new services utilizing the life-log in the future, in consideration of an individual privacy. Expanding its services including Oton Vision (reading-up technology for images), Oton Note (digital note function) or Oton Map (detailed map data), the firm aims to sell 30,000 Oton Glass by 2020.

Base Pasta by Base Food

Base Pasta, developed by Base Food, is a complete nutritious food allowing intake of 31 kinds of nutrients just in a single meal. It targets those who do not know which nutrients to take as the number of people who are increasingly conscious about their health grows. The firm sells BASE PASTA in D2C (direct to consumer) model, and some menus using it have been already served at restaurants.

The firm is going to enter the U.S. market later this year and throughout next year, and expects Amazon or D2C with regular purchase model as its distribution channel as in Japan. Additionally, it has been developing gluten-free products in consideration of the market needs.

See also:

Speech training app by Robocure

Robocure develops a speech training app for people with speech impediment such as aphasia. The development has been conducted with support from Prof. Shingo Kuroiwa at Chiba University, as well as Kimitsu Central Hospital for clinical trials and request surveillance for patients. Unlike training with humans, users can train over and over again with the app requiring no care for counterparts. The app can recognize trainee’s speech and identify wrong pronunciation.

A remote management system by speech therapists is currently provided with the app in order to check language information between the app and users, and the firm plans to provide the app for tablet and training support services by qualified person as a set from next spring, targeting 500,000 aphasia patients as well as 2 million potential users in Japan.

The firm will focus on development of additional training function / log analysis and application to preventive care in 2018, and is considering applying insurance coverage or overseas development in 2018.

Gonio VR by Gonio VR

Danish startup Gonio VR provides VR (virtual reality)-based improvement solution for medical therapies. It developed an on-demand medical VR experience and the app was launched on the VR app platform Steam in the first quarter of 2017.

The app has already been implemented in 98 municipalities and more than 100 clinics. In the third quarter of this year, it was implemented to a rehabilitation facility in Denmark for the first time as a VR technology. The app assists optimization of rehabilitation process and labor savings in document creation related to rehabilitation.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy