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Tokyo-based Micin, the Japanese startup offering the Curon mobile telemedicine app and a medical data business for corporations, announced earlier this month that it has fundraised a total of 1.1 billion yen (around $9.9M US) by the end of April this year in a series A round. Mitsubishi Corporation, along with three other unnamed Japanese companies, participated this round.
Micin was founded in November of 2015 by Seigo Hara (current CEO), Yusuke Sugomori (current CTO), and Ryoichi Kusama (current COO). Hara previously worked as a clinician and was involved in consulting for the medical industry, pharmaceutical industry, and for hospitals at McKinsey. Sugomori is a founding member of Japanese curated news app Gunosy and crowdfunding site Readyfor, and previously worked for Google’s New York office. Kusama, like Hara, hails from McKinsey where he was involved in many patient engagement projects.
Curon is a platform which includes SaaS (software as a service) to reduce the amount of work for physicians who input information during medical consultations, which then improves work efficiency. For patients, Curon provides a mobile app with consultation, prescription, and payment functions, as well as continuous medication support. In the two years since the service launched approximately 500 medical institutions have introduced it. Meanwhile, in the field of medical data where previously it was only possible to obtain public information, the company uses AI to comprehend the knowledge of stakeholders in the medical field and of medical systems and policies. It also combines networks to provide medical data and analysis results in a form that is easy for companies to utilize.
Mitsubishi Corporation has a number of subsidiaries with sales channels in medical institutions including MC Healthcare, MC Medical, and Japan Medicalnext. Micin hopes to use the funds strategically procured this time around to expand its user base through the Mitsubishi Corporation subsidiaries. Additionally, it will use the funds to strengthen its human resources including data scientists and business developers, with special attention to the data business.
With regards to Micin’s future goals, Hara had this to say during an interview with The Bridge:
By providing data in a form that makes it easy to use, we will be able to further predict the condition of the human body, the condition of an illness, etc. By having (AI) learn the what skilled doctors know (the unformatted knowledge), many doctors will be able to use it, which will also spur on preventative medicine.
Hara expects that Micin’s efforts can also contribute to the scalability of the medical market. A doctor’s skill is often passed down tacitly, for example, how to become good at performing surgeries, and it tends to be dependent upon individual expertise. Until now it has only been possible to scale the medical industry based on medical devices or medicines, but Micin has imagined a system that can distribute the medical knowledge that is the core of the medical industry.
Micin’s competitors in the field of healthcare include online businesses Medley, Integrity Healthcare, and MRT; and LPixel’s System Integrator is one example of a competitor dealing in medical data. Micin is forming cooperative relationships with the big players in the healthcare industry, including the undisclosed investors from this round, which is expected to further accelerate its growth.
Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda