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Waycen, an artificial intelligence medical technology (AI MEDITECH) company, will make full-fledged inroads into the global market next year. It has received the Innovation Award for the second consecutive year at CES, a global home appliance and technology exhibition, and is the only Asian company to be listed in the top four of the global healthcare program "MedTech Innovator Asia Pacific" Waycen is recognized for its medical AI technology at home and abroad four years after its establishment.

Kim Kyung-nam, CEO of Waycen, met with this magazine and said, "We judged that medical care is a field that has a possibility of success using AI," adding, "Good quality medical data is well accumulated in Korea." "If we collaborate with excellent domestic medical staff, we will be able to make good solutions and have global competitiveness," he said on the 6th.

Waycen's flagship product is WAYMED endo, a digestive endoscope based on its own complex AI model and video learning model. AI analyzes endoscopic images of the stomach and large intestine in real time and displays suspected abnormal lesions to help medical staff diagnose.

According to CEO Kim, clinical trials showed more than 94.5% accuracy. It was approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in January last year, and there is a huge interest among the medical staff which led to more than 30 installations in medical institutions, including health examination centers, in about a year.

Expectations for Waycen are also high overseas. In the "ICT-based medical system overseas expansion pilot project" conducted by the Korea Health Industry Development Institute last year, Waycen installed "Waymed Endo" at St. Paul's General Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam, and conducted more than 5,000 AI endoscopy. In April this year, it was selected as an excellent business project by the Health Industry Development Institute and decided to expand the scope of pilot operation to Vietnamese national hospitals.

Based on this, it plans to provide pilot services in Southeast Asian medical markets such as Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia. CEO Kim introduced that he is also receiving attention from Middle Eastern markets such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, and Jordan. As each country has a different medical environment, we are conducting pilot services according to local situations, he said. "As references accumulate, we have supplemented usability and improved shortcomings."

"We plan to conduct pilot services in more than seven countries this year, and next year will be the first year of overseas business," he said. "We have confirmed sufficient needs for AI medical technology in the Middle East and Southeast Asia." While conducting a pilot service, we will challenge the licensing of regulatory agencies in each country. "I think it's time to play as a first mover in the AI endoscope market," he said with confidence.

The number of endoscopes in Korea is 10 million above and more than 3 million in the large intestine. The number of tests continues to increase and quality management is also needed. CEO Kim said, "Qualitative upward leveling of testing can help the health of the people. "Even when people don’t come up to Seoul, the satisfaction level of the test (even in the provinces) will be able to increase," he suggested.

The growth prospects of the AI endoscope market are also bright. CEO Kim said, "The AI endoscopic analysis market is linked to the endoscopic market. There is a prediction that the size of the endoscope market alone will reach 50 trillion won by 2025, he said. "The AI endoscope analysis market could be at least 10 trillion won."

The company will also expand the field of business in other diseases. Waycen is also challenging the development of digital treatment devices for panic disorder. This is to not only diagnose and treat, but also be responsible for the medical aftercare, and become an allrounder meditech company. CEO Kim said, "There are many patients suffering from panic disorder, but there are not many digital care companies that accounts for. It aims to obtain clinical approval from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety within this year. "We will be able to release it as a product in the second half of next year," he explained.

Waycen raised 7.5 billion won by attracting investment in Series A. It was also selected for government support programs such as pan-ministerial projects. Accordingly, it plans to complete 10 billion won worth of Series B investment in the second half of this year and focus on overseas businesses.

CEO Kim said, "With the active support of the government, we were able to secure technology that is recognized overseas," adding, "It takes a lot of time and money during the development period, and the licensing process is also a big hurdle." "I know that we are making a lot of efforts through the integrated screening and evaluation system of innovative medical devices, but I hope the process will be further improved to secure faster global competitiveness," he said.


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Waycen, a company specializing in AI MEDTECH, has jumped into the development of digital treatments. It is to significantly expand its business area from diagnosis to treatment by applying AI technology.

Kim Kyung-nam, CEO of Waycen, said in a recent interview with <News 1>, "The demand for digital treatments is rapidly increasing in the mental illness field," adding, "Starting treatment itself is a big decision for patients, and digital treatments can solve these difficulties."

"Digital therapeutics can increase the effectiveness of treatment and be managed at home," he said. "The digital therapeutics market is currently growing rapidly in the United States." Korea also needs strategic investment and attention, he added.

Digital Therapeutics (DTx), called the third-generation future treatment, refers to software (SW) services that can help prevent, manage, and treat diseases like medicines.

As AI technology grows rapidly, demand for digital treatments is also expected to increase. In particular, digital therapy products have been developed or released one after another in the treatment of mental diseases and are being prescribed. The government is also encouraging the development of digital treatments.

CEO Kim said, "Waycen has already been recognized for its technology as an AI endoscope, and is also interested in developing digital treatments," adding, "The goal is to launch new products in the field of mental illness."

Global Leading company has not yet emerged in the field of digital therapy market. This is why domestic companies with excellent information and communication (IT) technology have rushed to develop treatments. Domestic companies struggling in the existing new drug and medical device market are trying to turn the tables in the digital therapy field.

The Korea Bio Association predicted that the global digital therapy market will reach 30 trillion won by 2030 from about 5 trillion won in 2021. The average annual growth rate is 26.7%.

CEO Kim expressed confidence, saying, "This year is the first year when sales are generated in earnest." Since Waycen is an early company, it costs more investment than sales. Annual sales, which were hundreds of millions of won last year, are expected to increase by 10 times this year.

The key product that causes sales is "WAYMED endo," an AI software that analyzes gastroscopy and colonoscopy to help find lesions.

Unlike other AIs that analyze still images, WayMed Endo analyzes images in real time to help doctors diagnose them. WayMed Endo is the only AI that can be applied to both gastroscopy and colonoscopy. The company is also preparing CE certification by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Union (EU).

CEO Kim said, "Waymed Endo received an item license in Korea in January last year and has been installed and used in more than 30 health examination centers," adding, "Waymed Endo was recognized for its technology enough to win the Innovation Award at the CES 2023." He added, "We have started pilot services in Southeast Asia such as Thailand and Vietnam, followed by Middle Eastern markets such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait."

Waycen has also released "WAYMED Cough," a medical device that records voices using a smartphone and checks respiratory health conditions, and is receiving good reviews.

CEO Kim's career is also eye-catching. He is an engineer-turned-manager. Usually, engineers-turned-managers have a great advantage in stubbornly developing technologies, but it is also true that they are evaluated as lacking flexibility while running the company.

CEO Kim said, "I am a former engineer, but I have a lot of business experience such as global sales," and stressed, "I have my own philosophy to run the company with flexible mind of thinking." He then explained that the company's biggest strength is that it has excellent technical staff who have been working together for more than 10 years.

After majoring in electronic engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), CEO Kim studied computer vision at POSTECH (Pohang University of Science and Technology). Since then, he has worked at Samsung Electronics, Telson, and INFRAWARE. CEO Kim also served as CEO of Selvas AI. Since then, it has established Waycen in 2019.


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"If it's a product that anyone can make, we don't even look at it. Because it's innovation that makes things that never existed in the world. It starts with innovation and goes to innovation. That's Waycen's DNA and roadmap."

With the 4th industrial revolution, the number of MEDTECH companies with artificial intelligence is increasing rapidly in Korea.

Although they are accelerating commercialization based on their competitiveness, there are not many products that have actually been chosen by the market.

However, some companies bloom rapidly even in these uncertain markets. Waycen is sweeping the Innovation Award at CES, which is called the world's largest venue for innovative technology.

Waycen starting to target global market after sweeping CES

Waycen is rapidly entering the global market with achievements that cannot be considered a fourth-year startup, including winning the CES Innovation Award for the second consecutive year and winning two CES Innovation Awards. CEO Kim Kyung-nam, who is leading this, summarized the background with the word "innovation."

"The word innovation might be grander if you think, but it's simple in nature. What medical staff need but are not yet in the world. And when you do that, it's innovation. Waycen has focused on this since the founding preparation stage and is only doing this. That's Waycen's DNA."

Waycen's first item implemented in this way is WAYMED endo. Artificial intelligence that analyzes gastroscopy and colonoscopy in real time to find lesions. Waymed Endo is the first artificial intelligence in the world that can be applied to both gastroscopy and colonoscopy.

CEO Kim Kyung-nam said, "It is true that most diagnostic assistive artificial intelligence has been limited to still images such as X-rays and CT screens," adding, "There has been a demand for diagnostic assist through images in real time, but few companies have implemented it with technology."

He added, "In particular, even large global companies have limited technologies for colonoscopy, and WayMed Endo is the only artificial intelligence that can be applied to both gastroscopy and colonoscopy," adding, "This is why we were able to enter the global market."

In fact, WayMed Endo is attracting so much attention from medical staff that it will be installed in more than 30 medical institutions, including health examination centers, in about a year after obtaining permission from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in January last year.

In particular, it has entered Vietnam and Thailand as technology that has been known through CES Innovation Awards, and has entered into pilot services by signing partnerships with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt through Arab Health this year.

In just a year, it has set the stage for overseas expansion as well as domestic. This is a remarkable achievement compared to the fact that many artificial intelligence companies do not yet have a clear profit model.

CEO Kim Kyung-nam said, "Clinical evidence is already continuously accumulating through real world data at home and abroad, and more medical institutions are converting based on this," adding, "Waymed Endo alone is expected to generate more than 1 billion won in sales this year."

In particular, he’s expecting Waymed Endo to have sufficient competitiveness in the global market in that it is very compatible and there is very little time delay compared to competitive products.

They are confident that they are not afraid of the global market as they have implemented artificial intelligence that is optimized for the functions that medical staff need most.

CEO Kim Kyung-nam said, "The paradigm of artificial intelligence is already changing from still images to videos and also in real time," adding, "However, companies with these technologies are extremely limited, and there are no competitors even if you look around the world."

He also emphasized, "In particular, large global products are highly competitive in terms of compatibility by applying all datasets of major endoscopic equipment such as Olympus, Medtronic, and Pentax from the development stage."

Continued launch of follow-up lineups such as Waymed Cough "needs a success myth"

Based on this innovation, Waycen launched "WAYMED Cough," an app-based consumer medical device that can check respiratory health simply by recording voices on a smartphone, as a follow-up lineup.

Waymed Cough is already preparing to enter the global market by conducting pilot projects in Southeast Asian countries beyond Korea.

Then, where do these ideas come from. CEO Kim Kyung-nam cited collaboration with medical staff as the driving force.

CEO Kim Kyung-nam said, "As innovative products such as Waymed Endo are introduced to the world, medical staff are now visiting Waycen, calling it a 'medi-tech restaurant,' adding, "They are bringing in the unmet demand of medical staff that must be solved with technology."

More than 30 medical staff are gathered, including major medical managers at Big 5 Hospital, he added. "Starting with their unmet demand, development, and upgrade, we cannot come out with products that medical staff turn a blind eye to."

This collaboration is soon becoming Waycen's competitiveness. This is why high-quality gardens of ideas to datasets are being built as key doctors from major university hospitals in Korea are gathered in Waycen.

CEO Kim Kyung-nam said, "This is why WayMed Endo was able to quickly enter the global market," adding, "It is because Korea has the highest number of gastroscopy and colonoscopy cases in the world, and clinical data is high enough to be immediately put into the learning model."

"In particular, as it started with the unmet demand of medical staff, numerous doctors are giving real-time feedback on the models created through them beyond scrambling to provide data," he said. "This collaboration model is Waycen's biggest competitiveness and differentiation."

This foundation also relieves Waycen's concerns about the next lineup. As medical staff continue to present ideas and alternatives to unmet demand, patents are actually being followed as a bonus.

In fact, Waycen has applied for more than 20 registered patents in four years since its foundation and has created a wide range of protective films ranging from the United States, China, and Japan.

Based on this, Waycen is now preparing for the next step. Currently, the most likely next lineup is digital therapy devices (DTx). The decision is based on the judgment that the market is opening among the gardens that have already been prepared with medical staff since its foundation.

CEO Kim Kyung-nam said, "We have already set up the underlying technology in cooperation with medical staff and aim to complete the clinical trial by the end of this year," adding, "The current roadmap is to start clinical trials next year and finish licensing at the end of next year."

"Digital therapy devices can rise expectations as they have innovation that is completely different from those released in the past," he said adding, "There will be products that are completely different from competitors."

However, he has a negative view of competition at domestic market. It is an opinion that domestic companies can become a medical technology powerhouse only if they harmonize.

"Korea is a very special country with all of the world's best IT technology, excellent medical systems, and high-quality datasets," CEO Kim Kyung-nam said. "We have enough soil for global leaders in the field of artificial intelligence and medical technology."

In addition, he said, "Now is the time to grow this competitiveness into the maximum pie, so it is time for everyone to have a partnership and move to the global market," adding, "Waycen wants to be the vanguard in this advance."


5th floor, 524 Samseong-ro (Saehwa Building), Gangnam-gu, Seoul
TEL  +82-2-588-0863    l    FAX  +82-2-588-0862 

5th floor, 524 Samseong-ro (Saehwa Building), 
Gangnam-gu, Seoul
TEL  +82-2-568-0863    l    FAX  +82-2-568-0862