Thursday, October 18, 2018
AIRS Medical, a Korean Startup, Attracts Investment from Spring Camp
New Technology Drastically Reduces MRI Scan Time
AIRS Medical, a Korean Startup, Attracts Investment from Spring Camp
  • By Choi Moon-hee
  • October 12, 2018, 15:34
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The image on the right side is the original image, while the three images in the upper deck on the left are those scanned using AIRS Medical technology. They show that no distortion occurs even when the scan speed is increased twice, four times and eight times, respectively. The images in the bottom show that distortion increases as the scan speed is increased two times, four times and eight times. 

AIRS Medical, a Korean startup specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine, has attracted investment from Spring Camp, a venture capital company affiliated with Naver Corp.

AIRS Medical was established by four students at the Laboratory for Imaging Science and Technology of Seoul National University. The company has developed an AI-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology that shortens the MRI scan time to less than one fourth of existing solutions without any deterioration in image quality.

The new technology enables real-time, high-speed image reconstruction by applying artificial intelligence to existing mathematical modeling-based imaging methods. Whereas existing solutions significantly distort the images when the scan speed is increased four to eight times, AIRS Medical's solutions can reconstruct images of the same quality as the original ones without distortion even when the scanning speed is increased eight times.

MRI is an essential tool for diagnosing patients, but there is a lot of inconvenience that patients experience due to a long scanning time. Patients should remain still for 30 to 45 minutes in a closed space and may be required to go the process again if movement occurs. In addition, patients usually have to wait two to three weeks for MRI scans because the duration of filming is long compared with the number of patients.

AIRS Medical’s innovative technology is expected to greatly reduce the inconveniences of these patients stemming from a long scanning time. By reducing the duration of MRI scans to within 10 minutes or so, the waiting time for patients will be reduced to 3 to 5 days, which is expected to also help hospitals secure profitability.

"With current technology, we can reduce the duration of MRI scans to 10 minutes or less, but we will further develop a technology that allows patients to inish diagnosis of diseases and medical checkups within one minute,” said Koh Jin-gyu, CEO of the company.

Products based on AIRS Medical’s technology will be tested at Seoul National University Hospital before being put on full-scale marketing at the International Congress on Magnetic Resonance Imaging to be held in Montreal, Canada, next year.

"AIRS Medical is expected to revolutionize global medical AI field based on its expertise and excellent technical skills," said Nam Hong-gyu, vice president of Spring Camp.

Koh Jin-gyu (seated), CEO of AIRS Medical, and three other founders.