Successful commercialization of ‘McKare’ last year… Carry forward with an entry into overseas markets
LOS ANGELES, CA, December 22, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — JCF Technology (CEO Jin-myung Kim which is participating in the ‘Close-to-Life Contact-Free Leading Service Project’ implemented by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (Chairman Seong-wook Heo, hereafter referred to as NIPA), is a company specializing in bio-radar sensors established in 2016. Their main product is ‘McKare’, a non-contact bio-signal radar sensor.
The ‘Close-to-Life Contact-Free Leading Service Project’, which this company is participating for the second year this year, is a project that NIPA has been implementing since last year. It is a project that develops, demonstrates, and spreads contact-free leading services that are closely related to the daily life of the people, and the response from participating companies is very positive. Established in 2016, JCF Technology has been selected as a designated task (digitally underprivileged) and is carrying out the project.
The company started full-scale bio-radar sensor research from 2019 and obtained a related patent in 2020. Last year, they succeeded in commercializing a high-performance bio-radar sensor. Based on this performance, they attracted Pre Series investment last year. It is growing into a technology-intensive company by establishing a corporate affiliated research institute, acquiring ISO quality management certification, and venture business certification. CEO Jin-myung Kim said, “We are currently promoting pilot projects with public institutions and medical facilities to increase the utilization of biometric radar. We are planning to expand business model starting with dedicated platform service scheduled to be released in the first half of next year.”
‘McKare’ sensor developed by this company uses radar technology to measure bio signals such as respiration, heart rate, and movement in a contact-free manner to monitor health status and sleep quality, and allows user to judge the situation for themselves emergency situations such as falls, lonely death, cardiac arrest, and dyspnea. In addition, it is a cloud-based platform service that can automatically send an emergency alarm to a user-designated guardian or related institution. Next year, the AI-based monitoring engine will be further strengthened and provided as a full-fledged subscription service through contact-free healthcare solutions.
Regarding the background of product development, CEO Kim said, “Currently, social binding around the world is weakening due to population cliffs, aging, an increase in single-person households, and the spread of contact-free culture due to the pandemic. We developed the product because I was convinced that if we could create a link between digital relationships and care between people and interest and protection between the government and individuals, we would be able to feel that we were not alone.”
‘McKare’ platform was first used for the elderly people living alone, the physically handicapped, nursing hospitals and home patients who needed help around them. Recently, as experience in the market has accumulated, demand has expanded to nursing facilities, silver town (Elderly Care), and single-person households. CEO Kim said, “International medical staff are also very interested. Demand for SI operators and hospitals is increasing due to contact-free patient management, Remote Patient Monitoring and Home Care.”
JCF Technology have been installed and operated about 10,000 contact-free bio sensors in the field so far in Korea, and this number is continuously increasing. CEO Kim said, “It is still operated as a just biometric sensor. Nevertheless, it is a product that has been proven accuracy and selected through performance competition compared to other products. The service platform was recognized as a leading service solution chosen by the users and selected as an innovative procurement product in the national evaluation through the Public Procurement Service Scouter Demo Day this year.”
He continued, “Similar products are being introduced in Korea, but all of them use imported sensors, so there are limitations in product scalability and service solution development. Another competitiveness of our product is that we have developed biometric sensors, core software, biometric information analysis and judgment technology (AI), and built a wide-area service system through the cloud, all of which we apply to our business, therefore, we can provide customized services tailored to our customers’ needs. There is no case like this in overseas, so it is being highly recognized for its usability and follow-up management ability, and business cooperation is being proposed by SI operators from different countries.”
Regarding the motivation for participating in NIPA’s ‘Close-to-Life Contact-Free Leading Service Project’, CEO Kim said, “I was surprised when I saw the project announcement because it matched with the motivation that I started the company with. The reason why I started the company was because my father, who lived in the rural side, had an experience of collapsing due to a cerebral infarction, so I wanted to know in advance and create a technology that could prevent such a situation. Since the beginning of the business, we have continuously developed motion detection sensors technology using radar, and now we plan to develop technology to detect and classify bio-signals (heartbeat, respiration, fall, body temperature) and use it for vulnerable groups such as the elderly people.”
They participated in this project because they decided that by classifying and analyzing the level of change in biometric information and abnormal motion patterns measured based on the device in real time, the elderly people or people with reduced mobility would be able to know the symptoms beforehand leading to an emergency situation.
Currently, the development of a service platform has been successfully achieved. By converging a contact-free radar sensor with a thermopile infrared array sensor, technology development that enables mid-range body temperature monitoring and human behavior pattern recognition while protecting privacy is almost completed.
Through prototype tests, it was demonstrated that converging behavioral patterns with various biometric information data can generate various data features as well as simple detection through biosignals. Development to improve judgment algorithms using these data is in progress. By using this technology, it is expected that the risk information judgment and monitoring accuracy that may occur in the future can be improved by combining various human data beyond bio-signal information. In the future, this technology can be applied not only to healthcare and home medicine, but also to self-driving vehicles, smart factories, security, industrial safety, forensics, and companion animal care industries.
Currently, JCF Technology has supplied ‘McKare’ to more than 7,500 households for elderly people, 80 facilities for the people with disabilities, and 10 nursing facilities. It was mainly installed to provide digital care services. In the future, they are pushing to supply their products to 3,000 households in three metropolitan municipalities, more than 200 facilities for the people with disabilities, three silver towns, and two nursing hospitals and university hospitals within the year.
They are also actively promoting the exports. They have signed contracts with buyers from four countries in the Middle East, are developing service apps that meet their needs, and are promoting the establishment of a joint venture with Chinese buyers. In addition, basic contracts have been completed with many buyers in Europe and Japan, and unit price are under negotiation based on forecasted quantities. In particular, at the ‘REHACARE 2022’ exhibition in Germany, where they participated for the first time this year, and the response from European buyers was very positive. Key buyers visited the Korean office of JCF Technology one after another to discuss the business in detail and they already confirmed their entry to European market. The production for French market has already started.
They have applied for 4 domestic patents, 2 trademark applications and 6 overseas patents. They are preparing to apply for three core patents within this year. They have completed ISO, KC, and CE certification, and received excellent evaluation through a pilot project, winning the grand prize in the Bio-signal Unmanned Hospital Bed Management category at ‘Medical Asia 2022’ in March this year.
Recognized for such business achievements, they have attracted about 1.5 billion KRW of pre series investment from VCs and individual investment associations from last year to this year, and is promoting full-fledged round investment.
To expand product sales, JCF Technology is looking for reliable local partners around the world. The main goal is to create a new market by highlighting the excellence of contact-free healthcare devices and services beyond the market limited to existing wearable healthcare devices. CEO Kim said, “Due to the nature of our products, it is important to thoroughly manage the products we sell and provide technical support to our buyers. I think the most important thing is to find a reliable partner who can responsibly carry out local sales, sales, distribution and management. I want to start with a buyer who can create a government welfare project for the digitally underprivileged, or a facility operator targeting the elderly people, patients, and people with disabilities. I think it is the most effective way to clearly prove the excellence of ‘McKare’.”
While participating in the ‘Close-to-Life Contact-Free Leading Service Project’, the company once again confirmed the possibility of creating data features sufficient for machine learning and convergence of behavioral patterns with various biometric data through prototype tests. Through this project, AI algorithm improvement was also being promoted. It is expected that this technology will significantly increase the accuracy of monitoring and judgment of risk information that may occur in the future through various data combinations beyond bio-signal information.
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