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AIRS Medical, a medical artificial intelligence (AI) startup based in Seoul, has been selected as one of Korea’s baby unicorn startups by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS).
The ministry launched the “Baby Unicorn 200 Fostering Project” in a bid to strengthen Korea’s startup ecosystem. Its objective is to discover startup companies with innovative business models and growth potential and nurture them to become competent global companies valued over US$1 billion. Only 40 companies out of the 254 applicants were selected by the government this year. Those selected will receive 300 million won as market development funds.
AIRS Medical was founded in 2018 by a group of Seoul National University graduates. It develops AI-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acceleration technology. The young startup aims to make the MRI experience affordable and bearable by reducing scan time. “Time is so crucial in the medical world,” said AIRS Medical CEO Lee Jin-gu. “Our solution, SwiftFocusMR, will reduce the long waiting time in and outside the scanner, saving lives, increasing hospital throughput, and satisfying patients, especially pediatric patients and those with claustrophobia.”
The company has previously showcased its technology in the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting and has also received 1st place in the Multicoil 4x acceleration section of the Facebook FastMRI Challenge hosted by Facebook AI Research (FAIR) and NYU Langone Health in 2019.
AIRS Medical’s team plans to win approval from the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the second quarter of next year in order to officially bring their product into the global market.