Even if you can’t do outpatient rehabilitation… ‘AI Home App’ pops up for doctors to prescribe and manage exercise

After the age of 40, our bodies age rapidly and our muscles lose 1% each year. Regular exercise is essential to prevent muscle loss. Doing strength training for at least 30 minutes three times a week will help maintain muscles and prevent risk factors that cause aging, such as dementia. This is why middle-aged and older people should do strength training as well as aerobic exercise. However, I am worried about what kind of exercise I should do that is most effective for my body.

Artificial intelligence (AI) musculoskeletal healthcare startup worked with researchers at a domestic general hospital to come up with ‘EXERCITE CARE’, a solution that can solve strength training concerns.

If a doctor prescribes a rehabilitation exercise curriculum through ‘Exercite Care’, the patient can exercise while watching the application video at home. Through AI motion recognition using the smartphone camera, data such as patient motion accuracy and calories are analyzed, and doctors can re-diagnose and re-prescribe based on this.

CEO Lee Sang-soo has experienced rapid changes in platforms while working at a game company for about 10 years since 2007. The main platform has changed from PC to smartphone, and games using smartphone cameras have appeared, such as the augmented reality (AR) game ‘Pokemon Go’.

After quitting his job in February 2017, CEO Lee was considering starting a business that combined artificial intelligence (AI) and AR, and began to pay attention to the home training market. As we enter a super-aging society, we believe that interest in joint and spine health in daily life will increase. ‘Howfit’, an AI home training app launched with an insurance company in March 2021, received the grand prize for ‘Self-Development App that Shined the Year 2021’ selected by Google Play. 

CEO Lee said, “While providing the HowFit service, I learned that long-term rehabilitation exercise management is essential for musculoskeletal patients, but outpatient treatment is often difficult,” adding, “I expect that a market for personalized exercise programs prescribed by professional trainers and rehabilitation medicine specialists will open up.” “We developed HowFit into ‘EXERCITE CARE,’” he said. 

‘Exercite Care’ has about 500 exercise coach videos developed based on about 2,200 AI exercise recognition metadata. For each video, you can see calories consumed, joint angles, and 15 muscle target areas. A doctor can prescribe a prescription in just a few minutes by selecting the right video for the patient among about 500 videos and selecting the order as the routine. 

Afterwards, when the patient exercises at home, data such as △Exercise Compliance (frequency of performance, time) △Exercise Performance Rate compared to Prescription Goal △Exercise Accuracy △Calories Burned △Exercise Intensity △Stimulation Frequency for each muscle according to exercise performance are collected and analyzed. Doctors can prescribe the exercise again by looking at the data analyzed and visualized by iPixel. 

‘Exercite Care’ is being introduced and used at Incheon Sejong Hospital and Bucheon Sejong Hospital. Furthermore, Gangnam Severance Hospital is also considering introduction. Since April of last year, it has been installed on the LG Electronics Smart TV app and is being used by 150,000 people around the world. The company pays a license fee for sales generated when physical therapists or professional medical staff directly upload rehabilitation exercise videos.

The company is creating an open platform that pays a licensing fee for the sales generated when physical therapists or professional medical staff upload rehabilitation exercise videos. Technological barriers are also being raised by securing patents. Currently, it holds 10 registered patents domestically and internationally. 

CEO Lee said, “‘Exercite Care’ is the only AI exercise app that runs on smart TVs, which have very low specifications compared to smartphones,” and added, “It is gaining popularity in India, Europe, Brazil, Mexico, etc.”

iPixel recently began attracting Series A investment. This is because clinical trials and approval processes are required to charge a fee for the ‘Exercite Care’ prescription currently used in hospitals. After receiving approval, CEO Lee plans to expand his business into the monthly subscription system and corporate employee health care market.

Recently, large companies are establishing in-house hospitals as a welfare measure to solve employees’ health problems. The number of patients with musculoskeletal disorders is increasing, from office workers who spend a lot of time sitting down to factory workers, and each of them needs prevention and management tailored to the characteristics of their workplace. Therefore, it is believed that it is possible to open a market for employee health care that combines in-house hospital and ‘Exercite care’ after health checkup.

CEO Lee also said that Exercite Care can help with the excessive treatment of manual therapy, which has been a long-standing problem with medical insurance. Currently, in the case of manual therapy, insurance companies request medical advice regarding the number of annual coverages, review the appropriateness of treatment, and then decide whether to pay insurance benefits. By introducing ‘Exercite Care’, insurance companies can refer to whether the patient’s actual health has improved by looking at the joint angles that move during home training after manual therapy.

CEO Lee said, “In the United States, the market is growing explosively to the extent that two out of five major candidates for health tech initial public offering (IP) in 2024 are startups specializing in digital musculoskeletal care,” adding, “Korea is home to a market for telemedicine and digital treatment devices. “We plan to secure a variety of customers, including hospitals, nursing homes, and insurance companies, and then pursue overseas expansion.”