[Interview] iPixel provides sustainable healthcare services with AI rehabilitation and exercise coaching platform

  • Provides coaching for over 2,200 exercise movements ∙∙∙AI-based real-time feedback available
  • Hospital, customized exercise prescription for patients, re-prescription and re-diagnosis based on patient data
  • Targeting the healthcare market with digital content that interacts with reality

 As the elderly population increases, the number of patients with musculoskeletal diseases is also increasing. According to the 2021 Health Insurance Statistics Yearbook, 4 out of the 10 most common diseases among seniors aged 65 or older are musculoskeletal-related.

To prevent and treat musculoskeletal diseases, long-term rehabilitation and exercise treatment are most important. The prognosis of the disease varies depending on how consistently rehabilitation exercises are performed not only in the hospital but also in everyday life. iPixel CEO Lee Sang-soo focused on digital healthcare as an effective means of providing continuous exercise motivation and consistent management. 

iPixel is a digital health tech company that provides healthcare services through artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Currently, we are operating ‘Exercite’ and ‘Exercite Care’, a prescription-based AI exercise coaching platform that can guide and collect data on over 2,200 exercise movements using AI motion recognition technology. In particular, in order to link with hospital systems where personal information is important, a B2B application program interface (API) in the form of software as a service (SaaS) was established and commercialized at Incheon Sejong Hospital and Bucheon Sejong Hospital. 

I heard a detailed story from CEO Lee Sang-soo.

◇ Focus on ‘Rehabilitation Exercise’ and ‘Exercise Therapy’, which are unmet medical areas

iPIXEL was founded in November 2017. CEO Lee previously worked in strategic consulting at Samsung SDS Open Tide Korea and carried out GS Caltex’s online marketing strategy project. At this time, he sensed the potential for development in the online game business and moved to the game company Neowiz, where he took charge of the board casual business division. While working at a game company for about 10 years since 2007, CEO Lee was able to directly experience the difference in sales due to platform changes in the field. 

CEO Lee said, “In particular, Pokemon Go, which was released in July 2016, gave us a fresh shock called augmented reality (AR),” and added, “I am convinced that in the future, digital content will change into interacting with the surroundings, and this change “I decided to start a business to lead the company,” he said. 

iPIXEL’s AI exercise coaching service began with home training. ‘HowFit’, the first product originally developed by iPIXEL and commercialized with a financial group insurance company, received great attention in the market, including being selected as the best app on Google Play in 2021 and achieving a 30% revisit rate in the first week. 

CEO Lee said, “During this process, we identified that most users are in their 40s or older, and that the main purpose of users who exercise at home is ‘pain relief’ rather than ‘beauty’.” He added, “At the same time, hospitals such as Gangnam Severance Hospital and CM Hospital “We received calls from people who wanted to use the iPixel service for ‘rehabilitation exercise’ and ‘exercise therapy,’ which are representative unmet medical areas.”

EXERCITE is an exercise service that captures and analyzes human movements using AI computer vision technology. Users can watch and follow exercise content provided by professional trainers through devices such as smartphones, TVs, and tablets, and create their own exercise routines to suit their purposes. AI provides feedback on accurate posture in real time. It also recommends customized exercise through analysis of personal exercise data. 

EXERCITE CARE is a rehabilitation exercise coaching solution that provides professional rehabilitation exercise throughout the entire life cycle. It consists of a rehabilitation exercise curriculum composed by medical staff, physical therapists, and exercise experts, and provides customized prescriptions so that patients can easily follow them. It supports functions such as exercise guide videos, real-time feedback, patient prescription exercise data and progress confirmation, and electronic medical records (EMR) required in the medical field.

CEO Lee said, “Hospitals can provide customized exercise prescriptions to patients through a call method within the device without transferring personal information, and patients can receive real-time AI coaching,” adding, “Patients can monitor joint range of motion, exercise compliance, muscle usage, calories, etc. “It is a SaaS-type platform that standardizes and collects professional exercise data and sends it back to the medical staff, who can then view it and re-prescribe and re-diagnose,” he explained. 

◇ Plan for licensing this year∙∙∙“We will enable hospital prescriptions in earnest.” 

EXERCITE formed a strategic partnership with LG Electronics to provide global services and achieved 100,000 downloads within a month of launch. 

EXERCITE CARE has currently been introduced at Incheon Sejong Hospital and Bucheon Sejong Hospital, and discussions are underway with five major general hospitals. In addition, it won the ‘2023 KHF Innovation Award’ hosted by the Korean Hospital Association, and is preparing partnership agreements with health checkup centers and corporate health management service providers. 

CEO Lee said, “iPixel has experience in entering the market with exercise coaching services based on motion recognition technology,” and added, “Based on 2,200 AI exercise data verified in the market, we are the first in Korea to commercialize it in the hospital market before licensing.” “We succeeded in this, and our strength is that we are continuously accumulating strong real-world environmental data based on this,” he said. 

iPIXEL has attracted 2.8 billion won worth of investment by 2021 and is currently in the process of attracting investment. The investment is planned to be used to advance into the most widely used digital healthcare software in the medical market, including promoting medical device licensing.

CEO Lee said, “We are aiming to push for licensing this year and enable prescriptions in hospitals in earnest,” adding, “We will collect real-world data (RWD) based on domestic contract performance, etc. to reach more users and advance into the global market.” “I want to do it,” he said. 

“Increasingly, diagnosis and treatment will be left to medical staff, and digital healthcare solutions will be widely used in areas such as personal health management, monitoring, and support,” he said. “Ipixel is not a one-way digital content, but a new experience that interacts with reality.” “We will lead new innovation and change through this.”