Korean and US Startups Collaborate to Pioneer Digital Healthcare


On Feb. 10, LifeSemantics, a Korean Personal Health Record (PHR) platform startup, signed an MOU with American startup iHealth Labs, to start a joint venture in the digital healthcare industry. With fierce competition projected in the healthcare industry in 2015, this joint effort is an important case of multinational collaboration between startups.

Digital healthcare enables the management of personal health using information and communications technology (ICT). Following the smartphone revolution, digital healthcare revolution has become the biggest trend in the IT industry. Healthcare services such as PHR recently have been recognized as key applications for Apple Watch, which will be released in April. PHR platform allows users to manage various health data, such as rate and blood pressure, collected through wearable devices.

Gaining attention in the digital healthcare industry with its PHR platform LifeRecord, LifeSemantics has accumulated its reputation as the one and only commercial PHR platform provider in Korea. With other platforms such as CareTogetherFineChart, and Mediterm, LifeSemantics is pioneering the digital healthcare industry in Korea.

iHealth Labs, founded in 2010, is a digital healthcare devices startup that received $25 million investment from Xiaomi, the world’s third largest smartphone distributor. Shortly after the announcement, Xiaomi launched a wireless blood pressure monitor made in partnership with iHealth Labs.

“We plan to connect iHealth Labs’ devices to our PHR platform to serve the patients with chronic illnesses in Korea,” said LifeSemantics representative Seungjae Song. “iHealth Labs will combine LifeSemantics’ PHR platform with their own devices to target the global market.”

“Patients will receive medical assistance by accessing the health data saved in medical devices such as sphygmomanometers and glucose monitoring devices using their smartphones,” Song added. “By collaborating with domestic and international digital healthcare companies in the future, we hope to create a culture where patients can manage their health more easily.”

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