#Power of Businesses l 2021-05-31
Now it’s time to take a look at a Korean business bringing about changes in the global economy with some new ideas.
Today, we’re going to introduce you to a smart healthcare platform provider named Lemon Healthcare. Here’s the vice president of the company Lim Chi-gyu to explain.
Lemon Healthcare was created in 2017 as a spinoff from its parent company. Under the motto of “Making hospitals smart, providing convenience to patients,” the startup offers a smartphone app that manages everything patients experience at hospitals by using IoT and ICT technologies. It is seeking a listing on the KOSDAQ market this year. Last year, the company won the Minister of Health and Welfare Award, the Minister of SMEs and Startups Award and the Minister of Science and ICT Award. It seems our service drew special attention as a useful solution to enhance public convenience and address problems in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amid the prolonged pandemic, it is becoming increasingly necessary to expand non-face-to-face medical services and use medical resources more efficiently. Against this backdrop, Lemon Healthcare has developed a platform that connects hospitals, insurance companies and pharmaceutical firms systematically. The most notable feature of the platform is that it provides patient-centered services. In fact, the company started the business with the purpose of enabling patients to use hospital services more conveniently.
The healthcare industry and relevant technologies have been developed mostly for hospitals and institutions. But we wanted to focus more on patients. We looked at everything from patients’ point of view, from hospital visits and mobile payment to sending electronic prescriptions to pharmacies and submitting medical insurance claims at home. I think the new, patient-oriented services attracted a lot of attention in the industry and drew a positive response from patients.
The company’s signature solution called “LemonCare” is a customized service platform that helps patients manage the entire process of their hospital visits, from making appointments and paying medical expenses to transferr e-prescriptions. Thanks to this app, patients can reduce their waiting time at clinics and pharmacies considerably and they don’t have to worry about face-to-face contact very much.
Currently, Lemon Healthcare is in partnership with some 60 major hospitals in Korea, including Seoul National University Hospital, Severance Hospital and Samsung Medical Center in Seoul. Medical clinics, for their part, can facilitate patient inflow by letting patients spend less time at the hospitals and cut costs by reducing the use of paper.
The company provides other platforms such as “LemonCare Plus” for medical staff and “LemonCare 365” for small clinics. Another service platform called “Cheong Gu Ui Shin” (청구의 신), which is roughly translated as “God of Claim,” is designed to manage insurance claims easily and rapidly.
“God of Claim” is an app that covers insurance claims and e-documents all at once. At present, about 35 million people in Korea have their own private insurance. But we estimate that more than 15 million holders of such insurance have not claimed payments for over a year. Of course, that’s because it is inconvenient to make insurance claims. The app shows payments that haven’t been claimed over the last three years. With just a few clicks, your insurance claim is complete. Previously, if some of the documents were not prepared, you had to visit the hospital again to get them issued. But once you activate the app, it shows your medical records and you can see all the relevant documents. You can then send the necessary documents to insurers.
Using this platform, patients can reduce time and effort in private medical insurance claims. The service is well received, especially by patients who live in local provinces but use hospitals in the capital area.
The platform also provides “e-health,” a customized healthcare service based on DNA analysis. Using data from medical examinations, it informs patients of their genetic vulnerabilities and provides nutritional guidelines tailored to each individual. This is the first step toward the company’s ultimate goal of offering comprehensive healthcare services designed to help people easily take care of their health in everyday life.
Hospitals mainly examined and treated patients for the most part. In a major shift, however, they have embraced elements of preventive medicine these days. It is possible to predict what kinds of diseases patients are prone to by using their medial data accumulated in hospitals and analyzing their DNA. In doing so, patients can cut medical expenses. We continue to conduct research and development on this part.
Last year, “God of Claim” was honored to win the grand prize at the Korea Mobile Award. The Korea Mobile Award is the country’s most prestigious mobile award ceremony that started in 2010 to nurture the local mobile industry and vitalize the ecosystem of startups. “God of Claim” received the highest mark as a non-face-to-face service capable of promoting public convenience in the pandemic era. Last year, Lemon Healthcare also provided its comprehensive contact-free treatment service to residential treatment centers that accommodate relatively mild cases of COVID-19. Thanks to the service, a limited number of medical staff could monitor the conditions of the patients efficiently and treat them safely.
This year, the company is preparing to list on KOSDAQ and explore foreign markets as well.
We hope to complete the initial public offering or IPO on KOSDAQ in the first half of this year. Speaking of our overseas business plan, we’ve opened a branch in Thailand, and we consider testing our solutions in China, Japan and the U.S. We’re in the final stage of setting up a joint venture with a Japanese firm. I have a big dream of turning Korean patient-care models into global standards.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the entire world, has increased interest in and demand for digital healthcare more than ever before. In this situation, Lemon Healthcare is growing as a leading K-health company by predicting market trends in advance and developing effective services. The company is contributing to creating one of Korea’s future growth engines.