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[Korean Startup Interview] GLOUD Leads Dental Clinics into the Digital Age

2024-01-09 5 min read


[Korean Startup Interview] GLOUD Leads Dental Clinics into the Digital Age

Reading Time: 5 minutes

According to the ‘Dental Outpatient Treatment Status’ report released by the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service in July, the number of patients who received dental outpatient treatment in 2022 reached 24.24 million, accounting for 47.1% of South Korea’s population. An analysis of dental outpatient treatment trends over the past five years reveals that the number of patients seeking dental outpatient treatment in 2022 increased by more than 5.9% compared to 2018.

As people’s awareness of the importance of maintaining and managing healthy teeth throughout their lives has grown, there has been a noticeable increase in visits to dental clinics. Consequently, dental clinics, crucial for maintaining oral health in our daily lives, are experiencing a growing demand for digital transformation by incorporating IT technologies.

GLOUD, a digital AI healthcare company founded in September 2020, is at the forefront of leading the digital transformation of dental clinics. Founded by Ji Jin-woo, a dentist with degrees in physics and computer science, GLOUD offers a Treatment as a Service (TaaS) solution that enables dental treatments within an hour.

After more than two years of development, GLOUD has introduced ‘JustScan,’ a service that provides a digital dental prosthesis management platform through digital oral scanners. This comprehensive solution addresses everything from acquiring oral scanners to training, ordering prosthetics, and manufacturing, catering to private clinics navigating the challenges of going digital.

By providing expensive oral scanners to dental clinics for free, GLOUD helps clinics save both costs and time. Their services cover digital consultations, prosthetic manufacturing, and treatment data management. Through this TaaS system, GLOUD is tackling the issues associated with transitioning to digital dentistry and the challenges posed by high medical costs.

GLOUD has been selected to participate in the ‘Global Venture Development Program’ by the Daegu Creative Economy Innovation Center and Plug and Play Korea, aimed at supporting promising startups in their global expansion efforts. They plan to enter global markets, including the United States, by expanding their business and attracting pre-Series A investment of 3 billion KRW.

Ji Jin-woo, the founder of GLOUD, noted, “We are currently engaged in collaborations to create package products with global companies like Straumann and Vatech, and we are in discussions to establish a joint venture in Singapore with Vatech in the first half of next year.” He further mentioned, “Regarding the U.S. market entry, we have conducted Proof of Concepts (POCs) with two dental clinics in the West over the past year, and we plan to introduce some of our ‘JustScan’ online services in the global market in the second quarter of next year.”

What problem is your team trying to solve?

Our team is dedicated to addressing the challenge of high medical costs within the healthcare industry. We aim to fundamentally transform the operational structure of the healthcare industry and reduce costs by leveraging digital medical devices and shifting the focus online. Specifically, we focus on the dental sector.

How do you plan to solve this problem?

We are implementing a Treatment as a Service (TaaS) approach, similar to Software as a Service (SaaS) for the software industry. We provide a comprehensive treatment system as a service, which includes medical devices, the establishment of treatment systems, treatment workflows, hiring and training of medical staff, education, and replacement of medical staff. By offering these services online, we enable high-salaried medical professionals to concentrate solely on treatment, eliminating the burden of administrative and educational tasks. This transition to an online-focused model reduces switching and maintenance costs associated with building new medical systems.

What is your team’s technical competitive edge?

Our competitive edge lies in our expertise across three critical areas: ‘dental medicine,’ ‘digital dentistry,’ and ‘IT.’ Solving the problem of high medical costs requires a deep understanding of both treatment processes and IT. Medical software, particularly for B2B use, experiences significant changes only when doctors with coding capabilities enter the field. Possessing expertise in both medicine and IT allows us to innovate within long-established structures. While medical devices can change over time, specialized medical software sees little innovation. This high barrier makes it crucial to combine knowledge of medical devices with expertise in software.

What products or services do you offer?

We operate two services under the TaaS umbrella called ‘JustScan’: ‘JustScan Online’ and ‘JustScan Express.’

JustScan Online: Offers digital dental clinic construction services, including ‘digital dental medical devices,’ ‘online digital dentistry treatment systems,’ ‘digital treatment workflow education systems,’ and ‘physical prosthetics.’

JustScan Express: Provides ‘high-speed production medical devices,’ ‘real-time prosthetic design & slicing,’ and ‘one-hour dental treatment workflows.’

Who is your target market and customers?

Our primary target market is the digital dentistry field, primarily focusing on relatively young urban dental clinics. Our secondary target is the one-hour prosthetic market, serving clinics in high-income countries with long-distance patients and urban clinics. Our tertiary target involves supplying online dental medical materials to all clinics through an online network.

What is your business model?

We offer an AI dental subscription model, including subscription-based services and fee-based services. The subscription model encompasses digital dental medical technology support, treatment manager SaaS, and subscriptions for digital dental medical devices. The fee model covers tangible dental prosthesis fees and real-time dental prosthesis design fees.

What achievements have you reached so far?

We have achieved rapid growth, with monthly sales increasing from $30,000 to $85,000 in just six months. Our AI dental subscription service has over 200 dental clinics on the waiting list, and we have signed B2B contracts with leading domestic dental companies. We have also secured seed funding and are in the process of raising pre-Series A funding.

What is your team’s competitive edge?

Our team has a unique blend of expertise in dentistry, digital dentistry, and IT. Our CEO has a successful track record in the dental industry, and our team leader has co-created the treatment system in a successful ‘1-hour treatment’ dental clinic.

Why should investors consider funding your project?

We offer a unique and fundamental solution to the universal issue of high medical costs, backed by a team of experts with a strong track record of success. We have demonstrated rapid growth and have a substantial waiting list of dental clinics. Investing in GLOUD means supporting innovative solutions with the potential to transform the healthcare industry.

What efforts have you made for global expansion?

We are collaborating with global dental market leaders to create joint package products. We have conducted proof-of-concepts in the U.S. and are working with dental labs and companies supplying the Veteran Hospital. We have also engaged a professor from Columbia University for consultation and are establishing a service plan in the East

[Korean Startup Interview]

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