Naver invests in digital treatment developer startup

By Park Sae-jin Posted : May 14, 2021, 10:22 Updated : May 14, 2021, 10:39

[Courtesy of Naver]

SEOUL -- D2SF, a startup accelerator operated by South Korea's top web service company Naver, has made an investment into a domestic healthcare startup specialized in the development of digital treatment for degenerative symptoms and diseases.

Digital treatment, also called DTx, uses hardware such as artificial intelligence-based voice assistant speakers, virtual reality headsets and smartphones to change the lifestyle and habit of patients. Medical data released through various channels shows that DTx is effective in improving cognitive skills and the memory of old people.

D2SF said in a statement on May 13 that the startup accelerator and two other venture investors -- Seoul-based Stonebridge Ventures and Kakao Ventures operated by South Korea's web service giant Kakao -- invested in Emocog, a DTx developer. Financial details were not disclosed.

Emocog currently operates various DTx memory-enhancing programs for mild cognitive impairment through offline clinics and AI-based voice assistant speakers. The company is trying to launch "Cogthera," a smartphone app designed to improve the long-term memory ability of patients.

Mild cognitive impairment is the stage that follows the degeneration of cognitive skills due to aging and could lead to more serious degeneration of skills affected by dementia. The degeneration causes problems with memory, language, thinking, and judgment.

When a person has mild cognitive impairment, he or she is likely to be aware of problems with memory or mental function. Such cognitive malfunctions could increase the risk of developing dementia. According to 2018 government data, about one out of every five old people aged over 65 are suffering from mild cognitive impairment.
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