Startup Interview

  • [Startup Interview] Jin-Oh Kim, CEO of Aldaver, a company developing surgical training artificial cadavers
  • 창업원
  • 2022-10-30 05:01:59
  • 308

Today we will meet Aldaver, a team who participated in 2020 E*5 LabStartup. Aldaver is a company developing surgical training artificial cadavers to improve the constraints in the medical field.

Can you briefly introduce Aldaver?

Hi, I am Jin-Oh Kim, CEO of Aldaver. Our team hopes to improve medical technology for the future medical staff. Although advanced robot surgery machines are being introduced in Korea, there are a lot of time and space constraints for the medical staff to use such equipment. We want to improve the surgical practice environment of the medical staff.

How did you decide on this item as your startup product?

We started our company in a slightly different way. We were originally doing a research on developing a next generation robot skin. However, the doctors at the Severance Robot and MIS Center of Severance Hospital became interested in our technology, and suggested that we use it to improve the training of doctors. We then decided to develop a surgical training cadaver, and that’s how we started Aldaver.

It’s a new way of thinking to switch from developing robot skins to creating a surgical training environment!

* Artificial Cadaver: an artificial body made of new materials to resemble real pig and human bodies. Using artificial cadavers can avoid ethical problems and legal regulations, and improve surgical training by solving time and spatial constraints.

Creating a surgical training cadaver seems difficult, but what is the most difficult part?

The most difficult part is creating a real-like surgery environment. The key to surgical training is to provide a feel similar to an actual human tissue. Each tissue has a different feel, so mimicking these tissues will be the key to our technology.

What motivated you to participate in E*5 LabStartup, and what did you learn from it?

We had a lot of questions about how to prepare for startups and the which direction our business should head, since we were doing a lab-based research. Through E*5 LabStartup, we met ISK professors and mentors, and were able to concretize our business direction.

E*5 LabStartup is a lab-based startup audition program that Startup KAIST started this year, and we are glad that it was helpful for teams like Aldaver! Nevertheless, it was the first time holding this program, so there were a few trial and error processes.

Is there anything that can improve and supplement E*5 LabStartup?

When our team entered the 2020 KDB Startup competition and advanced to the final round, 3 of the 7 final teams were teams of seniors who previously participated in KAIST E*5 LabStartup. We saw a lot of amazing senior teams, and I thought it would be nice to form a continuous network with E*5 LabStartup teams.

It’s nice to see the passion of KAIST students for startups from outside of KAIST. Rather than improving the program itself, there seems to be a need to strengthen the network. We will consider this for next year’s E*5 LabStartup program.

What is Aldaver’s short-term goal?

Our final goal is to create a product that reflects the needs of the medical staff. In the short term, we will identify problems in the surgical training environment and apply this to the solution we are developing now. We are currently receiving feedback from surgeons, but we want to complete our product after receiving more feedback from doctors in various fields.

Since this is a process of creating a cadaver that can be used in the real medical world, the needs of the medical staff are the most important thing to consider. Even if it’s a good product, it will be useless if the medical staff cannot relate. It seems important to collaborate with various medical departments.

If you can give a word to KAIST students?

I believe KAIST students can do things that no one else can do. Unlike other universities, KAIST encourages and supports startups, by creating an optimal environment. If you have an idea for a startup, don’t hesitate and try!

There are a lot of programs that support student, faculty, and general startups at Startup KAIST. Discover the right program, and apply ????

Last question! What is the ultimate goal of Aldaver?

In the future, the field of robot surgery will continue to develop, and thus there will be a strong demand for the expertise of surgery around the world. Aldaver hopes to achieve a next generation surgical training tool consistent with the development of such technologies. Our short-term goal is to simulate human organs, but ultimately we want to create an all-round cadaver and supply it to the medical staff in all fields to improve the expertise. Aldaver will provide for the best next generation medical staff training.

In an era of constantly developing medical technology, robot surgery and AI technologies are being developed, rather than focusing on the difficulties that the medical staff face in the field. However, Aldaver believed that the basis of such technologies were the medical staff and started developing artificial cadavers for surgical training. We hope Aldaver becomes a company that creates and supplies parts of the human body that can be used during surgeries beyond artificial cadavers.

This was CEO Jin-Oh Kim of Aldaver.