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36Kr/KrASIA

Chinese 'AI dentist' developer partners with investment firm

Startup aims to improve dental care standards in growing market

'AI dentist' can analyze x-ray and CT images to simulate disease progression and design treatment plans. (Photo Courtesy of DeepCare)

BEIJING -- DeepCare, an artificial intelligence dental care support company, has formed a strategic alliance with CareCapital, an investment firm specializing in the dental care industry.

The move comes amid rapid growth in the Chinese dental care market. CareCapital, which invests in the sector, is expected to serve as a conduit between DeepCare and various market players.

According to research firm Intelligence Research Group, the Chinese dental care market has grown at an average annual rate of 18% in the past decade. That growth was helped by a government policy encouraging dentists to work at two or more medical institutions.

There are not many companies that provide AI-based dental care assistance. DeepCare is a leading company in the field, and its flagship product, AI Dentist, has been introduced by more than 1,500 medical institutions in various countries.

DeepCare's has a number of big foreign clients among its customers, including Straumann, the world's biggest dental materials company, based in Switzerland, and Canada's Carestream Health.

DeepCare's domestic customers include well-known public hospitals, such as Peking University Hospital of Stomatology, Beijing Stomatological Hospital, Hospital of Stomatology Wuhan University, and Peking Union Medical College Hospital, as well as many private dental care institutions.

Using its proprietary deep learning model, DeepCare's AI learns from hundreds of thousands pieces of dental data from around the world.

The system supports the entire cycle of dental care operations, including analysis of dental X-ray and CT images, simulation of disease progression based on analytical results, output of diagnostic results, and design of treatment plans.

DeepCare is also developing modules for preventive dentistry, orthodontics, implants, restorative treatment and pediatric dentistry, where demand is particularly strong. Modules for pediatric dentistry have already begun to be supplied.

According to a survey of medical institutions that have introduced AI Dentist, the rate of patient repeating rose by more than 10 points due to smoother communication between dentists and patients.

AI is expected to improve doctor consultations and treatment, enable standardization of dental clinic operations and help leading clinics grow in size.

DeepCare founder Ding Peng received a doctorate in engineering from Dartmouth College in the U.S and has a long career in the dental care and AI sectors.

CareCapital has invested in a wide range of companies in the dental care sector, including educational institutions, manufacturers of materials, medical equipment makers and software developers. Under its strategic tie-up with DeepCare, CareCapital plans to support business alliances between those investee companies and the AI-based dental care assistance technology company.

36Kr, a Chinese tech news portal founded in Beijing in 2010, has more than 150 million readers worldwide. Nikkei announced a partnership with 36Kr on May 22, 2019.

For the Japanese version of this story, click here.

For the Chinese version, click here.

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