[Interview with Business Post]
Adam Choe of 'Veyond Metaverse', invested by SDB Investment, challenges 'digital surgery'

Lim Hansol • limhs@businesspost.co.kr
21 July 2023
▲ Adam Choe, CEO of Veyond Metaverse, is explaining about digital surgery based on extended reality in an online interview with Business Post on the 20th. <Business Post>

[Business Post] Two doctors, one in France and one in Myanmar, prepare for surgery simultaneously. Although the actual patient is in Myanmar, the French doctor also sees a virtual patient reproduced in 3D.

As the French doctor carefully marks the surgical site, the same view appears in front of the doctor in Myanmar. The movement of the surgical tools used by the Myanmar doctor is also shared with the French doctor.

This is a scene from the 'digital surgery' to be conducted by the American startup Veyond Metaverse in September. ExtendedReality (XR) technology is applied to the medical field, providing a realistic collaborative environment for two doctors separated by a distance of 8500 km.

Veyond Metaverse was recognized for the competitiveness of such technology and received investment from SDB Investment, the personal investment company of Chairman Cho Young-sik of SD Biosensor. In order to learn about the specific business structure and future plans, we met with Adam Choe, CEO of Veyond Metaverse.

On the 20th, CEO Choe told Business Post in an online video interview, "Currently, global surgical technology and medical expertise are concentrated in certain areas, making it difficult for 5billion of the world's 8 billion people to access high-quality surgical services. However, if you use Veyond Metaverse's platform 'Veyond Connect', surgical experts can break free from the constraints of distance or region."

Veyond Connect is designed to digitally connect the roles of 'operator' and 'proctor'. The operator refers to the medical professional who actually performs the surgery, and the proctor refers to an expert with more surgical experience.

Normally, the proctor must be in the same operating room to help the operator. However, Veyond Connect recreates the surgical environment in 3D, allowing sufficient collaboration between the operator and the proctor, even if they are apart. It digitally replicates not only the patient but also the surgical tools and shows them in real time. The instructions from the proctor appear directly in the operator's field of view.

According to CEO Choe, this ExtendedReality system provides a more immersive and precise medical service compared to the previously developed 2D-based remote surgery system.

Veyond Metaverse is preparing for digital surgery in France and Myanmar in September as introduced earlier to demonstrate Veyond Connect. They will continue to accumulate surgical data to prove its effectiveness while pushing for commercialization. The goal is to launch in the first quarter of 2024. They plan to target not only the United States andEurope, but also Asia and South America. The intention is to lead in solving the world's medical accessibility issues.

CEO Choe said, "Our first surgery inSeptember is expected to open a new era of surgical medicine. We will start with an initiative focused on urological surgery, and then expand in sequence to orthopedic, heart, brain surgery, and organ transplants.

▲ Veyond Metaverse, invested by SDB Investment, is embarking on its first 'digital surgery' based on the extended reality platform, Veyond Connect. An example of surgery using Veyond Connect

Veyond Connect is not only applicable to actual surgeries but also to surgical training and medical equipment training. It is expected to significantly reduce the time and cost involved in medical equipment training and can potentially be applied to industrial fields in the long term.

Veyond Metaverse is actively interacting with the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), consulting firm Accenture, pharmaceutical company Sanofi, and Yale University in the United States, among others, to explore various business possibilities. Last year, it also established a subsidiary in Korea for communication purposes.

In the process of actively pioneering new markets, it joined the investment portfolio of SDB Investment.

SDB Investment is a company 100% owned by Chairman Cho Young-sik. It participated in Veyond Metaverse's seed investment last year. Subsequently, Chairman Cho was appointed as the chairman of the board of directors at Veyond Metaverse.

Veyond Metaverse is looking forward to the support of SDB Investment in various aspects such as joint research and development, market entry and expansion, medical product training, and regulatory approval processes.

CEO Choe said, "So far, through our cooperation with SDB Investment, we have gained enhanced research and development capabilities and a deep understanding of how our product is being received in the actual market. We will focus on dramatically improving over 300 million surgeries per year through the SDB Investment network."

Veyond Metaverse was established in 2021 with CEO Choe and CTO Chung Joon, a professor of aerospace engineering at the Metropolitan College of Toronto in Canada, at the core. It was to apply the metaverse technologies related to aircraft, which Professor Chung had been developing for a long time, to other industries including medical.

CEO Choe graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in biology and received his MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He then worked at global pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson and diagnostics company Alere (now Abbott). He also worked as a CEO at medical device company NanoEntec and diagnostic company Immunostics.