HONG KONG SAR –
Media OutReach – 19 May 2023 – Telefield Medical Imaging (TMI) Limited is the world’s leading provider of AI 3D ultrasound imaging technology, equipment and solutions. It offers a pioneering radiation-free 3D ultrasonic scoliosis assessment system called Scolioscan, which provides novel solutions for safe and efficient scoliosis assessment. The company has gained recognition and support from many well-known investment institutions and completed the Pre-A round of financing, totalling nearly HK$40 million in April 2023. So far, the total financing has exceeded HK$100 million. Investors in this financing round include Fosun Pharma, AEF Greater Bay Area Fund managed by Gobi Partners GBA, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and some industrial investors. The funds will be used to further accelerate product development and market expansion and attract more outstanding talents to join the team.
(Left) Ms. Margaret Han, CEO and Managing Partner of TMI, and (right) Prof. Zheng Yongping, Co-founder of TMI and the inventor of the Scolioscan technology
Deeply rooted in the academic frontiers with access to the world’s leading technical resources, TMI is dedicated to medical technology innovation for the benefit of society. The Company’s R&D team is led by Professor Zheng Yongping of PolyU. Prof. Zheng was ranked among the world’s top 2% scientists, in the area of Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing, by Stanford University for two consecutive years in 2021 and 2022. He served as the Founding Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at PolyU. He is currently the Director of the Research Institute for Smart Ageing and the Director of the Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub at PolyU. He holds more than 150 international patents and has published more than 300 journal papers. A number of his inventions, including Scolioscan, have been successfully commercialized. Prof. Zheng also became the laureate in life and health of the first BOCHK Science and Technology Innovation Prize in 2022.
Scolioscan, a brand of products under TMI, is the world’s first and only ultrasound scoliosis assessment system. It encompasses 19 globally pioneering and leading technologies with more than 100 patents. It has obtained medical equipment certification in the EU, Australia and Mainland China, providing radiation-free scoliosis assessment solutions with an accuracy comparable to X-ray imaging for experts in orthopedics, rehabilitation and sports therapy. Scolioscan can be used for scoliosis screening, diagnosis, follow-up monitoring, progression prediction, visual feedback during non-surgical treatment, as well as outcome measurement of treatment. The 3D ultrasound imaging techniques used in Scolioscan can also be applied in the prevention, treatment and assessment of other musculoskeletal disorders. TMI’s research team has carried out scientific cooperation with internationally renowned hospitals and universities. It has also published more than 20 scientific papers in top international journals in the fields of orthopedics and biomechanics, ultrasound, machine vision and pattern recognition, etc., verifying the accuracy and reliability of 3D ultrasound technology. Clinical test results have shown that Scolioscan’s Ultrasound Curve Angle (UCA) is highly consistent with the Cobb angle measured by an X-ray, with a linear correlation of 94.64%. The system has won multiple national and international innovation awards.
“Assessment with Scolioscan is radiation-free, thus avoiding the cancer risk brought by X-ray exposure. In general, a person is suggested to space out X-ray examinations by at least six to twelve months, as accumulated X-ray exposure can significantly increase cancer occurrence in scoliosis patients. For youngsters with progressing scoliosis, however, six months is a long wait for effective monitoring. In addition, during non-surgical scoliosis treatments, frequent monitoring through medical imaging is essential to ensure positive outcomes. Thus, it is inevitable for patients to have frequent X-ray examinations. According to a study in Denmark, subjects with scoliosis taking 16 times of X-ray imaging on average in their adolescence have shown an increased cancer rate by 4.8 times 25 years later. Therefore, we have developed this ultrasound imaging technique for scoliosis assessment, which is safe and can be used as frequently as needed,” said Prof. Zheng Yongping.
TMI has successively obtained CE certification for EU countries and ARTG certification for Australia. At present, Scoliocan has been installed in many overseas countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Bosnia, Romania and Australia. The Company established Telefield Medical Imaging (Shenzhen) Limited in Shenzhen in September 2020 and Telefield Medical Imaging (Hunan) Technology Limited in Changsha in April 2021, aiming to provide fast and convenient localized production and services in China. In December 2021, Scolioscan obtained NMPA certification for the Chinese market. The system has now been installed for clinical uses in more than 40 hospitals in China, which include Peking University People’s Hospital, Xinhua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, The Hong Kong University-Shenzhen Hospital, West China Hospital-Sichuan University, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences-Shenzhen Hospital, Guangdong Work Injury Rehabilitation Hospital, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Shandong Provincial Third Hospital, Weifang People’s Hospital, Liaocheng Third People’s Hospital, Shandong Mental Health Center, Tianjin Hospital, The Second Hospital of Tangshan, Henan Provincial People’s Hospital, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Jiangsu Rehabilitation Centre for the Disabled, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Jiangsu Taizhou People’s Hospital, Jiangsu Province Hospital, Drum Tower Hospital, Wuxi Ninth Hospital, and The Affiliated Sun Yat-sen Hospital of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University. TMI has supported industry-university research collaborations in different areas, including scoliosis treatment using sports-medicine integration and sports rehabilitation with Capital University of Physical Education and Sports, Guangzhou Sport University, and many other universities to improve sports treatment after adolescent scoliosis screening to achieve early detection, early intervention and early treatment.
With a vision of creating a better life through technology, TMI has sponsored spine health projects and provided a few million in human and material support for various charitable foundations in Mainland China and Hong Kong. The Highland Spine Health project TMI sponsored in May 2023, is a medical charity project jointly initiated by the China Association for Preservation & Development of Tibetan Culture and the Beijing Haiying Spine Health Foundation under the guidance of The United Front Work Department of CPC Central Committee. Led by Zhan Qimin, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and Liu Haiying, the head of the National Task Force on Prevention and Control of Scoliosis in Children and Adolescents, a team of more than 60 experts from around the country went to Ganzi Prefecture in Sichuan Province for a charity clinic. The team used TMI’s portable ultrasound scoliosis assessment system to conduct scoliosis screening and evaluation for children in Ganzi, which the local government and people greatly appreciated. TMI will continue to promote the innovative development of medical imaging technology and do its best to contribute to the progress of the medical industry and human health.
Scoliosis is the third disease endangering the health of Chinese children and adolescents. According to public information, the incidence of scoliosis in China is about 2% to 3%, and the incidence has increased significantly in recent years, with a younger onset age. The State Council’s Fourteenth Five-Year national health plan stipulates including scoliosis in the basic public health services, promoting the opening and sharing of public stadiums and school stadiums, setting up scientific fitness clinics in community medical and health institutions, providing physical fitness guidance for people with special needs, strengthening non-medical health interventions, establishing and improving the bank of sports prescriptions, and facilitating the application of prescriptions. In the post-epidemic era, the market scale of rehabilitation medical services will continue to grow with the acceleration of population ageing, the awakening of national rehabilitation awareness and the strong promotion of national policies. In 2025, the domestic sports population is expected to reach 500 million people. The incidence of diseases related to sports injuries will increase, and 100 million people in Mainland China will need treatment and services for sports injuries and diseases. In 2025, the size of China’s rehabilitation medical services market is forecasted to reach 268.6 billion yuan, and the CAGR from 2022 to 2025 will be about 38.5%. The overall market has excellent prospects for future growth, and the potential market size of TMI’s 3D musculoskeletal chronic disease assessment and sports rehabilitation product line can reach 10 billion in Mainland China alone.
“The commercialization of innovative technologies developed in universities is often difficult and involves a complicated process. After years of technological exploration, TMI has made Scolioscan a successful example. The Company has entered a stage of rapid production of Scolioscan and the development of new product lines. By the end of this year, we expect to complete the installation for no less than 100 partners in China, covering the orthopedics and rehabilitation departments in grade-A tertiary hospitals and specialized hospitals and clinics. We are processing our FDA application and have plans to enter the US market in 2024. The capital investment from well-known investment institutions in our Pre-A round financing represents not only a high degree of recognition and trust of TMI’s business prospects and potential by the investors but also an affirmation of the team’s efforts. The Implementation Path of Sports Therapy for Adolescent Scoliosis under the Guidance of Sports Medicine Integration – Based on Expert Consensus published in the first issue of the Journal of Chinese Preventive Medicine in 2023 was written by the Exercise and Sports Health Branch of the Chinese Society of Preventive Medicine with the participation of a wide range of renowned experts in the domestic medical field and sports health field. It adopted and affirmed the opinions put forward by TMI as a representative of the industry’s leading technology. The positioning of TMI’s 3D ultrasound series products is the preferred radiation-free medical assessment tool for the prevention and treatment of scientific exercise and musculoskeletal chronic disease. In the future, the TMI team will also focus on promoting the development of sports-medicine integration products to achieve radiation-free, continuous and consistent 3D ultrasound visual feedback and evaluation of muscles, ligaments and joint injuries and bone deformations. As the demand for minimally invasive treatment continues to grow, TMI will break the boundaries of medical technology to provide non-medical institutions and families with assessment and treatment programs for the screening and treatment of scoliosis and other musculoskeletal chronic diseases and professional, scientific sports training and rehabilitation. Patients can conduct rehabilitation training such as poor posture adjustment, chronic disease sports intervention and chronic pain intervention under the guidance of the APP,” said Ms. Han Mingzhu, CEO and Managing Partner of TMI.
Medical equipment is a strategic focus of Fosun Pharma. Dr. Yang Ying, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of the medical equipment division of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., Ltd., said, “The medical equipment industry has the ability and potential for sustainable development. As a global medical and healthcare group driven by innovation, Fosun Pharma focuses on teams and enterprises in the field of medical equipment that are strong in research and development of underlying core technologies with significant clinical value. TMI thinks out of the box to integrate artificial intelligence technology with diagnostic ultrasound technology and create a high-performance, radiation-free orthopedic diagnostic device. We look forward to seeing its technology platform expand to more clinical areas and benefit more patients. Fosun Pharma’s shareholding subsidiary, Chindex Medical Limited, as the exclusive national distributor of part of the company’s products, will leverage its complete commercialization network to accelerate the accessibility of these products.
Mr. Chibo Tang, Managing Partner of Gobi Partners GBA, shared, “Scoliosis is a deeply personal ailment for many around the world, and we believe TMI’s products will not only be able to aid prevention but will also help those already in need. We also hope that the company’s technologies can eventually be brought to bear in physical therapy and other healthcare areas.”
Mr Kelvin Wong, Director of the Knowledge Transfer and Entrepreneurship Office of PolyU, said, “As one of the top 100 universities in the world, PolyU strives to innovate with world-class research and facilitate the translation of research into impact through driving university-industry collaboration. PolyU continuously advances PolyVentures, its unique entrepreneurial ecosystem, providing support for PolyU academics, researchers, alumni and students in their entrepreneurial endeavours. It also offers comprehensive support for startups in various stages, including funding, training and mentoring. Meanwhile, PolyU is dedicated to developing strategic partnerships with eco-system partners to incubate and nurture startups so as to facilitate the conversion of research outcomes into real-world applications for the benefit of society. The TMI team values the development of original, innovative technologies, and its original technologies stemmed from a biomedical engineering laboratory at PolyU. TMI is also the first investee of the PolyU Entrepreneurship Investment Fund. In future, PolyU will continue to support more PolyU startups like TMI, which focuses on original, innovative technologies, help them to establish sustainable competitive advantages for international development, and showcase PolyU’s research outcomes.”
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