Starting from September 2022, EqualOcean had been conducting deep market research and expert interviews aiming to select out 30 most representative China-based companies in the AI Health sector that are with the most growth and development potential. It is finally officially finalized, and we give our deep and sincere congratulations to those 30 companies and wish them all the best in the future.
‘AI Health’ or ‘AI in Health’ can be simply defined as the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the medical and healthcare fields. To be specific, from the basic medical record management to the tedious and repetitive processes like medical imaging, to the hard novel drug target discovery, all can be assisted by AI technology. The employment of AI in healthcare fields does not only reduce costs, improve efficiency but also can promote the equalization of quality medical resources in China.
The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held in October 2022 also mentioned about "Building a healthy China" which included "promoting the expansion of quality medical resources and the balanced distribution of regional distribution, strengthening the health management of major chronic diseases, and improving the community-level capacity of disease prevention and treatment and health management".
In addition, China has a large population base which allows for the generation of large amount of medical data and worldwide top-tanking AI scientific research output and achievement. These natural advantages establish the solid foundation for the development of AI Health industry in China and nourish a batch of local AI medical and health innovation enterprises.
At the same time, as an emerging force in the global biomedical and medical technology industry, China's development in the field of AI Health can also provide insights into the development trend and direction of the global AI Health industry.
Based on the above, EqualOcean released the "China AI Health 30 List 2022", which focuses on six sub-sectors: AI+ drug discovery, AI+ medical imaging, AI+ surgery robotics, AI+ disease diagnosis and treatment, AI+ health management, and AI+ Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS).
The selection criteria were set on the following four dimensions: talent background, R&D capability, technical level, product and service capability:
1) The distribution of different levels of working experience of R&D personnel and management personnel.
2) The proportion of employees with AI+medical interdisciplinary backgrounds, the proportion of employees with doctor's degree or above, and the proportion with overseas background.
3) The distinct features of database, the number of patents obtained, the quality of publications, and international R&D collaborations.
4) Types and numbers of collaborations or partnerships.
In the end, EqualOcean successfully shortlisted 30 companies with outstanding performance in the six segments above. The list is as follows:
The top three sub-sectors with the most companies on the list are: AI+ medical imaging (seven), AI+ drug discovery (six) and AI+ medical robotics (five).
EqualOcean analyzed the listed enterprises from the perspectives of regional distribution, time of establishment, financing rounds, cooperation and collaborations, and commercialization. The conclusions draw on:
77% of the shortlisted enterprises are headquartered in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, which are three first-tier cities in China. Among them, 50% are in Beijing, indicating that the capital brings together a number of outstanding talent in the field of AI health. In addition, about 30% of the shortlisted enterprises are located in the Yangtze River Delta region, indicating that the Yangtze River Delta region continues to attract high-level talents.
73% of the shortlisted companies were founded after 2015, and about a third are less than five years old. At the same time, about 43% of enterprises have completed the Series C financing round or are at a later stage, some of which already went public. These reflect the high-level attention from the venture capitals attracted to the AI health industry in recent years.
More than 90% of the shortlisted companies work directly or indirectly with Chinese level I or II/III hospitals. Nearly 60% of the shortlisted enterprises have global business or cross-border business with leading international enterprises.
AI + medical imaging and AI + medical robotics are the two sub-sectors with more demonstrated commercialization. All the selected AI + medical imaging enterprises have obtained the third-class certificate from NMPA, and most of them have completed at least a Series C round of financing. Some of the selected AI medical robot companies have listed their products on the market, while the rest will be listed soon or have reached cooperation with large medical institutions.
Launched in November 2018, Equal Ocean is a business information and investment research firm focused on serving China’s enterprises on the globalization strategies and helping overseas enterprises and institutions seize the development opportunities in China. EqualOcean firmly believes in the value of globalization and its mission is to connect China with the world. With this mission in mind, EqualOcean has a diverse team, the members of which are from a global perspective and are also "China experts" in their respective fields. For Chinese clients aiming to go global, EqualOcean provides services including overseas market and industry research, international branding, database products and construction of overseas resources. For overseas clients aiming to expand business in China, EqualOcean offers services including China's market and industry research, due diligence on China investment targets, data products, and construction of China's resources. The clients that Equal Ocean has served include Huawei, Alibaba Group, ByteDance, Pinduoduo, Seashell, Dada, AnkeInnovation, Intel, Bain Capital, SAP and Advance Group.