Shi Hailiang, the mastermind, CEO & Co-Founder behind Live2Life, is an individual filled with passion and zeal for innovation since his early years. This outstanding HealthTech startup is one to look out for as it has impressed the medical industry in spectacular ways.
Specializing in surgical data integration & analytics with a focus on minimally invasive surgery and image-guided intervention, Live2Life’s mission is to significantly improve patient care and surgical outcomes by meticulously designing peri-operative (pre, intra and post-operative) applications featuring real-time processing of real-world clinical data.
Their notable solution, DSP @ MTUBE, is a cloud platform that applies Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to integrate, annotate, analyze the real-world surgical data and exchange critical medical information has received the praises of many.
Residing in Johnson and Johnson Innovation’s newly opened JLABS in Shanghai, the team of Live2Life were able to flourish to greater heights as they continue to capitalize on their expertise on multi-modality images processing and surgical system digital integration.
About Hailiang’s Early Life
His HealthTech career started from selling EPR(Electronic Patient Records) and PACS (Picture Archiving & Communication Systems) software to hospitals, engaged in health informatics and digital health imaging he had soon published his first professional article “Integrated RIS/PACS” on industry journal in 2004, an article articulating stream-lined digital workflow of radiology imaging when filmless digital transformation began. Before embarking on his startup journey with Live2Life, Hailiang gained experience in 2 other HealthTech startups, and had his first intrapreneurial experience working with a German medical devices company, where he met his long time business partners while working on digitally integrated OR (operating room) solutions under the subdivision name of telemedicine of surgical workplaces.
Journey of the HealthTech Startup, Live2Life
Similarly to radiology PACS where there is image transmission from the site of image acquisition to various physically-disparate locations for diagnosis and telemedicine purposes, Live2Life’s solution is dedicated to surgical areas where various surgical imaging and data are involved as well.
The beauty of Live2Life’s innovative software platform is that all the data from different sources are integrated and stored in a structured way under identical patient and surgical records. It serves as the main database named Live2Life Data Structure Platform for applications and datasets. The embedded software tools such as “Info-Pins” and “MaS(MovieAroundShots)” are provided on it for quick data annotation and extraction. The efficiency of data acquisition and extraction using Live2Life’s on-premise EDGE “box” surpass that of a conventional digital operating room system, an impressive feat for a young HealthTech startup.
With modern surgical interventions relying on medical imaging to generate a vast amount of clinical data, e.g. minimally invasive surgery or MIS, increasingly performed where one uses a 4K endoscopic camera and a high-definition monitor to precisely operate on tissues and organs, Live2Life humorously describe themselves as “bloody movie lovers” due to many hours spent reviewing and processing surgical procedure videos. These annotated and archived surgical images and videos will then aid in the making of efficient and safer surgeries.
Understanding emerging technologies revolve around data-driven machine learning and artificial intelligence, an idea sparked in Hailiang to use their existing expertise and know-how as preparing tools to dig in the huge data mine for insights and deep applications, e.g. identification of hard-to-find lesions and key surgical phases with the assistance of computer vision.
Inspired to extract medical insights using his software and eventually drive data-driven healthcare, Hailiang decided to embark on his journey to build Live2Life from the ground up. Through the adoption of this cloud-based platform with EDGE settings, Hailiang aims for a global reach to multiple healthcare institutions such that surgical performance can advance rapidly.
Their hard work and dedication paid off when Live2Life was successful in their application as one of the first HealthTech startups of the newly launched JLABS in Shanghai, China, an open innovation ecosystem for startups featuring a no string attached model.
An Inside Look into Hailiang’s Personal Life
As a founder of a successful HealthTech startup, overcoming pressure and various obstacles come with sacrificing time for himself. Learning that it is vital to find balance in his lifestyle, Hailiang has learnt to balance his personal and professional life.
Devoting the majority of his time unwinding by playing with his adorable young children, it keeps him up and running, ensuring that he gets his daily dose of physical activities, he used to enjoy playing basketball, now cycling is his preferred exercise.
Tackling herculean challenges under immense pressures has redirected Hailiang to his path of mindfulness and peace. On top of that, he believes in the importance of constantly reading. Hailiang’s interests are history, culture and philosophy, he recently read Chuan Xi Lu, by Wang Yang Ming of the Ming Dynasty, Chinese philosopher and Neo-Confucian thinker, who has inspired Hailiang a lot.
Thoughts on the COVID-19 Pandemic
As a cloud-based software company with a small but geographically distributed team, working together remotely was no stranger to them. This admirable team of 8 filled with tech talents and senior clinical advisors, is certainly a force to be reckoned with.
Their productivity and effectiveness as a team remained at an all-time high during the course of the pandemic, thanks to their network-based remote and virtual technologies, which makes it possible to remotely set up, configure and upgrade their software installed in an overseas hospital. With the team’s expertise in live video streaming for surgical purposes such as training and education, the future of telemedicine across regions looks promising.
With the rising adoption of telemedicine, healthcare professionals are able to limit contact between patients, empowering them to serve the greater areas during this pandemic. As behavioural changes arise, Hailiang believes that this positive shift in mindset is here to stay. As Hailiang discussed on the panel “Digital Health Filling the Gaps in the Delivery of Diagnosis and Care for Oncology” on 2020 HealthTech Cohort by GalenGrowth, “If a desperate cancer patient can’t visit the hospital to see his or her doctors due to COVID control, why not let our doctors see him or her instead, since there are now 5G networks.”
Emphasizing the need for the continuity of care despite patients avoiding physical consultations, Hailiang believes in making full use of digital technologies to enhance the limited resources such as medical specialists. He used to be asked to design tele-ICU system to some hospital many years ago, the system was basically required to allow the specialist, usually the head of ICU, to take care of as many ICU wards and patients as possible remotely. One other example shared is the contactless gesture control interface which was integrated into their Digital OR system for 3D image manipulation in medical workplaces. In terms of surgical care during the pandemic, as many elective surgeries are delayed, therefore maintaining frequent and efficient communication with the care providers is crucial, the latest EHR and CT scans can be easily transmitted for expert consultation and pre-surgery planning.
New Developments and Partnerships During Unprecedented Times
Hailiang thinks thatnew developments should always be targeted at the unmet needs of true application scenarios. When talking about “disruptive” technologies, Hailiang said he regards them nothing more than powerful tools to democratize health and care, in terms of Live2Life’s mission, helping doctors save lives lying on cold operating tables. In China alone there are 4 million cancer patients, early detection of cancer and precise positioning and resection of the lesion are the keys for successful surgical intervention. By piloting on certain surgical intervention procedures of some most deadly diseases and medical specialties, the new developments are focusing on multi-modality imaging support and data- driven intelligence, especially intra-operative support in advanced surgical suites such as Hybrid OR.
Live2Life’s heterogeneous DSP@MTUBE platform take advantages of both EDGE and cloud computing while fitting well into hospital’s surgical environments. In a streamlined digital workflow, with CT images retrieved from PACS for 3D re-construction and pre-surgical planning, the freshly generated images and data are captured with key image frames are annotated by Live2Life DSP “Info-Pin”, which is a simply “clever” software tool to satisfy a common unmet need, e.g. extracting the critical part of and actionable data. The team is now working on to make it even smarter for greater impact on surgical outcomes.
Hailiang’s 18 years professional experience has won him a lot of industry resources, apart from meaningful partnerships with reputable hospitals, such as Shanghai Hua Shan Hospital, Shanghai Zhong Shan Hospital, Beijing Oncology Hospital etc. Live2Life board of advisors is full of experts and specialists ranging from MIS surgeons to anesthetist, pathologist, sonographer and so on.
In the meantime, Live2Life has been actively collaborating with some world largest medical devices companies filled with like-minded individuals who aspire to refine and enhance Live2Life’s existing solutions and technologies.
Apart from medical, Live2Life has built solid collaborative relationships with renowned tech institutes and companies such as Shanghai JiaoTong University, Microsoft and Intel.
Hailiang’s Thoughts on Innovation
Interested in design, always being creative is what Hailiang pursues, he believes that asking oneself “why not?” instead of following “ready” rules, and using that “think out of box” mindset, startup’s flexibility and agility, to solve the actual problems, is Live2Life’s power to drive innovation.
He likes the phrase“Innovations can be from anywhere”, which means that one should keep an open mind to learn and be inspired. Applying blockchain technology to Live2Life’s digital platform is a good example of both leveraging new technology to solve the actual problems and great idea by team brainstorming, total solution by partnership.
As a startup with some existing technologies, Hailiang thinks legacies should never become burdens or obstacles for value-based innovations. The HealthTech industry is constantly evolving, and there is a need to stay relevant with up-to-date medical information daily. He mentioned that he cherishes and enjoys every conversation with surgeons and partners from medical device companies.
Innovation remains a high priority to Hailiang and his lessons learnt has aided in the redesigning of his software to cater to the needs of surgeons, finally patient outcomes.
As a 2020 Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort member, Hailiang commented, “The Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort is very interesting as we can share information and ideas with regards to the HealthTech ecosystem. Galen Growth has built a great HealthTech ecosystem. As a startup, we are able to get our stories across potential partners and investors globally, which aids in our positioning as an international company.”
About the Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort
Live2Life is part of the Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort, the only acceleration programme built to scale digital health startups to be the next generation powering healthcare innovation in the New Normal in Asia. In 2020, Galen Growth is working with 25 HealthTech startups which will benefit from Galen Growth’s long-established and unmatched curated community of investors, corporate leaders and innovation teams and other essential stakeholders through our proven multi-channel tools. For more information, visit Galen Growth’s HealthTech Cohort webpage or read this article on the launch of the Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort.
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