From the sound of the drill to many other dental cleaning devices, the office of a dentist can be very noisy. And this is just one of many reasons that people are afraid of visiting the dentist and neglecting their care. Healing Sound is a Korean startup on a mission to better communication in dental clinics and helps to reduce loud noise problems in the clinics. The startup has developed a protection device to reduce the dental noise so it helps the patients relax and also relieves the dental staff’s hearing exposed to the machine noises.
The startup’s CEO Jungu Kang spoke to koreatechdesk.com about the dental clinic noise problem and how the company wants to grow.
1. Can you tell us why you started the company and your vision?
We have founded this startup for people who suffer from dental phobia. Mostly, everyone feels uncomfortable in a dental clinic and research shows people do not visit a dental clinic because of the phobia. So, we launched our startup to help patients and also build an easy way of communication for dental staff and patients. Through the company, we want to enhance the value of communication in society. Now we are focusing on the medical field.
2. What problem are you trying to solve and what is the market opportunity for such a product?
Healing Sound makes hearing protection devices for dental clinic use. Hearing loss occurs when a person is exposed to 80dB of noise for over 8 hours. Dental workers hear dental machinery noise for about 8 to10 hours daily and this can cause hearing loss among dental workers. It is a five times bigger problem when compared to workers in other normal workplaces.
The patients cannot hear whatever the dentist or dental staff says because of the dental machinery noise. So, the dental staff must peel off the product to communicate or speak in a louder tone.
Healing Sound is trying to overcome these problems. It can prevent dental machine noise and can make communication with patients clear, eventually providing a comfortable clinic environment and can increase patient satisfaction. Healing Sound device can make a 70% reduction in dental treatment time and increases patient satisfaction by over 80%. This eventually can increase dental clinic profits by over 50%.
In a pediatric dental clinic, dental staff is already using headphones linking to a monitor to minimize trauma to children. It is a fact that the psychological trauma of childhood visits to dentistry has effects in adulthood. Research shows that 78% of patients do not want to visit dental clinics and 83% of the dental staff feels uncomfortable and gets lots of stress.
In dental clinics, a patient’s face is usually covered with a cloth, so that prevents them from actually knowing where the dental instruments are being used. But the drilling noise of the instrument can make the patient uncomfortable.
The same drilling noise of the instruments can stress the dental staff as well. So both patients and dental staff are suffering some stresses here.
Healing Sound offers new ways of communication systems to the dental clinics. Using the system, the patient and dental staff are not stressed from the dental noise and can communicate easily.
3. How did the founding team come together?
I am a dentist and the CEO of the company. Three years ago, I got the idea about this startup and got prizes for it in some idea contests. This is when I started the company and recruited members who understood the problem and had experience in the dental industry and technological field. We have a diverse team of members in our startup, like a sound engineer, dentist, medical doctor, designer, etc.
4. What is unique in what you are doing?
The existing products in the market can decrease ambiance noise, but then the patients do not hear well whenever the doctor talks, so they must either peel off the product to communicate or speak loudly. But with Healing Sound’s product, a doctor and patient communicate freely.
The patient can enjoy music during the dental procedure to relieve tension, and music volume is brought down automatically only when the doctor says. On the connecting multimedia application, patient can get information about dental treatment and select favorable tension-free music.
5. What have you learned so far and what are your insights?
Our team learned there is a strong demand to change the environment in the dental clinic. We did a lot of trials to overcome the problem of noise in the clinics. We learned there is a need for easier communication in the clinics.
So Healing Sound’s goal is to enhance the value of communication in society. We want to develop more products of communication like buttons in the clinic, VR for dental clinics and so on.
6. What milestones do you need to hit to reach your next round of funding?
In 2020, we will make more products and get authorization and certification. Healing sound’s primary target market is domestic, but the main target will be the overseas market. By 2021, we want to expand to the US market and other developing countries. We hope that by 2023 Healing sound will be a global brand.
7. How do you intend to use new investments?
With fresh investment, Healing Sound will be able to speed up the production of the product. The company will be able to better its marketing strategy and also approach vendors for sales. We will set up a total communicating solution for clinic and make lots of innovative products.