Exclusive Interview of Zen Koh of Fourier Intelligence. Edited by Powered Magazine
Tell us about yourself and your business.
My name is Zen Koh, and I'm Fourier Intelligence's co-founder and global CEO. I co-founded Fourier Intelligence with the intention of utilizing cutting-edge technology to enhance the lives of people with physical disabilities and neurological conditions. I have a strong background in engineering and more than 20 years of experience developing medical devices and rehabilitation technology.
By innovating in the exoskeleton and robotic technology for rehabilitation, our business has become a global leader. With a focus on improving functional movement, mobility, and overall quality of life, our product line is specifically designed to satisfy the special demands of individuals with neurological and musculoskeletal problems. Our product line includes ground-breaking items like the Fourier ArmMotus™ EMU, which helps people regain function in their upper extremities after a stroke or other neurological disorder. We also provide the Fourier ExoMotus™ M4 Lower Limb Exoskeleton, which aids individuals with neurological conditions such as spinal cord injuries, strokes, and other neurological conditions in standing and walking.
Our commitment to innovation and quality at Fourier Intelligence is shown in the numerous honors and accolades we have received for our ground-breaking technologies and innovations in rehabilitative robots. Research and development are given first priority as we seek to build products that are simple to use, efficient, and reasonably priced. We are motivated by our unshakable dedication to improving the lives of people in need, and we are resolute in our quest to create ground-breaking rehabilitative technology.
What were your biggest challenges when starting Fourier Intelligence?
Starting Fourier Intelligence has its share of difficulties, as with any new business. Gaining momentum and establishing our credibility in the very competitive medical device and rehabilitation technology development market was one of the major hurdles. Finding funds for research, development, product manufacture, and marketing was another significant problem. Without the required funding, we would not have been able to launch our ground-breaking solutions and significantly improve the lives of those suffering from neurological and musculoskeletal diseases.
In addition, creating a solid team of professionals with the ideal combination of talents and knowledge was crucial to overcoming our obstacles. We needed to find and keep employees who shared our enthusiasm for innovation and commitment to enhancing the lives of people with physical and neurological problems.
Notwithstanding these difficulties, we were motivated by our unshakeable dedication to our objective, which served as our compass and guided us through our difficulties. We overcame these obstacles and made Fourier Intelligence a world leader in creating cutting-edge rehabilitative robots and exoskeleton technology by utilizing our enthusiasm, knowledge, and creative approach.
We are dedicated to conquering new obstacles and carrying on with our innovative and revolutionary work in the field of rehabilitative technology. We are certain that our team's knowledge, devotion, and an unshakable dedication to our objective will allow us to succeed even more in the future.
How have you handled success and failure over the course of your career?
As the co-founder and global CEO of Fourier Intelligence, I thoroughly understand how success and failure are essential components of the company experience. I think Fourier's strong business plan, competent staff, and crystal-clear goal are essential factors in its success. Our success has also been significantly influenced by our capacity to swiftly adjust to changing conditions and keep up with consumer demands and business developments.
Our main goals at Fourier Intelligence are innovating and upending conventional business and clinical treatment models. To do this, we create cutting-edge products and services that cater to unmet client demands. This strategy has enabled us to stand out from other market participants and obtain a competitive edge.
We have, however, encountered a great deal of difficulty and roadblocks along the way, just like many businesses do. Finding finance to develop and launch our products or services has been one of the biggest hurdles. Furthermore, we have had to overcome regulatory challenges, market saturation, and unanticipated roadblocks that impede our development and expansion.
Despite these difficulties, Fourier Intelligence has been able to go through them and adjust.
These difficulties have provided insightful learning opportunities. By examining what went wrong, we were able to pinpoint areas for improvement, improve our approach, and strengthen our will to prevail.
Ultimately, I think the startup path must include success and failure. Long-term success requires the capacity to adapt, learn from setbacks, and endure in the face of difficulties.
What strategies do you use to stay competitive in a changing market?
Our company stands out in the market for its innovative rehabilitation technology solutions that leverage robotics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. We focus on customization, adaptability, and patient-centered care to deliver more effective and efficient rehabilitation. Our technology solution, RehabHub™, is adaptable and scalable, making it versatile and valuable for healthcare providers. They also provide a supportive and empowering environment that helps patients feel motivated and confident in their recovery, leading to better patient satisfaction and improved outcomes. Their unique approach to rehabilitation technology makes them well-positioned to make a meaningful impact on the healthcare industry and help patients achieve their rehabilitation goals.
What motivations drive you to keep pushing forward in the face of adversity?
I have faced many challenges and obstacles, but my passion for progress and growth and my strong sense of purpose have kept me motivated and steadfast in my pursuit of creating innovative healthcare solutions for neurorehabilitation. Technology can be a powerful tool for positive change, and I'm committed to using it to improve the lives of those in need. The satisfaction of overcoming challenges and achieving goals also drives me forward. I've faced numerous obstacles, from securing funding to navigating regulatory hurdles, but each has provided a valuable learning experience and an opportunity to refine my strategy and approach. By staying committed to my mission and embracing the challenges that come with it, I'm confident that I can continue to make a meaningful impact in this vital field.
What advice would you give someone starting in their chosen field?
The most important details in this field are the importance of focusing on innovation, creativity, and patient-centered care when starting out in the technology-driven neurorehabilitation industry. It is important to stay abreast of the industry's latest trends and emerging technologies, build a strong network of mentors, colleagues, and industry experts, and seek opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with other organizations. It is also important to remain adaptable and flexible as the industry constantly evolves, being open to feedback and willing to adjust your approach. Finally, never lose sight of the ultimate goal of improving the lives of those in need. With dedication, hard work, and a willingness to learn and grow, anyone can make a meaningful impact in this industry.
How have technological advances affected the way you conduct business or operate your venture?
We focus on rehabilitation technology solutions that leverage robotics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, which is a testament to the transformative potential of technology in the healthcare industry. Our RehabHub™ system uses virtual reality to create immersive and engaging rehabilitation environments, while our robotic exoskeletons enable patients to engage in more intensive and targeted rehabilitation exercises. These technologies have enabled us to create new and innovative solutions that were previously impossible.
Technological advances have revolutionized how we conduct business and operate our ventures, allowing us to be more agile and responsive to market needs. Cloud computing, digital marketing, and social media have enabled us to quickly reach and engage with our target audience, generating interest in and awareness of our products and services. By embracing these innovations and leveraging them to create new solutions and improve existing ones, we can continue to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare industry and improve the lives of patients in need.
In what ways has customer feedback or response influenced how you prioritize goals or objectives for your business or venture?
Fourier Intelligence takes customer feedback and response seriously, as it provides valuable insights into their needs, preferences, and pain points. Through customer feedback, we have identified key areas for improvement and innovation, such as developing more adaptable and personalized technologies that can be tailored to individual patient requirements. This has resulted in increased patient satisfaction and better rehabilitation outcomes, and one of the company's latest products, ArmMotus™ EMU, has won several global design awards.
Customer feedback and response play a critical role in prioritizing goals and objectives for our business. This has enabled us to identify new market opportunities and expand our business offerings, resulting in increased customer engagement and interest in our solutions. By listening to our customers and incorporating their input into our decision-making processes, we can stay agile, innovative, and responsive to changing market needs.
What trends do you see emerging in your industry that are likely to shape its future growth and development?
AI and ML can transform how we approach rehabilitation by providing real-time data and analysis to inform and optimize treatment plans. By leveraging data from wearable devices, sensors, and other sources, we can gain insights into patient progress and tailor treatment plans to their specific needs and abilities.
We are seeing a growing trend toward using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in rehabilitation technology. These technologies have the potential to provide more engaging and immersive rehabilitation experiences that can improve patient outcomes and increase motivation. Additionally, telehealth and remote monitoring solutions offer a way to provide quality care to patients without requiring in-person visits. We are excited about the potential of these emerging trends to shape the future of neurorehabilitation technology and are well-positioned to make a meaningful impact on the healthcare industry and improve patients' lives worldwide.
What have been the most rewarding and difficult aspects of your chosen career or business path?
Fourier Intelligence's technology-driven neurorehabilitation solutions have helped countless individuals recover from neurological and musculoskeletal conditions and improve their overall quality of life. This has been a rewarding experience for the co-founder and global CEO, as they have been able to make a meaningful impact on the lives of patients in need.
The journey to building a successful business from scratch has been challenging, with one of the most difficult aspects is securing funding. The healthcare industry's highly regulated nature presents its own challenges, such as navigating the complex regulatory landscape and ensuring compliance with all relevant regulations. However, the rewards have far outweighed the challenges, as the potential to transform the healthcare industry is motivating and makes it all worthwhile.
Are there any skills or areas of expertise that you think are essential for success in your field?
I think that to succeed in the rehabilitation sector, one must thoroughly grasp the fundamentals of clinical rehabilitation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality principles. Strong problem-solving skills and a creative mindset are essential for identifying new opportunities and addressing complex challenges. Thinking outside the box and approaching problems from multiple perspectives is essential for finding unique and practical solutions.
We believe that technical expertise, problem-solving skills, communication and collaboration skills, and a passion for innovation are essential for success in the rehabilitation technology industry. These skills are essential for developing and implementing successful rehabilitation solutions, and staying up-to-date with the latest developments and technologies is essential for remaining competitive. At Fourier Intelligence, we strongly emphasize cultivating these skills and fostering a culture of innovation and continuous learning to drive our success and impact in the industry.
How has working remotely or online impacted your business or ventured over the past year?
Due to the pandemic, Fourier Intelligence has transitioned to working remotely, allowing us to expand our geographical reach and create a more diverse and inclusive team. This has led to a significant improvement in creativity and innovation within the team.
The shift to remote work has enabled us to reduce costs on international travel, office space, and equipment, allowing us to reallocate funds towards other business priorities. This has helped us remain financially sustainable amidst the pandemic and even register growth. However, communication and collaboration can be difficult, so it is important to have effective communication channels and tools to ensure everyone is on the same page. As a company, we are committed to continuing to adapt and evolve our operations to meet the demands of the new normal.
What tips would you like to offer to others in a similar position but looking to take their careers or businesses further?
Having a clear vision and purpose is essential for success.
Invest in learning and development, stay up-to-date with trends and developments, and build a strong network of contacts and collaborators.
Take risks and embrace failure as a learning opportunity, but remember that failure is not the end.
Attend industry events, connect with others in your field, and build relationships with people who can help you grow your career or business.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers that we haven’t already discussed?
The field of neurorehabilitation robotics is rapidly growing, offering exciting opportunities for those looking to make a difference in the lives of people with neurological disorders. It is at the cutting edge of technology, offering opportunities for innovation and creativity, and is poised for significant growth in the coming years. As the population ages, more opportunities for career advancement and job security will exist. As the incoming president of the industry association, IISART, I encourage readers to consider joining the field and exploring its exciting opportunities.