Bodyfriend deploys a massage chair transformed into a health product
A conventional massage chair fitted with a simple pressing and kneading function has become a sophisticated medical device for rehabilitation. The robot-shaped massage chair created by South Korean medical experts allows both legs to move separately and stimulates various muscles so that patients can quickly recover from muscle knots after surgery.
"Phantom Rovo", a new chair developed by Bodyfriend, a Seoul-based massage and healthcare chair company, has a robot appearance that can be worn like Iron Man's robotic suit. Because it allows for individual leg movements, users can massage their left and right leg separately while sitting on the massage chair.
"You can get a massage without getting bored with movements such as yoga and pilates that bring patterns and movements like riding a bicycle," Bodyfriend vice president Ji Sung-Kyu told reporters during the interview. a press conference on July 6.
Users can effectively stretch core and lower body muscles that were previously difficult to stimulate, such as the iliopsoas, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Phantom Rovo has a sensor that can measure the user's body to deliver massage at optimum strength. A heater provides full body heat.
"Starting with Phantom Rovo, we will accelerate the evolution beyond massage chairs to medical devices," Ji said, adding that the robot-like chair will become a symbol for ushering in an era of care. digital health. Ji hopes the new product will become a platform that measures biometric information, collects data through artificial intelligence, and connects it to personalized health services.
The innovative massage chair is the result of joint work by researchers and medical experts. "It is a product that properly combines the functions of exercise and massage," said the head of Bodyfriend's medical R&D center, Cho Soo-hyun. "We designed it to improve flexibility and help build muscle by relaxing the pelvic muscles with movements similar to yoga and cycling."
The next product to be rolled out by Bodyfriend in the second half of 2022 will be a massage chair capable of analyzing body composition, blood pressure, electrocardiogram and heart rate. It would continuously record data to detect physical anomalies.
The massage chair market in South Korea has grown rapidly from 350 billion won ($269,5 million) in 2015 to approximately one trillion won in 2021. Massage chairs are preferred by people elderly with muscle cramps. The market is expected to grow further as government data has shown that the number of people aged 65 or over will increase to represent more than 20% of the entire population by 2025.
Various companies are integrating AI to provide improved healthcare services. In June 2022, Bokjung Scale, a national medical company known for a massage chair called "Cozyma", partnered with the software convergence department of the University of Ajou to train AI experts and exchange technologies.