top of page
Startup News: Founder of SpectroChip, Dr. Ko Chenghao, Revolutionizes Medicine with Miniature Chip Building a Better Healthcare

Qi Wenfen

Mar 6, 2022

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Ko Chenghao has led a research team to shrink laboratory-scale spectrometers into a miniaturized "SpectroChip" the size of an SD card. This breakthrough has made spectrometers portable, allowing for on-the-go testing. In the future, by integrating with professional medical institutions, Dr. Ko aims to establish a network that connects home and hospital healthcare, enabling remote healthcare, precision medicine, AI-driven healthcare, and preventive medicine.

For centuries, spectrometers have been a focal point in scientific research due to their high accuracy, wide measurement range, fast speed, and minimal sample requirement. However, the challenges of large size, high cost, and the need for skilled operators have hindered their development. "Any scientific research must go through theoretical calculations and validations before entering the development process of technology and equipment," said Dr. Ko. Although the concept seems simple, it is a difficult process to implement in practice, making the theoretical construction alone an "impossible task," as Dr. Ko humorously describes it.

Dedicated Research Achieves the Impossible

During his research at the university, Dr. Ko utilized ten classrooms, each equipped with 30 computers, to conduct a week-long theoretical validation. The massive amount of data and numerous calculations filled the entire walls. "When you break down the numbers written by Dr. Ko, each of them is familiar to us, but when combined, they become unfamiliar," chuckled Zheng Zhiyuan, Executive Vice President of SpectroChip Corporation.

The research journey has been not only challenging but also lonely. While the development of the electronics industry relied on integrated circuits to achieve the advancement of lightweight, compact, and high-performance devices, the development of spectrometers relied on similar breakthroughs in Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) technology. However, everything had to start from scratch since the relevant theories were not yet established, let alone conducting experiments based on those theories to prove their feasibility. "It's a sense of mission," Dr. Ko casually remarked.

After obtaining his doctoral degree in the United States, Dr. Ko was invited back to Taiwan to lead a national advanced research project at the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, serving as the project leader for the "Optoelectronic Micro-Imaging Spectrometer." Along the way, he has received awards such as the Outstanding Research Award from the National Science Council, the Advanced Technology Research and Development Award from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Inventor of Miniature Spectrometer, and the Top 10 Outstanding Photonics Products, constantly filled with confidence.

At the end of 2018, Dr. Ko's research team achieved a breakthrough by significantly reducing the size of the spectrometer using innovative technology. The key technology, a spectrometer manufactured through wafer fabrication, became portable.

Furthermore, a series of biomedical testing instruments developed based on this breakthrough have demonstrated accuracy equivalent to or even surpassing hospital laboratory equipment through clinical testing. By integrating the spectrometer with smartphones and apps, real-time measurement and result recording are also possible.

Realizing Testing Anytime, Anywhere

"No need for skilled personnel; anyone can perform testing anytime, anywhere." The test results can be uploaded to a cloud database and, by integrating with professional medical institutions, a network connecting home and hospital healthcare can be established. "This enables remote healthcare and preventive medicine!" Dr. Ko emphasized.

Currently, the "SpectroChip Precision Rapid Screening Device" developed based on this technology has been used for antibody quantitative rapid screening at Kaohsiung Municipal Xiaogang Hospital.

Source from:

bottom of page