5 Healthcare Startups Shaping the Future
According to Daniel Kraft, a health care futurist and medical practitioner, “the fourth industrial era has begun.” “It is changing the way we do our digital financial transactions and how we watch movies on the internet. However, health care is still locked in the third—or even second—industrial era, with fax machines and CD-ROMs as standard equipment.”
In particular, advances such as artificial intelligence and machine learning have proven glacially slow to make their way into the health-care industry. The significant advances in data collecting, such as wearables that monitor your vital signs, voice biomarker trackers, and genome sequencing (to mention a few examples), have resulted in just a handful widely used, really valuable applications to far.
According to Kraft, who uses the word “now-ist” rather than “futurist,” “nobody wants more data; they want tangible insights that are usable.” “How do we turn actionable information into information that can be used at the point of care or at the bedside?”
According to Dr. Bob Wachter, head of the UC San Francisco Department of Medicine and author of the book The Digital Doctor, some of these new technologies may still have a substantial influence in the future. According to him, artificial intelligence will be beneficial in a variety of situations, including examining an X-ray, predicting how many people will visit the emergency department next Tuesday, and visiting a patient and reminding them of an alternate diagnosis. “I believe everything will work out in the end. However, it will take far longer and will be significantly more difficult than anybody anticipated.”
Here are five of the firms that industry insiders believe are leading the charge down that rough road and reinventing the future of health care.
In order to help consumers through the process of cognitive-behavioral treatment, Youper developed an A.I.-based chatbot that is complemented by remote psychiatrists, health coaches, and an online pharmacy. The chatbot has the appearance and feel of a regular text message exchange: patients may express their ideas and emotions, and the artificial intelligence (A.I.) answers with questions and recommendations that have been developed by mental health specialists.
“Some people believe that chatting to a chatbot is even better than talking to a person because you can express yourself completely,” explains Jose Hamilton, CEO of Youper. You may say, “‘I’m feeling 100 percent furious,’ or ‘I’m feeling 100 percent despondent,’ respectively. And then the chatbot will begin directing you toward the source of your discomfort.”
Youper does not want to replace psychiatrists, but rather to enable them to visit more patients at a cheaper cost than they were previously able to. In the lab, Hamilton explains, “we can’t merely produce psychiatrists or therapists, but we can equip them with technology to boost their abilities.” “Our aim here is to have a therapist monitoring 10 times the number of patients that a typical practitioner would, since we have an artificial intelligence system to be there when the therapist is not.”
The firm, which was founded in 2016, is located in San Francisco and has ambitions to grow its clinical staff in order to reach all 50 states over the next few weeks.
2. TytoCare (TytoCare, Inc.)
In order to monitor vital signs and diagnose common ailments, TytoCare is creating digital, multipurpose testing kits. Tactile telemedicine technology from TytoCare, which is being utilized in hundreds of schools throughout the United States, can do ear checks, listen to heart and lung rhythms, and take temperature readings, all of which can be sent to doctors.
The gadget is intended to be used by patients, parents, and non-medical professionals without the assistance of a physician.
“Let’s be honest: we’re not saving lives,” says Dedi Gilad, CEO of the company. “However, we are dealing with the most inconvenient and fundamental engagement with health-care providers. When you are unsure of what to do, when you are concerned or stressed, you want to be able to access a menu of alternatives. Currently, the industry is unable to provide a satisfactory answer.” Those options are available with TytoCare’s at-home tests, which eliminates the need to attend a doctor’s office.
While telemedicine will not be able to completely replace live physicians in the near future, technology such as TytoCare’s gives the opportunity to triage basic checks, allowing doctors’ offices to be less noisy and patients to save money. The New York City-based startup, which was founded in 2012, has concluded a $100 million Series D fundraising round.
3.Vida Health .
One of the most intriguing potential in health care is the use of algorithms to gather large amounts of data and deliver it to people in an useful and accessible manner. Vida Health provides virtual outpatient care for patients suffering from chronic physical and mental ailments, and it syncs data received from patients’ Internet of Things devices to give comprehensive treatment regimens for patients. Diabetes treatment and prevention, weight loss, stress reduction, and sleep health are all addressed by the firm.
Vida Health, which was launched in 2014 and is based in San Francisco, has received a total of $188 million in investment. CEO Stephanie Tilenius was motivated to create the firm after seeing her father battle with a number of chronic illnesses. “I couldn’t believe that there wasn’t a mobile solution for monitoring all of his prescriptions, as well as his stress, sleep, diet, exercise, and the intersection between these illnesses,” she adds.
4. Osso VR (Venice, Italy)
Osso VR is a teaching tool that employs interactive virtual reality technology to recreate the experience of conducting surgery on patients for the benefit of the user community. The patients are quite lifelike, and users are allowed to construct their own experimental procedures in addition to hundreds of pre-configured modules, which they may find on the website. The San Francisco-based startup, which was launched in 2016, has secured $43 million in funding and plans to expand its services to include virtual animal procedures in the not-to-distant future.
“The realism of our experiences is the calling card of Osso VR, and it’s what we’re recognized for,” says CEO Justin Barad. Using graphics artists from major Hollywood studios, the firm claims to have put together the world’s biggest medical illustration team in collaboration with other partners. In some cases, the simulated procedures are so lifelike that they qualify as graphic material on social networking networks. “When we upload movies to YouTube and they are removed by their algorithm, we see it as a source of pride,” Barad explains.
Kintsugi employs a machine-learning algorithm to identify indicators of sadness and anxiety in a person’s voice after just 20 seconds of listening to their speech. Users of the company’s software talk into a voice-journaling interface and get feedback in the form of graphs showing their sadness and anxiety levels over time.
“It’s not so much what people are saying as it is how they are expressing it,” says Grace Chang, the company’s CEO. “Since as early as 1920, researchers have been looking at the space and time of voice biomarkers. And now, a hundred years later, breakthroughs in machine learning have made it feasible for us to get results that are virtually as accurate as those obtained by a professional psychiatrist.”
Kintsugi, a private company founded in 2019, is one of several that are harnessing big data and machine learning to accelerate and enhance diagnostics. The firm, based in Berkeley, California, raised $8 million in investment in August and is now working on expanding its API to allow it to be used by select health providers and companies.