AI healthcare, Unicorn in the making

By  |  0 Comments

In September 2016, a Chinese startup just founded in 2015 was able to acquire a Israeli company established in 2005 called “Imagu Vision Technologies”, specialized in developing software for object recognition in digital image&video applied to healthcare, medical imaging, semiconductors and home security. Wonder how a one year old Chinese startup can strike such a buyout deal and even prepare to setup a Artificial Intelligence R&D center in Israel? Because we are not talking about an ordinary startup; we are mentioning a China AI Health unicorn iCarbonX, which aims at building a digital life platform based on a combination of individual’s biological, behavioral and psychological data powered by AI. During series A, it already raised USD199 million mega-round, from Tencent Holding, Zhongyuan Union Cell & Gene Engineering Corp (China’s leading company in cell and gene engineering industry) and China Bridge Capital (a low profile yet prestigious investment bank in China). The key founders of iCarbonX are the former C-level executives from Beijing Genomics Institute (one of the world’s genome sequencing centers established in 1999 and now claims to the largest genome institution).

Currently the hottest area of healthcare innovation is applying the artificial intelligence. iCarbonX is just one example to show the AI healthcare unicorn in the making in China.  All over the world, among diverse applications of AI healthcare, the most popular categories are

medical imaging&diagnostic: for instance despite the large amount of collective experience in interpreting chest x-rays, a significant number of cases are still misinterpreted and misdiagnosed, therefore Lunit is a South Korean startup that has developed a deep learning based image recognition system for better diagnostic performance of chest radiography interpretation

Insights&risk analytics: a good example would be Lumiata, an enterprise level predictive analytics solution for hospitals and insurance companies, producing accurate and real time insights &predictions related to symptoms, diagnoses, procedures and medications for patients

life style management&monitoring: for instance, Healint is a Singapore based startup aiming to help doctors take advantage of mobile, sensor, machine learning to manage chronic patients continuously outside clinic environment.

drug discovery: Atomwise is the perfect example of predicting potential drug cures with the use of artificial intelligence and a specialized algorithm that runs through millions of molecular structures, reducing the cost and time involved in making new drug discoveries

One of the core challenges of healthcare innovations remain to be further advancing the technology of big data analytics. Therefore artificial intelligence is adding wings to it in order to meet such challenge, which can achieve analytical results faster, more accurate, more efficient and eventually saving cost. Nevertheless healthcare big data analytics has been the slowest in achieving progress since 2011 according to McKinsey. This fact further explains that AI healthcare is the sector easily to nurture unicorns, as it often requires massive amount of capital injection,much longer waiting time for successful exit and in-depth expertise in understanding the value of so claimed healthcare breakthrough.

Cecilia Wu

A witty, nutty and frosty writer who hopes to jot down moments of inspiration from her daily life

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply