Ada Health Raises Cash from Samsung and Bayer for Artificial Intelligence Medical App

Berlin-based Ada Health, which has developed a pocket-sized doctor-style app that uses artificial intelligence to try to diagnose symptoms, has been backed by investment arms of South Korea’s Samsung and German pharmaceutical giant Bayer.

Ada Health announced Thursday that it has raised a $ 90 million funding round at an undisclosed valuation that brings the total investment in the company to about $ 150 million.

Bayer led the round through its investment arm Leaps by Bayer, while Samsung invested through the Samsung Catalyst Fund, a US-based venture capital fund that Samsung Electronics uses to support companies around the world. . Former chief strategy officer and corporate president of Samsung Electronics, Young Sohn, has joined the Ada Health board.

Founded in 2011 by entrepreneurs Dr. Claire Novorol, Martin Hirsch, and Daniel Nathrath, Ada Health says its app has been downloaded more than 11 million times.

How does it work

“The app basically works like a WhatsApp chat with your trusted family doctor, but 24/7,” CEO Nathrath told CNBC.

The patient begins by entering their symptoms and an AI chat bot will ask them a series of questions to try to determine the problem. After that, the app will introduce the patient to the conditions that are likely to be the cause and offer some suggestions on what to do next to address the problem.

The iOS and Android apps provide generic advice, like seeing a GP in the next three days. But when patients interact with Ada Health through a healthcare system that uses the app, they can go directly to book an appointment and share the result of their pre-evaluation with a real doctor, Nathrath said.

He said the company has signed agreements with various health systems, health insurers and life sciences companies. Axa OneHealth, Novartis, Pfizer, and SutterHealth are listed as partners on the Ada Health website.

While the app is free for patients to download, Ada Health charges partners for access to its software.

The company said the new funding will be used to help it expand deeper into the United States, which is already its largest market with 2 million users. Elsewhere, Ada Health has roughly 4 million users in the UK, Germany, Brazil, and India, with roughly 1 million in each.

The funds will also be used to improve the company’s algorithms, add them to the medical knowledge base and go beyond the 10 languages, Nathrath said.

You also want to feed the Ada Health app with more information beyond patient-supplied symptom data. That could include lab data, genetic testing and sensor data, Nathrath said.

“Smart watches and other sensors have really taken a big step forward,” said Nathrath. “Today you can measure your blood pressure, you can do an ECG, measure heart rate variability and blood oxygen levels.”

“Our ambition is really to build what we call a personal health operating system where you not only have symptom verification, but can integrate all relevant sources of health information in a way that, ideally, Ada can become this companion who can warn you before the £ 100 problem turns into a £ 100,000-a-year problem. “

U-turn in telehealth

Ada Health has received less funding than other “medical” apps like Babylon and Kry.

Unlike Babylon and Kry, Ada Health does not allow patients to have a video call with a GP.

Ada briefly ran a service called Doctor Chat that allowed users to see a registered GP through an on-demand chat portal. However, it was deactivated in March 2018 after being live for about a year.

“We were expecting a lot more people to actually use this than they do,” Nathrath said, adding that people prefer the automated chat experience to video calls with GPs.

“When you look at telehealth, you can’t scale as well as an artificial intelligence solution can because you still need to hire a lot of doctors in different countries,” Nathrath said.

The investment in Ada Health comes just over two weeks after British health company Huma raised $ 130 million from the venture branches of Bayer, Samsung and Hitachi.

Other investors in the latest Ada Health round include Vitruvian Ventures, Inteligo Bank, F4, and Mutschler Ventures.

Add Comment