Infermedica 2018: Year in Review

With the new year upon us, I’d like to give you a little update on where we are now and what you can expect in the next 12 months.

It was a good year for AI, with a few significant moments pushing the market forward. I’d like to highlight just two of these. First, in April the FDA permitted marketing of IDx-DR – the first medical device to use artificial intelligence to diagnose an eye disease in adults with diabetes. Secondly, an international team of researchers trained a convolutional neural network to identify skin cancer and tested it against 58 dermatologists from 17 countries. According to the study, most dermatologists were outperformed by the AI.

Illustration by Tomek Tuz

AI in healthcare has arrived for real. Keep reading to learn about the progress we made last year.

We are growing

It was a good year for Infermedica. We’re now a team of over 50 medical doctors, data scientists, software engineers and medical translators. With our team spread across Poland, USA, Germany, Portugal and Malta, we’re on a mission to create the most reliable tools to help everyone in the world treat their health problems quickly and efficiently.

Throughout the year we spoke with about a hundred organizations (health systems, hospitals, and insurance companies) and established key partnerships with many of them. Here are a few examples:

  • PZU Zdrowie, the healthcare division of the largest insurance company in Poland, rolled out our call center triage tool, demonstrating the cost-efficiency of the solution.
  • Medis, the leading Portuguese health insurer, is working with us on the most sophisticated decision support tool for nurses to date.
  • Everyday Health, a major US-based online health publishing company, has made our symptom checker available to millions of readers each month.
  • Allianz, one of the largest insurance companies in the world, is now ready for a full-scale, worldwide rollout of our solutions.

Looking at our financials, our monthly recurring revenues doubled last year and we have now set ourselves the ambitious goal of tripling them in 2019.

We shipped new products and updates

The core of Infermedica is our clinical knowledge base and reasoning capabilities, which we significantly refined in 2018 based on feedback collected from our clients.

In terms of products, we focused our efforts on developing new user interfaces:

  • We released our voice app for all three major platforms: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana.
  • We improved our chatbot interface to allow for smoother conversations with users.
  • We developed a decision support product that can be used in call centers or Emergency Departments.
  • We updated the look & feel of our Symptomate app.
  • Finally, Symptomate is now certified as a Class I Medical Device, as required by European Union directive 93/68/EEC.

We joined accelerators and won awards

2018 was also a year of learning and refining our business model for various markets:

  • We participated in the leading digital health growth program, DreamIT Health in Philadelphia, where we connected to numerous health systems in the USA.
  • We were invited to join a prestigious health innovation program in Munich, sponsored by Roche, called Startup Creasphere.
  • We made it into the TOP 5 of 302 startups applying to the Incredibles program by Sebastian Kulczyk, which gave us a great opportunity to expand our network.
“I’m very excited about the progress Infermedica made in 2018 and immensely grateful to our team for its dedication to bringing our vision to life.”

We also received a few awards that we’re proud of:

  • Winner of the HIMSS 2018 Europe pitch contest
  • Best Data Driven Innovation from Bayer’s Grants4Apps
  • Seal of Excellence from the EU Commission

What’s next

A few important things await us as we enter 2019.

  • We have great news to share on the investment side, as we are finalizing our new round of funding with the participation of some amazing European investors.
  • After that, we’ll begin to increase our marketing and sales outreach, with a passion to deliver the most reliable and sophisticated AI solutions to health insurance companies, health systems, hospitals and clinics.
  • We’re also moving to a bigger office. We’ll have plenty of space for brilliant people who want to join us. If you dream big and would like to contribute to our vision, check out our job offers, because we might be looking for you!

I’m very excited about the progress Infermedica made in 2018 and immensely grateful to our team for its dedication to bringing our vision to life. I would like to express my deepest appreciation and gratitude to all our team members, partners, shareholders and users.

There is still a lot of hard work ahead of us, but every year brings us closer to real improvement in the way healthcare is practiced and delivered.