For most of us, this was a year of huge uncertainty. COVID-19 posed one of the greatest challenges in the recent history of our societies. It made us reevaluate what really matters in life and showed that there are many amazing people out there ready to help and support each other in no time.
Despite the circumstances, 2020 was a year when Infermedica continued to grow and I’m grateful to all our team members for their amazing work and remarkable dedication during these difficult times.
Please read on to see the highlights of what we’ve accomplished in 2020.
Our response to COVID-19
One of the fundamental building blocks of our company’s culture is being supportive. Thus, when the pandemic started, we immediately felt a moral obligation to contribute towards the fighting against the virus. Obviously, we couldn’t be much help in creating a vaccine but we decided to do what we do best. That’s why, in April, we released a free COVID-19 risk assessment tool that helps to quickly identify coronavirus symptoms and get reliable information regarding COVID-19 concerns.
A few months later, our COVID-19 tool has been used by more than 450 organizations, including two national health systems, and helped over 1.3 million people to assess their risk of contracting coronavirus in 25 language versions.
Deploying our COVID-19 risk assessment tool in such a short timeframe has been a significant physical and emotional stretch to our team. Thus, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all our team members working on this project over days, nights and weekends. You helped many people make better decisions on what to do about their symptoms in these uneasy times.
Bigger team going remote
Before COVID-19, we never really relied much on remote work. I have to admit that this has changed for good now. Transitioning to fully remote work was easier than expected, and our team felt really motivated to develop a new model of effective and enjoyable online cooperation. Going fully remote also opened us up to hiring people in new locations. In 2020 we grew from 80 to 120 people, and we will keep hiring for many new positions. As always, we strive to create a remarkable team of people who are honest, transparent and supportive. This defines who we are.
The global pandemic has become a growth factor for many digital health solutions, especially in areas such as telemedicine, medical devices and patient triage. With limited access to scarce medical personnel and resources, technology demonstrated a tangible value in the streamlining or automating of certain care delivery processes.
As part of this trend, we’ve seen increased usage of our patient-facing platforms, including Symptomate, which resulted in 7 million completed patient check-ups so far.
In 2020 we also entered several notable commercial partnerships, including:
- Microsoft, where Infermedica is empowering their Health Bot platform with AI-based triage.
- Sana Kliniken, the largest German based network of hospitals.
- Groupe Mutuel, that shapes the whole environment of digital healthcare on the Swiss market.
We feel honored to support many amazing partners who are making a huge impact on the future of healthcare. Thank you for working with us!
Better diagnostic accuracy
This year, we also managed to roll out some major upgrades to our underlying technology. In October we released Infermedica API v3 which is by far the most powerful version of our reasoning engine and medical content. In all validation tests, API 3.0 outperformed the previous version in terms of diagnostic accuracy and quality of the differential diagnosis ranking. This means that Infermedica is now more accurate and provides more natural recommendations of diseases. Please see our Public Test Cases to see how our engine performs.
Raising growth capital
While the pandemic caused severe and sometimes irreversible damage to many businesses, when it comes to digital health, this area has become one of the key interests for many capital investors. In August we announced our Series A of $10.25M, which is our largest round of funding so far. The round was led by two new investors with a great contribution of existing shareholders:
- EBRD - venture fund belonging to the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.
- Heal Capital - Berlin-based VC fund focused solely on healthcare technology with an unmatched access to the German health ecosystem.
- Karma Ventures – an excellent Estonian VC fund with a people-first approach.
- Inovo Venture Partners – perhaps one of the best early-stage VC funds in Poland.
- DreamIT Ventures – an early stage VC fund from the US, running an incredible acceleration program in health.
Thank you for trusting us and your continued support!
Our plans for 2021
More than anything, I hope that the joint efforts of all communities worldwide will succeed in vastly containing the threat of COVID-19. While I hope that our life will get back to normal, I strongly believe that technology will continue to transform the way health systems work and we want to contribute as much as we can. Our vision is to make primary care more accessible, accurate and comfortable for everyone, including our families and ourselves.
For 2021, we have several ambitious goals, including:
- At long last, we are getting ready to release pediatric medical content in all our solutions.
- We are working on a physician-facing product to facilitate the intake collection process and provide decision support in primary care settings.
- We’ll keep on expanding our teams, especially with the focus on commercial and marketing development in the USA and Germany.
As every year, I want to thank everyone for their kind signs of support and good words. Most of all, I want to express my gratitude to all our team members for their outstanding dedication and going the extra mile so many times during this year. You define what Infermedica really is and it’s a great privilege for me to work with all of you.
I wish all of you and your families a healthy and peaceful 2021.