Here's How MFine Is Using Technology To Disrupt Healthcare
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Even as the Coronavirus outbreak has disrupted several businesses across sectors, an industry that is likely to perhaps gain the most during and post the crisis is healthcare. Often not focused on as much as many within the industry and outside want, due to several different factors, a particular section that is likely to have found its watershed moment is digital healthcare.
“Till recently, there was significant investment going into changing the behavior on both the provider and consumer side to adopt technology for healthcare delivery. Post-COVID this is no longer the case,” says Prasad Kompalli, co-founder and chief executive officer at MFine.
Founded in 2018, Bengaluru-based MFine offers an online consultation platform that has artificial intelligence-powered capabilities.
“Our AI tries to mimic a doctor, so essentially what we build is a virtual doctor, called the ‘autodoc’ that is able to use multiple modalities to understand a patient's issue and is able to summarise this information for the doctors. To power this, we have a powerful knowledge graph of medical semantics and decision paths, which we call the hypergraph,” explains Kompalli.
But it doesn’t end there. The platform has a complex web of hundreds of machine learning models and algorithms across modalities of vision, hearing and language processing to give the virtual doctor the ability to process information from multiple sources to be able to recommend the right next steps to the doctor.
According to Kompalli, now that the earlier challenge of getting consumers to shift to digital healthcare is gone, now the challenge is about scaling innovation. “We are now up against challenges of innovation - how fast we can deploy the innovations we did in the mobile and AI space at scale.”
And the company is investing heavily into the platform’s AI capabilities.
From inference capabilities to be able to diagnose based on symptoms, patient history and other data given during the consultation to computer vision capabilities to read and automatically digitize diagnostic reports as well as understanding symptoms are some of the things that they are focusing on. In fact, it is also looking to add auditory capabilities like deciphering kind of infection based on the sound of the cough among other things.
Last year, the company raised $17.2 million in a Series B round led by Japan’s SBI Investment. MFine also counts venture capital firms Stellaris Venture Partners and Prime Venture Partners among its investors.
The growth, too, has been fast for the company. In the last 6-7 weeks alone, teleconsultations have grown 5-6 times, a push that the crisis has given them. “Overall the ecosystem has changed substantially around telemedicine. The government has cleared all hurdles to telemedicine adoption and also is actively promoting use of tech in healthcare delivery,” says Kompalli.
It has no plans to stop, however. Not only does it plan to expand into at least 25-30 cities in a couple of years with at least 1000 hospitals in the network, going forward, it aims to add several services such as e-pharmacy, diagnostics as well as integration with wearables.