Medicus unlocks health data into meaningful insights

Artificial intelligence is gaining traction across various fields, especially health care, and with the use of data, it’s turning it into meaningful insights. Dubai-born Medicus uses an AI platform and works with diagnostic labs to translate medical reports and blood tests into visual and interactive report that a common person can understand.

“AI works in multiple ways. It converts all those numbers into explanations with machine learning personalising the experience for users. Then we have AI that works with medical labs to make it easy and integrate with the system,” Baher Al Hakim, CEO of Medicus, told TechRadar Middle East.

Born in Syria, Al Hakim is a dentist by study and a serial entrepreneur by practice with 15 years of tech experience in various companies such as Wally, Restronaut and Napkin. Al Hakim was thinking of starting a global company from Dubai and then move to Silicon Valley.

“I learned that having a company located somewhere else is also necessary to attract big clients and money. After doing some research, I learned that having a base in Europe is an optimal place for health care sector as they have...good public support for healthcare companies,” he said.

So, he started building his team for Medicus from Dubai in 2015. When he raised his first round of funding from the region and from Austria, he moved to Vienna and incorporated the company in Vienna in 2016. Since then, Al Hakim does businesses in both Dubai and Vienna. Medicus has offices in Berlin, Paris and Beirut.

How the app works

Health care is complex and impenetrable and, at the same time, he said that it is in dire need of a user-experience overhaul and that people are now used to experiencing things in a much simpler and clear fashion.

“Our app takes all of the reports such as personal profile, family history, medications, and the most tested blood, urine and stool markers and medical history and gives exactly what those numbers mean and provides continuous coaching to improve health,” he said.

If the diet of the patient is not healthy, Al Hakim says the app will give recommendations to improve and if the diet is healthy, then it will recommend when to visit a doctor or when to do a retest. 

“The app will ask you many questions and based on that, it will give you continuous recommendations based on the medical guidelines and based on the region” he said. There are around 50,000 diseases and it is impossible to support all the diseases- Medicus currently supports around 400 diseases and by the end of the year, aims to support around 1,000 diseases and 2,000 tests.

Medicus’ biggest clients come from this region, especially Saudi Arabia

“We have 10 clients, including medical labs and insurance providers. We have two from the region and eight from Europe,” he said. Moreover, he said that insurance providers are interested in making you healthy in a bid to cut costs and Medicus allows them to do that.

“The region is open to health innovation but, unfortunately, as we are still young and very small, we did not have the time to push it in the region. This year, we will be focusing more on the UAE market. The biggest obstacles we face are in hiring and raising capital,” he said.

Data privacy

Medicus has raised 1.5 million euros from two rounds and 2.75 million euros in the third round, recently.  By end of the year, Al Hakim expects to raise 6.5 million euros in total.

“This will be enough for the next two years and we are also planning to expand globally. We are looking into China, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Italy, apart from the Middle East,” he said.

The biggest issue with the use of data is security and privacy but Al Hakim has kept a close vigil.  “We have the toughest privacy standards in the world and the data never leaves your phone. You can use the app in the offline mode. Data privacy is very strict in Europe.

“Anything can be hacked but even if a hacker hacks your phone, he will hack only one account. It is up to the user to protect his device and the data. If a hacker hacks a server, he can expose millions of accounts. No hacker will spend so much time to hack one person,” he said.

To date, Medicus supports Arabic, German, French and English, with Italian, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish in the pipeline for this year.