Innovation That Matters

The Alike Health app matches patients to others with similar health characteristics | Photo source Alike Health

‘Medical matchmaking’ provides personalised healthcare insights

Health & Wellbeing

A digital healthcare startup uses machine learning to put patients in contact with others who share the same medical characteristics

Spotted: Humanity is a collection of unique individuals who represent a complex mixture of medical realities. Yet traditional medicine is based on a ‘law of averages’ – treating patients based on generalisations about the population as a whole. This law of averages can be misleading, and in a world where the average American spends 52 hours looking for health information online each year, generalisations create misunderstandings. Information provided by ‘Dr. Google’ or Facebook is inadequate and doesn’t account for the specific characteristics of each individual.

Israeli startup Alike has come up with a novel multidisciplinary solution to this problem – using health data and machine learning to match people who are alike on a holistic level. The AI’s matchmaking takes into account considerations such as co-morbidities, lifestyle factors, age, and gender.

Patients are then put into contact with an anonymised community of ‘Alikes’ – people who share their exact clinical journey, lifestyle, and interests. Members of this community can share or receive relevant and personalised insights that help them to better manage their conditions.

The new technology is possible due to regulatory changes that make it possible for everyone to gain instant electronic access to their personal health records. The app allows users to automatically create a health profile through a direct connection with their health provider.

Given the sensitive nature of medical information, Alike has put in place stringent privacy controls. The data shared on the app is completely de-identified, which means all personal identifiers are removed. Every user is verified by their healthcare provider, and further measures including data encryption and data fuzzing are employed. This means that patients can benefit from the insights of other patients while maintaining their privacy.

Healthtech is booming, and other recent innovations spotted by Springwise include a startup that provides medical data for testing AI health solutions, and an at-home hormone tracking app to empower women.

Written By: Matthew Hempstead



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