WeDoctor, a subsidiary of Tencent, wants to improve primary healthcare by providing doctors with AI systems that can help them understand patients' symptoms and suggest diagnoses and treatment plans. Infervision's a Beijing StartUp, uses patient data to build an effective cancer identification tool.
Chinese AI startup SenseTime developing platforms for healthcare
- SenseTime, the world's most valuable artificial intelligence (AI) company with a valuation of $4.5 billion is based in China. SenseTime opened a smart health lab in New Jersey, United States. This marked the company's foray into using AI in healthcare for diagnosis and medical treatments.
- Through the company's SenseCare Smart Health Platform, medical professionals get the support of artificial intelligence to review diagnostic information, plan surgeries, and follow-up management.
- SenseCare is a smart diagnosis and treatment platform, which can serve the needs of the hospital and process most types of data.
- SenseCare has the capability of high concurrency of 3D rendering and clinical application. It can show data to patients or users through a visualized interface.
- This product has been adopted in a hospital in Shanghai, specifically, in the oncology department, to help doctors diagnose cancers.
Tencent is uniquely positioned to leverage patient data for diagnosis
- Healthcare AI is a priority for Tencent, based on the company’s investments and AI partnerships. More than 38,000 medical institutions have a WeChat account and 60% of those institutions allow patients to book appointments online.
- Additionally, 2,000 hospitals accept WeChat payment. These services allow Tencent to collect valuable consumer data that helps train AI algorithms.
- Tencent’s internal R&D efforts resulted in the development of the Miying healthcare AI platform that launched in 2017. This platform helps healthcare professionals diagnose various types of cancers and analyze and manage healthcare records.
- WeDoctor, a subsidiary of Tencent, wants to improve primary healthcare by providing doctors with AI systems that can help them understand patients' symptoms and suggest diagnoses and treatment plans.
- At present, WeDoctor has connections with more than 2,700 hospitals in China. The arrangements are made through contracts with local governments, who also have access to the biodata that WeDoctor collects on citizens through its services.
Ping An Good Doctor platform is experiencing rapid growth
- Ping An Good Doctor is China’s largest online healthcare platform with 54.7 million monthly active users.
- The company's revenue grew 78.7 per cent in 2018 to 3.33 billion yuan from 2017. Artificial intelligence-assisted family doctor consultation provided 12.3 per cent of revenue, with a gross margin of 40 per cent.
- The company launched One-minute Clinic, an unmanned AI-powered healthcare clinic. This is part of a growing trend in China to use AI to accelerate healthcare and streamline the number of human medical professionals needed to serve the population.
Infervision's use of patient data to build an effective cancer identification tool.
- Infervision, a Beijing based startup, has amassed more than a million scans from Chinese hospitals that it’s using to train and test algorithms.
- Infervision created its algorithm to identify cancerous lung nodules by gathering more than 400,000 lung scans from Chinese partners, such as leading Beijing research centre Peking Union Medical College Hospital and in over two years, it sent each image for review by three radiologists at its Beijing office. Their annotations created the feedstock to train and test image-processing algorithms.
- In China, Infervision is refining its lung-analysis software to look for other things, like bone fractures and emphysema, and testing algorithms that analyze brain scans for signs of a stroke.
iCarbonX has the intent of digitizing everyone's life information
- Tencent invested in iCarbonX, a company that aims to develop a digital representation of individuals to help perfect personalized medicine.
- iCarbonX’s ambition is to build a consumer-facing AI platform that is a one-stop-shop for all things health and wellness from skincare and nutrition recommendations to behavioural health and genetic analysis with users unlocking different functionalities based on their level of membership. At the highest tier, users would even be offered health and life insurance.
- iCarbonX focus is on providing highly individualized care through massive data sets, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence.
- iCarbonX promises to mine health data at a speed and scale unmatched by its competitors.
- As part of the agreement to join iCarbonX’s “digital alliance,” US startups like SomaLogic and HealthTell will commercially launch their genetic tests in China.
Alibaba platform for the healthcare sector
- In 2017, Alibaba Health launched Doctor You which is an intelligent diagnostics solution that uses image recognition for early diagnosis of cancer.
- Alibaba Cloud has also partnered with Wuhan Landing Medical High-tech Co. to develop a system that detects early-stage cervical cancer using cell cytology. This system uses advanced visual computation and AI technologies.
- In March 2017, Alibaba Cloud launched ET Medical Brain, a comprehensive suite of AI-based solutions for the medical industry.
- Some advanced applications leverage AI-based medical imaging for the diagnosis of diseases and tumours. The solution improves the accuracy of detection and reduces misdiagnosis.
We could not find companies developing platforms (apps, websites) or technologies which are providing patient identification tools either based in China or serving the Chinese market. The helpful findings detailed above are companies that are building healthcare platforms for diagnostics and personalized medicine by leveraging Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. Patient Identification also requires Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. Therefore, we determined these companies to be the ones most likely to develop patient identification tools and technologies in the future. These companies are Sensetime, Ping An Good Doctor, Infervision, iCarbonX and Alibaba.
To find companies developing patient identification platforms or technologies, we started by searching for healthcare startups in China and companies in the healthcare market by looking through company databases and the China healthcare industry report from sources such as Deloitte, PeW Research, IBIS World etc. On the course of our research, we discovered that 'patient identification' is mostly used within the context of biometric and wearable devices in the healthcare sector. We also tried to determine if international companies (like RightPatient) which provide patient identification tools had ventured into China. Unfortunately, we couldn't any company developing patient ID platforms or tools.
Next, we looked for news articles about patient identification technology in China and this led us to companies like AmoyDx, Congenica and Tencent Holdings, which have already been included in the previous research brief. Using this strategy, we could not find additional companies.
Then, we decided to look for companies building healthcare platforms in China or for the Chinese market, to see if any of them had ventured into patient identification. This is where we found companies like Sensetime, Ping An Good Doctor, Infervision, iCarbonX, Tencent and Alibaba which were leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Big Data for diagnostics and personalized medicine to cater to the Chinese market. But none of the companies is developing tools for patient identification. But because the technology behind diagnostics and personalized medicine could be used to develop the patient identification tools in the future, we decided to include them in the helpful findings.
After exhausting all our research strategies, we concluded that there are no more companies involved in developing platforms or technologies which are providing patient identification tools either based in China or serving the Chinese market.