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Samsung and Bayer invested in Ada Health

German digital AI health firm Ada Health, which was developed by using artificial intelligence for diagnosing symptoms which have been backed by investment arms of South Korea’s Samsung and German giant Bayer.

Ada Health announced on Thursday that it has raised around $90 million funding that brings total investment in the company up to around $150 million.

Bayer led the round through its Leaps by Bayer investment arm, while Samsung invested through the Samsung Catalyst Fund, which is a U.S.-based venture capital fund that Samsung Electronics utilizes to back companies worldwide. Samsung Electronics’ former chief strategy officer and corporate president, Young Sohn, has also joined the board of Ada Health.

It was founded in 2011 by entrepreneurs Claire Novorol, Martin Hirsch, and Daniel Nathrath. Ada Health mentioned that its app has been downloaded by more than 11 million times.

 How it works

The patient starts by inputting their symptoms and an AI chatbot will request a series of questions to determine the issue. After that, the app will present the patient with the conditions that are most likely to be the source and offers some suggestions on what to do next to address the matter.

The iOS and Android apps provide common guidance such as to see a GP in the next three days. But when patients intermingle with Ada Health through a health system that utilizes the app, they can go straight into booking an appointment and sharing the result of their pre-assessment with a real doctor, as per Nathrath.

The entrepreneur added that the company has signed contracts with numerous health systems, health insurers, and life sciences companies. Axa OneHealth, Novartis, Pfizer, and SutterHealth are all listed as partners on Ada Health’s website.

While the app is free for patients to download, Ada Health charges partners for entrance to its software.

The company believed the new funding will be used to benefit it expand deeper into the U.S., which is already its biggest market with 2 million users. Elsewhere, Ada Health has almost 4 million users across the U.K., Germany, Brazil, and India, with around 1 million in each.

The funding will also be used to improve the company’s algorithms, add to the medical knowledge base and go beyond 10 languages, Nathrath said.

He also needs to feed the Ada Health app with more information beyond symptom data provided by the patient. That could include lab data, genetic testing, and sensor data, Nathrath mentioned.

“Smartwatches and other sensors have really made a big leap forward,” Nathrath said. “Nowadays you can measure your blood pressure, you can do an ECG, measure heart rate variability and blood oxygen levels.”

“Our ambition is really to build what we call a personal operating system for health where you wouldn’t just have a symptom check, but you would be able to integrate all relevant sources of health information in a way where ideally Ada becomes this companion that can alert you before the £100 problem becomes a £100,000 a year problem.”

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