Interview with Daniel Nathrath, Co-founder and CEO of Ada Health GmbH
At MEDICA 2018, the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM features a panel discussion on "Artificial Intelligence for Patients" on Monday at 12:00 p.m. Health bots and voice-controlled interfaces for patients are designed to make it easier for healthcare professionals to perform their jobs in the future. The latest AI technology already makes fairly accurate diagnoses, though it is still a long way from being able to replace a human doctor.
In this MEDICA-tradefair.com interview, Daniel Nathrath from Ada talks about their health bot and the future of AI-supported applications in medicine.
Mr. Nathrath, why do users of Ada want to write with a bot rather than talk to a doctor?
Daniel Nathrath: 80 percent of people now google their symptoms, showing that there is a real demand for easily accessible health information and an enormous opportunity to empower people to play a more active role in managing their health. However, the results of a basic internet search are unlikely to be helpful when dealing with something as complicated as healthcare.
Ada’s mobile symptom assessment app acts like a personal health guide, combining AI and human medical expertise to help people understand what might be causing their symptoms, and then make an informed decision about what to do next.
Digital health tools like Ada can provide a meaningful step by providing timely access to credible health information, a safe and confidential outlet for individuals to address their initial concerns and empower them to seek the appropriate guidance. We regularly receive feedback from people who use our app, of how Ada has helped give them the confidence to speak more openly about sensitive health issues or seek the appropriate care.
What are the advantages of bots for users and doctors?
Nathrath: Ada helps people get better healthcare information and guidance. Mobile apps can help individuals to understand and manage their health through personalized health assessments, empowering them to make informed decisions about what to do next.
For doctors, Ada provides earlier, more comprehensive health information and decision support. This helps them to ask the right questions and make the right decisions, while also freeing up more time for patient care.
What do you think: What else will "health bots" make possible in the future?
Nathrath: We believe that AI will play an important role in changing the way we access and think about healthcare. It will mean that anyone in the world can access high quality health information, even in remote or rural parts of the world where it can be very difficult to see a doctor or healthcare professional.
AI will also change the way we practice medicine. It will become something that more closely resembles a data science. Many straightforward tasks that currently take up a lot of a doctor’s time will become automated, leaving clinicians free to spend more time seeing patients and focusing on prevention and care.
The speed and volume at which AI can help process hundreds of thousands of conditions and diseases will also enable medical scientists to identify patterns of disease, global health issues and trends, and understand and detect conditions on a whole new level. There are many areas where AI can have a profound effect on healthcare and medicine, and we’re going to continue to see a lot more innovation here in the future.
Why do user data in the healthcare industry need to be specially protected?
Nathrath: Healthcare data and records are of course among the most sensitive types of personal information, so it is important that any data of this nature is handled correctly. Regulatory frameworks that balance robust data security and transparency with innovation will be critical and, important to ensuring individuals remain empowered and in-control of their own information.
We take privacy and security of personal data very seriously and treat this information with extreme care. All personal information is encrypted for both transfer and storage and is stored on secure cloud-based servers within the EU, and our architecture follows the security-by-design principle, implementing strict data separation and encryption of moving data and data at rest. We have received our ISO27001 certification by TÜV Nord. The Ada app is certified as Qualitätsprodukt Internetmedizin by the Bundesverband Internetmedizin in Germany and carries a CE mark.
How well is your app accepted by doctors?
Nathrath: As with anything, opinions do vary but, overall, doctors see a lot of value in tools such as Ada, which can aid the decision support process by suggesting possible causes for symptoms and helping to track symptoms over time.
The fact that Ada can also save doctors time by providing accurate and up-to-date information before an appointment is also hugely valuable. Every doctor is under a lot of pressure and Ada can help give them more time to focus on patient care.
The panel discussion "AI for patients (from healthbots to voice-driven interfaces)" will take place on Monday, 12.11.2018 from 12:00 to 13:00 in the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM. You will find the forum in Hall 15, Stand E56.