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Startup Story

Infermedica is making healthcare more accessible with AI

Infermedica Team

How a Polish healthtech startup reduced bias and achieved 95% engine-accuracy

Artificial intelligence has not always been as advanced as it is today, but savvy entrepreneurs saw possibilities for advancing society in its earlier, more playful uses. In 2010, Infermedica’s cofounder and CEO Piotr Orzechowski was playing an AI-powered game of 20 questions and asked what other applications this technology might have. Orienting the questions around health symptoms, Piotr created Infermedica: a suite of mobile, web and chatbot apps that makes it easier to pre-diagnose, triage, and direct patients to appropriate medical services. Combining algorithms, AI and medical expertise, Infermedica helps insurance, healthcare, and pharmaceutical companies increase efficiency, improve patient flow, and reduce costs.

“By 2030, over 5 billion people across the world won't have access to even basic healthcare.” Infermedica’s Chief Commercial Officer, Amanda Bury (MS) shares this sobering stat to emphasize the urgency of the company’s mission: “to make primary care more accurate, accessible and convenient for everybody.” Founded in Poland in 2012, today Infermedica is a global company supporting 100+ healthcare providers and insurers in 35 countries and 24 languages. Their AI allows patients to screen themselves, thus bypassing the need for initial medical consultations; by demystifying symptoms and presenting a clear route to the appropriate level of care, Infermedica alleviates pressure on healthcare providers and improves efficiency across the board.

Infermedica’s AI comprises three elements: an inference engine, the product’s core AI capability, which mimics a clinician’s expertise to analyze symptoms; the second level runs the analysis through a medical knowledge base to identify the level of care the patient needs, running symptoms through five possible levels of triage (including calling an ambulance, telemedicine, or self-care); finally, its natural language processing (NLP) model translates complex medical language to make it more accessible to patients for a humanized healthcare experience. Amanda describes the efficacy of their AI as “being able to think like a human, but act like an engine.” As well as its B2B solution, Infermedica’s B2C app Symptom Mate is a free-of-charge service that has carried out over 15 million checkups. While the app doesn’t offer a care endpoint, its predictive AI gives users diagnostic insights and points them in the right direction.

Infermedica has achieved a 95% engine-accuracy rate with an AI that has used direct input from over 97,000 clinician hours to “mirror the approach of a professional through an AI technology,” Amanda tells us. As a result, the healthtech company is now one of the world's most advanced medical knowledge bases, empowering patients with personalized information and options while supporting global healthcare systems.

The radically increased efficacy and enhanced patient experience are compelling use cases for the 100+ healthcare providers and insurers in 35 countries and 24 languages that have adopted Infermedica’s AI. One of Infermedica’s biggest clients to date is the country of Australia: “Today, we're providing the virtual triage for all 28 million people in Australia,” Amanda tells us, referring to the diagnostic technology that directs patients to the right level of care via Australian healthcare providers and the national medical advice line.

Infermedia places huge emphasis on the human quotient to inform its machine learning capabilities. Amanda explains why this is so important not just to the company, but to healthcare at large: “As we continue to grow at Informatica, we make sure that our AI engines are creating an unbiased approach and answers to critical questions. We take these things very seriously in terms of how our engine is performing based on location and geography, socio-economic need, and gender preferences, so all of those are absolutely critical.” Infermedica walks the walk with 50/50 employee gender parity and 200+ employees located across the globe, priding itself on having created a culture that reflects its principles. Amanda continues, “It’s very hard without working at a large company like Google to gain the knowledge and experience of working with a multinational, multicultural team [creating impact] in healthcare. It's very hard to achieve, but we do it very well.”

At Infermedica, developing trust and AI go hand-in-hand. “As a growth company, we're always looking to the thought leaders and the people in this space that are paving the way for best practices in AI, shaping how patients are leveraging these tools and technology in meaningful and trusted ways,” Amanda tells us. Having spent over a decade building and clinically validating their AI with third parties and over 100 customers, Infermedica is committed to fine-tuning its technology by paying close attention to the best practices of AI leaders using latest advances such as Gemini. Amanda explains that transparency among leading industry players about what does and doesn’t work is critical to building a product people can trust in order to “really understand the responsibility of using technologies like this and how you deploy them into certain ecosystems”.

Infermedica calls itself “a full-on Google shop”—as well as Gmail and video conferencing to marketing tools, the company has built its product on Google Cloud. As longtime users of Google Cloud tools, they have met customers’ data sovereignty requirements while working without performance loss and prioritizing security. Amanda tells us, “We look at our Google partnership as 360; it's everything from the day-to-day work, to how we integrate with the network. It helps our team that we have this kind of unification between both our products and our people.”

Infermedica participated in two Google for Startups programs—Founders Academy and Google for Startups Accelerator: Europe—and credits access to Google’s resources with supporting their growth through mentorship, “from a soft skill perspective to the right leadership feedback, and how to implement and execute on best practices related to goal management.” They have implemented program learnings to develop a strong OKR practice and tailor their pitch to audiences and investors across markets. “Google for Startups connected us to amazing mentors and coaches, and we met founders aspiring to change the world with their businesses,” says cofounder and CEO Piotr Orzechowski. “We’re investing heavily in our people and our products and rolling out new modules of our platform as well as expanding our underlying AI capabilities in terms of disease coverage and accuracy.”

Working with Google for Startups has been one of the most meaningful events in my development as a leader. World-class coaches, amazing founders and the fantastic team at Google helped me discover new ways of looking at problems and allowed me to learn more about myself.
Piotr Orzechowski, CEO
Learn more about Infermedica