Japan-based Ubie which focuses on AI-based healthcare products has announced that it has raised $18.7M nonparallel B funding led by SUZUKEN CO. LTD., a listed pharmaceutical distributor company in Japan. The pharma company has also entered into a strategic partnership with Ubie.
Founded in 2017 by Yoshinori Abe and Kota Kubo, Ubie operates a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product for hospitals called AI Monshin and an AI symptom checker App, Ubie, for individual users.
The startup will use fresh funds to extend the utilization of its health-tech platforms, expand its research and development capabilities and also add more staff in its sales and engineering teams.
In addition, Ubie also aims to expand its presence abroad within the near future.
The Ubie for Hospital product, also referred to as AI Monshin (Monshin means an interview going down with a doctor, in Japanese) is an AI-driven medical questionnaire software targeting users at medical institutions, so as to support document creation of clinical records under supervision from specialists. The SaaS solution which was launched in 2017 combines multiple workflow enhancing functions with Clinical Decision Support (CDS).
Al Monshin asks questions to the patients which are answered by them within the waiting area and their answers are summarized and translated into EHR compatible text. Physicians then review the ends up in the examination room before seeing the patient. The data collected by Al Monshin helps physicians examine and diagnose the patient. In line with the startup’s latest statistics in January 2020, quite some 200 medical institutions in Japan are using AI Monshin.
The second product, a consumer-facing AI symptom checker named Dr Ubie, may be a physician supervised symptom checking App where users can understand their symptoms by answering questions prompted by the AI and find out how to address the symptoms supporting the disease information.
The startup also released an add-on COVID-19 triage system on its Ubie for Hospital platform in May 2020. At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan last month, Ubie released this add-on system to confirm better and efficient diagnosis of patients. The startup had also stated that its online screening and triage tool could quickly differentiate between those potentially really sick with COVID-19 and folks with less life-threatening illnesses, which also helps to stop spread of infection and hospitals from being overwhelmed.
In May 2018, Ubie raised an estimated $2.7 million (JPY 300 million) in funding led by Kanden Venture Management (KVM), which is a corporate working capital of The Kansai Wattage company headquartered in Osaka.
Kota Kubo, AI engineer and co-founder of Ubie has been known to state that although technology nowadays supports every aspect of life, and the present Coronavirus pandemic is utilizing new types of technologies to prevent the infection, but many of these technologies and products that are being used by the Japanese people are developed by foreign tech companies, which makes him feel very disappointed and impatient. As a tech entrepreneur, he understands that the COVID-19 situation remains very unpredictable till date, but his country’s progress to this point continues to influence the globe that Japan’s healthcare system is effective and resilient. He also believes that it’s their turn to now support their healthcare workers and that their company is going to play a significant role in combating the present Coronavirus crisis with their one and only mission to develop a healthcare guide for everybody which, within the recent time has become very essential.