Japanese startup Ubie brings AI symptom checker to the US

Japanese medical technology start-up Ubie has launched its AI symptom checker in the United States.

The web-based Ubie AI Symptom Checker generates relevant questions about a user’s symptoms from around 3,500 types of question data based on its database of 50,000 medical articles.

After answering around 20 questions, users can find out associated diseases and more detailed information about their possible conditions. It also guides them to access appropriate medical care, leading them to the right health facility for proper consultation.

The US version of this service comes with custom AI algorithms for questions related to disease symptoms and names, taking into account disease trends and other regional characteristics.

The web application, which covers more than 1,000 diseases, is free and does not require registration. Currently, more than three million people use the app every month, according to the company.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT

Ubie noted on its website that even with the wide availability of information on the Internet, “it is still difficult to make appropriate decisions about medical care.”

“Our goal is to use technology to guide people to appropriate medical care and increase average life expectancy around the world,” CEO and co-founder Dr. Yoshinori Abe said in a separate statement.

Since its creation in 2017, Ubie has been aiming for global expansion. In 2020, it opened an office in Singapore.

“I am confident that Ubie, born of advanced medical technology from Japan, will benefit the health of the American people,” he said.

MARKET OVERVIEW

Ubie enters the competitive AI-based symptom checker market. One of the biggest names in the space is publicly traded Babylon, which offers a chatbot that helps users narrow down their potential conditions and direct them to care resources. Originally from the UK, he entered the US in 2019 – the same year its Polish rival Infermedica expanded into the market.

Last year, digital health start-ups K Health raised $132 million in a Series E funding round, the proceeds of which it planned to use to build its mobile app. What sets it apart from the pack is its paid service option for patients looking for a direct doctor consultation.

Virginia C. Taylor