Led by co-founders Dr. Keith Tsui and Luis Ulloa, this question-answering search tool is designed to help medical professionals with clinical decision-making at the point of care.
Imagine you’re at a doctor’s appointment and you notice your physician is Googling something. How do you feel? Are you worried, concerned, uncertain? All of the above? Rightfully so. The internet is filled with inaccurate information, so watching your doctor Googling a diagnosis can feel frightening.
According to NewsGuard, a website committed to fighting misinformation in journalism, more than one in 10 medical news websites accessed by Americans include bad data, meaning that when a patient or a provider is seeking medical information, there’s a good chance it’s incorrect.
A 2013 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center read that 72% of American adult internet users admitted they looked online for health information in the previous year, while 35% of American adults admitted to going online for the sole purpose of finding a medical diagnosis for themselves or a loved one.
According to Dr. Keith Tsui, CEO & Co-founder of Medwise.ai, Google provides a lot of patient-oriented information because a majority of users trying to access medical information are patients. Research shows that more than 70% of physicians use Google at least once daily for professional purposes. This means that if a physician is looking to Google for medical information, which many doctors around the world rely heavily upon, they won’t be accessing the latest, most accurate medical information effectively.
Even further, if a physician does find the right page in search, they have to actually locate the right solution, which is completely ineffective and can cost valuable time.
“This problem is going to increase exponentially,” says Dr. Tsui. “The amount of research and innovation right now is great. But, clinicians just can’t keep up. Fifty years ago, there were probably one — maybe two — drugs to treat diabetes, now the list is endless. We really need a smart tool to support the healthcare workforce so that patients get the best care possible.”
That’s changing, thanks to Dr. Tsui and his team at Medwise.ai. They’ve combined information retrieval technologies with the latest transformer-based neural networks to allow physicians to find the clinical answers they need instantly at the point of care.
When Keith began practicing medicine in Hong Kong, he worked 36 hours shifts. In the middle of the night at 2 am, he’d have to search for information to find what’s the best way to manage patients. On one hand, Dr. Tsui had an old, beat-up booklet filled with approaches written by his seniors that he could refer to during his shifts. And on the other hand, he had Dr. Google. However, Google is not the best tool for clinicians working under pressure and is time-poor. Google results are organized by clicks and search volumes, and may not bring up the most up-to-date, accurate, and relevant information. Visible use of Google during consultation can also worry patients, and instill a lack of confidence in their doctor’s knowledge and decision-making.
“I started to question myself,” Dr. Tsui says. “Is this information really up to date?” “Is this information evidence-based?” “Is this the best practice that I can provide to my patients?”
That self-doubt was the exact spark that led Dr. Tsui on a moonshot mission to solve one of the healthcare industry’s most common problems: access to accurate and relevant medical information. In 2019, he teamed up with original co-founder Dr. Daniel Duma and got to work. Now, two years later, Luis Ulloa joined the company as CTO and Co-founder and began leading the tech teams at Medwise.ai. Luis is an entrepreneur with extensive experience working on AI’s hardest challenges. He previously co-founded Bloomsbury AI, which was acquired by Facebook AI in 2018. And for the past 10 years, he has been leading applied research and development teams, pushing the limits of the state of the art. Medwise was well on its way to putting Dr. Google into retirement, where it belongs.
“We realized that there was so much opportunity to really bring technology into healthcare and how that would really make the lives of clinicians and healthcare professionals much better, allowing them to really focus on what matters most — delivering compassionate care to patients.”
Under the Hood
Medwise.ai is simple. It’s a question-answering search platform that supports healthcare professionals at the point of care by quickly finding and curating the latest, accurate, and most importantly, most relevant medical
information to provide the best care for patients. The best part? It’s 100% free for end-users. Here’s how it works.
Doctors and organizations can simply go to the Medwise.ai website and type a keyword or question into the query bar. Using the latest artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology, Medwise.ai searches its entire library of curated trusted sources, like the NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries and other professional knowledge bases, which are all vetted by clinicians. The algorithm then selects the most appropriate sentences or keywords from those sources to provide an answer to a question within seconds.
“This is significantly more advanced than Google which will likely point you to the right website, but will still require navigation and reading of the site or page to find the required information.” Dr. Tsui says. “Our AI actually goes through that information and gives healthcare professionals a correct and specific answer. ”
Using transformer-based neural network technology, Medwise.ai can classify almost any query, breaking down what the implied search or inputted keywords actually means. It provides answers to almost any question and aggregates the most commonly asked questions for even quicker reference to trending topics.
In addition to the existing web browser format, the platform has a desktop app so that any information that clinicians may need is only a click away.
“We will be developing a mobile app version of this as well in the near future. We want clinicians from anywhere in the world to have access to the platform,” Dr. Tsui says.
Why We’re Proud to Invest
Like many great health innovations, Medwise.ai was born from personal experience and a desire to put the patient back at the center of care. Dr. Keith Tsui has dedicated his career to solving a problem that he personally encountered as a practicing physician — the difficulty in finding actionable and concise evidence-based answers at the point of care.
One reason we’re excited about backing the team at Medwise.ai is that there is endless opportunity. Medical information is constantly being updated and revised, but accessing it is laborious. Medwise.ai is leveraging the best technology to drive that process and help doctors and physicians gain access to accurate medical data from anywhere in the world.
We’re also backing Medwise.ai because Keith and Luis are on a health moonshot mission to improve the quality of care for every patient, no matter where they are in the world. The team has partnered with an NGO to pilot their solution in Africa and other places outside of the UK and US to provide these healthcare professionals with immediate access to up-to-date medical information on best practice care pathways and protocols.
“The greatest impact Medwise could have is in developing worlds,” Dr. Tsui says. “With the local resource constraints and high population-low clinician ratio, a tool like Medwise can really support those healthcare professionals and improve the lives of millions of patients across the world.”