The journey of a lifetime…
A little over 18 months ago, we invested in a company called K Health. The co-founder Allon Bloch, famous for previous stints with Wix and Vroom, told us that he wanted to rethink healthcare using Artificial Intelligence “AI”, Machine Learning “ML” and Data. He thought the time had come when the confluence of these trends made it possible to bring historic changes to a dysfunctional global industry.
Listening to him, we simply knew that we had to be part of the adventure. His vision was to deliver an app that would make healthcare diagnosis faster and more accurate than a human, using the concept of People like Me “PLM” to tell you how people just like you with the same symptoms had been treated. The objective was all about giving people more information and knowledge… a sort of information revolution, where the “going to a doctor” experience had not really changed in 5000 years.
What was there not to love? To boot, Allon’s co-founders are non-other than Adam Singolda, the founder of Taboola, Israel Roth and Ran Shaul. A rock star team if there ever was one.
The past 18 months have indeed been magical. The company delivered a product called “K”, which has more than lived up to expectations. It has been tested, validated and promoted by insurance companies, clinics and self-insured companies, confirming our conviction that healthcare is entering an era of massive software driven change.
We recently launched “K” in New York City confirming that a direct-to-consumer offering using the PLM approach has true consumer appeal. After all, when ill, people are looking for immediate peace of mind. Up until now, their unique yet almost natural place to turn to was one of the search engines... and we all know how that usually turns out. Not surprisingly, a recent study suggests that 65% of all Americans first turn to search engines for health information.
Of course, the PLM approach could not work without a vast amount of data, and K does not disappoint. The company currently has a database of 2.5 million patient records spanning 20 years, which includes diagnosis and treatment data. The obvious benefit is that when you use the app you are being compared to 2.5 million humans with thousands of real doctors diagnosis and treatments.
Given the state of global healthcare, there is no doubt in our mind that we will have an opportunity to make the world a better place. All indicators suggest that the system in developed countries is on the edge of collapse while the other half of the world’s population does not even have access to basic primary healthcare.
To make my point, I could list infinite data points but will limit it to my current favorite “sad” facts:
28% of US men and 17% of US women don’t have a GP.
In rurual India and China, 3 out 4 medical diagnosis are incorrect.
The world is short of physicians. In the US alone most studies suggest a shortage of doctors as high as 120,000 by 2030.
Doctors don’t have time. Given the nature of how they are compensated, they rush patients in and out. A recent study suggests doctors only listen to the first 11 seconds of your visit.
Rare is it to find a company that has the potential to impact the world so profoundly. K is not about “likes”, “followers”, or “scooters” but about bringing healthcare peace of mind to the world. Its a noble cause and a worthy adventure and it just might turn into a good business.
We feel privileged to be involved with K Health. We’ve been waiting for this company for 18 years and look forward to an explosive ride. It is likely the most important company we have ever funded.