The Swiss artificial intelligence technologies in the service of medicine

Program with elements of artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to become a “miracle weapon” in the hands of clinics, hospitals and medical practices. They can afford to increase the accuracy of diagnoses, reduce the amount of bureaucratic work, to provide physicians the opportunity to spend more time with patients. Switzerland has all the prerequisites to become a world center of technology development of AI in healthcare. But there is and its complexity. A medical treatment that many people want to get fixed is a cleft lip, that’s why technology advancement is important because it could help with many treatments.

Today’s smart machines can do what yesterday seemed unscientific fiction. For example, they can rummage through the Internet, to seek out relevant data scattered across thousands of publications in scientific journals, to combine them into a single complex and to inform physicians about the latest trends in healthcare. Programs bots can scour the Internet chat rooms and forums, identifying users who are prone to suicide. Algorithms can monitor the dynamics of development and the spread of epidemics and to predict the time and place of outbreaks of rare diseases. Special programs speech recognition can lead to real-time protocols of communication between doctor and patient. Mobile applications-applications can diagnose and make predictions for people with, for example, skin diseases.

Switzerland has all the prerequisites to become a world center of technology development of AI in healthcare. The country already has a very developed infrastructure-business and scientific “ecosystems” that enable productive cooperation and to unite the resources and efforts of the representatives of academic science, big business in pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, young Yes early startups with crazy, but who knows, maybe a genius, ideas and developments, financiers and politicians at all levels. Of course, that great concentration of innovation, capital, and political stability did not go unnoticed within the country and abroad.

Confederation — the country banks? You can forget about it. Switzerland is, if anything, the country tablets and powders, potions and other medicines.

Author: Russian edition SWI Swissinfo and newspaper SonntagsZeitungНе accident that the city of Basel, which houses the headquarters of the Swiss pharmaceutical giants such as Roche and Novartis, the second time was the venue of the Conference on the implementation of technologies with elements of self-learning and artificial intelligence in healthcare “Intelligent Health Amnesiaa link“. However, experts say that not all so rosy here and Switzerland have more to do in terms of removal of still existing barriers, not allowing the country to become the “Silicon valley” in the field of pharmaceuticals. Among them: a narrow and fragmented domestic market, as well as features of labor and entrepreneurial culture.

“We are moving forward in small steps”

“No, Switzerland is not Silicon valley, says Martin Piercy (Martin Pietrzyk), the Director and founder of a startup Unit8Внешняя link, a company developing solutions based on technologies of machine learning and artificial intelligence specifically for the needs of the health sector. “In USA people from the beginning think globally, giant categories and perspectives, while we, rather, go forward in small steps, being sometimes excessively modest and reserved”. Probably a rare exception that proves the rule, has become the company MindmazeВнешняя link, which is now worth a billion dollars and which is due to the Indian investors have been among the first Swiss startups “unicorn” (a firm standing from $ 1 billion).

The company originated in the business and innovation ecological environment created around the Lausanne Polytechnic (EPFL). But, as already mentioned, other examples only confirms the rule: Switzerland has not yet managed to become the El Dorado and the promised land for all those who have a crazy idea and are willing to risk to put it into practice. If you believe prepared Swiss Telecom giant Swisscom so-called “Artificial Intelligence Startup Marvana link“, that is, the overview report listing the major Swiss innovative companies working in the field of artificial machine intelligence, then those firms with headquarters in Switzerland yet, there are God forbid two dozen.

According to the website startup.sunesta link as of today in Switzerland was 211 enterprises and innovative companies with a focus on programs and technologies with elements of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Another 75 companies are involved in the application of information technology in the field of therapy and health care. If you compare Switzerland with similar size and resources of the country, for example, with Israel, we will see, there is only in the field of “digital health” now there are 146 companies-startups. In this sense, Israel is a bright rising star with a very large, and, more importantly, substantiated claims for market leadership, which is now completely dominated by the USA and China.

And Switzerland? Compared with its Western European neighbours, the share of Swiss startups working on technologies of big data Analytics and artificial intelligence remains quite modest. To such conclusion comes, for example, the online platform startupticker.sunesta link, a data Bank containing information on nearly 4,000 companies and startups operating in various sectors of the economy. Only 14% of such firms, according to this site, working in the fields of biotechnology, Informatics and medical equipment. However, according to the General Director of the Swiss startup Curo-HealthВнешняя link Stefan Sutter (Stefan Suter), Switzerland has an absolute trump card in respect of the framework conditions for the development of projects in the field of innovation-oriented businesses.

Швейцарские технологии искусственного интеллекта на службе у медицины

Stefan Suter (Stefan Suter), CEO of Curo-Health.

(Dominique Soguel)he Recently returned home from Singapore and can therefore compare. “Taxes in Switzerland are moderate. Personnel are educated. The reputation of the country is beautiful. Cost me abroad to show your Swiss card as I immediately began to relate differently. This card can be very what to do for you, especially in the so-called “emerging markets of threshold countries.” And Switzerland? Especially a large number of quite serious flaws I’ve honestly not seen.”

The growth of the degree of global popularity

This young man’s name is Alomi Faraz (Faraz Oloumi). He’s from Canada and he now heads a startup company to develop specialized software that helps with a fairly high degree of accuracy to predict what are the chances of the patient losing vision as a result of inflammation of the inner lining of the eye. He recently moved his company to Switzerland, becoming one of three winners of the “innovation of the tender”, held in Basel in the framework of the one-day programme to attract promising innovative companies (DayOne Startup-Accelerator-Lodgement link). He developed the algorithm in General produces a diagnosis, which is five percent more diagnoses, the authors are experienced medical experts.

Швейцарские технологии искусственного интеллекта на службе у медицины

Is it true that the Canton of Geneva is difficult to remain attractive for foreign companies and their employees?

Author: Simon Bradley (Simon Bradley)According to F. Olumi, moving from Canada to Switzerland has allowed his company AurteenВнешняя link to develop much faster, given the fact that the process of registration as a legal entity in Switzerland was easier to get. “You can count on a variety of types of support: it and technical support, and case coaching is and advice on business development, available results of clinical trials, favorable legislative regulation, even attracting investors at the initial stage to mobilize financial resources at your disposal,” he says. However, for him personally it makes sense to save partial its presence in Canada for fast and non-bureaucratic access to arrays of data for research purposes.

Egle B. Thomas (Egle B. Thomas) works in Switzerland as a consultant in the company DayOneВнешняя link, one of the few innovation centres in the Confederacy, and actively uses its accumulated experience in California. “Silicon valley provides a very rapid growth and very good financing at the later stages, but I think in the early stages in Switzerland more than the USA, chances are “business incubators”, and there have more support, because the business here is considered not only from a commercial standpoint, but also from the point of view of its contribution to the public good”.

The number of applications received from startups to participate in the program DayOne and their structural features indicate that the global attractiveness of Switzerland as business platform continues to grow. In the past 2018 from 59 submitted applications, only 33 applications were received from Swiss start-UPS, the rest came from foreign applicants. According to Fabien Streiff (Streiff Fabien), instructor for the Department of innovation and health in the company DayOne, such results would not have been possible without large-scale information and advertising campaigns around the world.

The weight on the feet: information and credits

According to Fabien Streiff, Switzerland, when it comes to digital health, immediately faced with two problems. First, this restriction of access to large amounts of data than large countries have a natural advantage, and secondly, that problems with the placement and promotion of this specific product on the market.

Швейцарские технологии искусственного интеллекта на службе у медицины

Concern Roche relies on processing large amounts of data. Boosting the transition to advanced digital technology, he is looking for suitable professionals.

Author: Jessica Davis Plus (Jessica Davis Plüss)And if the biotech industry provides its products in a clear and explicit path to market, the access to the customers with the products in the field of digital health, the same clear picture is not” — said F. Streiff. “To enter the market in different ways, and it is difficult for innovative start-UPS,” she says, as how, for example, companies will want to by working on the basis of the AI program in diagnostic imaging or research programme in the field of creation of new medicines?

And here’s another story. As the entrepreneur said Christopher Rudolf (Christopher RudolfВнешняя link), plan the creation of your company Volv GlobalВнешняя link in Switzerland he had during the interview with the Swiss Ambassador in London at the event dedicated to innovation in the field of medical insurance. One of the first projects, which involved his company with its head office in Lausanne Technopark BiopôleВнешняя link in Lausanne, is providing information support to a pharmaceutical company in the process of identifying additional patients with a rare disease, whose prevalence was one in a million people, and which respond to treatment only specialized drug with this particular company.

The fly in the ointment has not done. If a simple registration as a legal entity in Switzerland went almost without problems, then K. Rudolph suddenly found that at the initial stage of development of the company’s major problem was to ensure continuity of funding.

Швейцарские технологии искусственного интеллекта на службе у медицины

While in other countries invent nascop, Switzerland slowly raised himself, according to WIPO, in the world’s innovation leaders.

Author: Joe Fahey (Jo Ann), Bern.”You have a whole package of projects, and the Bank is telling you: “Sorry, we can’t help with money, your company still two years old. In the UK, it is simply unthinkable”. Cantonal subordination, and therefore the fragmentation of the health system of Switzerland is, according to him, another problem. Across the country there are up to six dozen major health insurance companies and they simply have no incentive to take risks and to start some major reforms.

To connect with pharmaceutical giants – not always easy

In Switzerland, however, there are big chances: first of all, due to the high degree of concentration in such a small country global pharmaceutical companies. “Pharmaceutical companies are our important client base, and it is difficult from this point of view, to find a place better than Switzerland, and what, specifically, the city of Basel,” says the company’s founder CuroHealth Stefan Suter. He notes that the collaboration with Novartis has seriously strengthened the authority of the company in the eyes of other business partners, with whom he later developed business relations in the pharmaceutical industry.

However, founders of other startups, refusing official comment, said behind the scenes in an interview with reporters, what is actually to gain recognition or attention from the major pharmaceutical companies in Switzerland is often very difficult. And even if someone have such a chance, many are simply afraid that their ideas will be able to steal and copy. Abdollahi Shahram (Shahram EbadollahiВнешняя link), head of Department of information technology and artificial intelligence Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis recognizes that in the eyes of the smaller companies its concern “may resemble an elephant. Perhaps these firms really difficult to understand whom they should contact in order to establish business contacts,” he says.

Therefore, in the past year, Novartis has established a network Womensnet link — structure that helps its work groups and departments to cooperate with strategic partners, including small start-UPS through the creation of adaptable, built with reliance on digital technology, forms of interaction between mobile startups with this pharmaceutical elephant-giant. With his rival Novartis group “Roche” starts soon in Munich, Germany, your startup acceleratorfree link with a specialization in the field of digital health.

This goes the same way the company NVIDIAВнешняя linkthat supports the development of more than 1,800 startups across Europe. However, the number of startups that are supported specifically in Switzerland, the firm refused to name. Mark Stampfli Manager NVIDIA on this country, says that the technology of AI and machine learning are qualitatively different from technology products of the past. Turbine can make only Siemens, but the “technology AI can develop even small businesses. Should only the firm to find its niche – and in it, it may already become a player of global scale.” Well? How about this, Elon Musk?

Share Button