Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly advancing. Besides improving everyday activities like mowing your lawn, AI also has great potential to disrupt the healthcare industry. We’ve seen Artefact Group’s mobile clinics and Forward’s answer to a doctor’s office. Now, we’ll take a look at doc.ai. This startup wants to use AI and Blockchain to revolutionize conversations in health care. They just raised $2.3 million in future sales of their new cryptocurrency, Neuron (NRN).
Buying into the Hype
Founded in 2016 by Walter and Sam De Brouwer, doc.ai focuses on leveraging advanced natural language processing (NLP) to improve healthcare. The Palo Alto-based startup had already swooned Silicon Valley prior to its pre-ICO success. doc.ai raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from prominent investors like F50, S2 Capital, Legend Star, and Comet Labs. The company of 17 also has many high-profile clients already.
Some of the biggest names in cryptocurrency supported doc.ai’s initial sale of Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFTs). Famous cryptocurrency investor Pantera Capital bolstered the offering of SAFTs by becoming the lead investor.
“We are excited to be the lead investor in the early SAFT offering by doc.ai. The company offers an unparalleled innovative technology solution at the intersection of blockchain and artificial intelligence.”
– Paul Veradittakit, Co-Chief Investment Office Partner at Pantera Capital
Ethereum cofounder and Jaxx CEO Anthony Di Iorio also invested. “I am amazed by the potential that Doc.ai technology has for millions of people all over the world and possible network effects of the NRN token. I am looking forward to exploring potential synergies between doc.ai and Jaxx,” Iorio said.
The SAFT pre-sales were limited to those who have already invested in or supported doc.ai, or to parties that have expressed a desire to support the Neuron Network, doc.ai’s decentralized AI network. The SAFTs, which equate to doc.ai’s new cryptocurrency, NRN, managed to raise $2.3 million among a total of ten investors.
A New Network of Neurons
The Neuron Network is a “technology platform for quantified biology.” Basically, it will use Blockchain as a timestamp as usual. It will also use Blockchain to decentralize datasets and support its conversational AI.
A patient can inquire with doc.ai about their health. AI derives answers by drawing conclusions from data (medication history, genomics tests, blood tests results, etc.). The patient can also share other information like physician visits, test results, previous illnesses, etc., to improve the AI.
A person can ask questions to the doc.ai mobile app at any time and receive a personalized response from the AI. One can ask “Why did my glucose level change from over 100 last week to 93 this week?” or “How could I decrease my cholesterol in the next few weeks?” and received a contextual answer.
The Neuron Network allows anyone to connect and train their own AI with NRN tokens. Users can also use NRN tokens as prizes for data scientists to build prediction models that provide novel conclusions of quantified biology profiles.
“The initial pre-sale demonstrates for doc.ai the confidence of these investors. We believe that artificial intelligence is poised to revolutionize health care and drastically improve patients’ care and experience, and our investors have proven their adherence to our vision.”
– doc.ai founder and CEO Walter De Brouwer
Advent of Conversational AI
The ICO of NRN is on September 28th. There will be 860 million NRN tokens total; each one represents 100 neurons in the human brain, which has a total of 86 billion neurons. The SAFT offering reserved an estimated 37% (318 million) of NRN tokens. doc.ai will use the funds from the offering to develop the Neuron Network platform and technology more.
NRN’s ICO is one of three occurring in the next few weeks for an Ethereum-based token meant to support conversational AI. Popular chat app Kik has raised $50 million ahead of the September 12th ICO for its Kin token. Advice bot Sensay is launching the ICO for Sense cryptocurrency on October 10th.
Conversational AI applied to technical fields like medical science is exciting to see. This could be the dawn of an era when AI becomes involved in diagnosing technical problems through a combination of data and human communication.
Did you hear about Brainwave, Microsoft’s new real-time AI platform? Want to get into AI instead of just reading about it? Check out our review of Intel’s Movidius Neural Compute Stick.