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Applying Voice and AI to Diagnostics

Episode 340

Recommended Book:

Factfulness

Mentioned Link:

Company Website

Applying Voice and AI to Diagnostics with Cristian Pascual, Co-Founder & CEO at Mediktor (transcribed by Sonix)

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Saul Marquez: Welcome back to the podcast. Saul Marquez here and I have the pleasure to introduce Cristian Pascual. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Mediktor. He’s also been previous current designations as President of the Barcelona Health hub as well as board member and business angel at Antai Venture Builder. Mediktor is a really fascinating firm. It’s the most advanced and accurate symptom checker for triage and pre diagnosis. The only one clinically validated with a 91.3% accuracy is work at the Barcelona Health Hub is a non-profit organization and they create and promote innovation and digital health and it’s transferred to the sector linking up startups health organizations companies and investors. This is all based in Barcelona where Cristian is based and so it’s a true pleasure to have him on the podcast today and dive through some of his thoughts. Cristian welcome.

Cristian Pascual: Thank you Saul.

Saul Marquez: So Cristian talk to me well… did I leave anything in the bio there that you want to share with the listeners?

Cristian Pascual: Well no you did a great job with the introduction. So yes I’m related and Co-Founder of Mediktor. And we are really having a nice time with that. And also we start the Barcelona Health Hub as to promote innovation in digital health from Barcelona to the world. And yes I’ve been related to some investments in startups here in Spain in the digital health space and out of it since some sometime now and I’m participating with Venture Builder which is the most successful here in Spain. So yeah I think this is pretty much everything.

Saul Marquez: Beautiful. Well you have some very rich experience and I’m looking forward to dive into it. What got you into the medical sector to begin with?

Cristian Pascual: Well that’s because of Oacar who is the Co-Founder of Mediktor. He’s a physician. He’s my best friend, brother in law, and now partner. So…

Saul Marquez: Nice.

Cristian Pascual: The problem is that he was telling me “Well Cristian I like to do some job regarding startups or do something innovative.” And I say “wait a minute you’re a physician you should look at your space and I think digital health, there’s quite a space.” And he well this is talking about these and things that we could do together we started Mediktor now five years ago.

Saul Marquez: Very good. And I briefly touched down on what it was but I love to hear from you. What is Mediktor and why are you guys so unique?

Cristian Pascual: Well we do symptom checking. We try to solve an unsolved problem in the world today which is the first step in healthcare. So physicians approach since today is “okay sit in front of me and I will tell you what to do to solve your health problems.” But the problem… unsolved problem it’s what people decide to do before sitting in front of the right doctor. And that’s a big problem because when we feel symptoms we do the wrong thing. We call our mother. We look into google searching for symptoms. We run to emergency department. We schedule busy with a physician that we think is a more suitable bomb in two weeks. We do a lot of things but we are not trained to do so. I’m not not supported by anything to do the best choice. So we end up doing the wrong thing and that’s a problem because it could be unsafe, could be not the most swindle thing to do could be bearing companion to wait several hours in an emergency department to be diagnosed with something really common that could be done right away. And all these again it’s because people want immediately responds to their health problems. They want a solution right away. And the system is not providing these.

Saul Marquez: Yeah.

Cristian Pascual: So in this space we start working in a software just that could assess symptoms from everyone in a really easy way and in less than four minutes. And that’s why Mediktor says you just experienced how you yeah… you just say how you feel in your own words. No need of any medical warning then on average we do 14 questions. I mean three to four minutes you have your advice. That buys it’s first of all a recommendation on how fast you need to run which is the most important thing. I mean you may need to run right away or maybe something banal that could be true that in 48 hours. So then we give of course the level of urgency and the least a possible disease that you could be suffering. In our platform, we suggest you to share the results with a physician for a final advice on what to do next.

Saul Marquez: Well I think it’s fascinating and probably a lot better than just googling symptoms like a lot of people do.

Cristian Pascual: Yeah absolutely. Because you know what we put a lot of aim in that clinically validated seal. So as you mentioned we are the only symptom checker in the world to with they clinically validated with clinical trials with real patients. And now we are conducting far more clinical trials and we partner hospitals to better improve our results. So it’s not just a toy. We want to be a medical… to have a deeper support with the medical community and provide something really useful and safe.

Saul Marquez: Love it. Cristian you know speed you know you said how how fast you run that is also where you go to right and where you don’t go. Is there a part of kind of what the recommendations are that say definitely don’t go to the E.R. you know this is something you could get from a pharmacy and take care of by yourself.

Cristian Pascual: What do we do this to sell our software as a service to health insurance companies telemedicine platforms and hospitals so they decide where to drive that action.

Saul Marquez: Got it. Nature Yash you guys know right.

Cristian Pascual: We drive patients to the right level of care but then the most suitable service linked to that specific patient will be decide by our clients.

Saul Marquez: Makes a lot of sense.

Cristian Pascual: Yeah you may have a call center or you may have a videoconferencing platform or a hospital and you may drive the action to these places depending on the results.

Saul Marquez: Yes. Okay. Makes a lot of sense. Yeah. So looking at it from a payer or a provider standpoint this is just the way that they could help patients find the right care at the right time for whatever they’re experiencing.

Cristian Pascual: Right.

Saul Marquez: So tell me what’s an example of how Medicare has created results by doing things differently?

Cristian Pascual: Well we launched one year and a half ago a solution with one of the biggest health insurance companies in Europe which is we integrate. We deployed the solution in Spain with an app called Digital Doctor and we demonstrate and showcasing Health 2.0. Last May the results showing that these platform using Mediktor and telemedicine interaction avoided 60% of the visits that would happen if these patients would not access the application so I say the opposite that maybe not quite clear, 60% of the people that using the app after using it declared that they will not need any further medical advice.

Saul Marquez: Interesting. So it’s really just helping people avoid the over utilization of care.

Cristian Pascual: Right. Well I wouldn’t say it’s open to the data and it’s not efficient utilization because we also know that 85 percent of the times people suffer from burnout conditions. So these can be solved with telemedicine. And I wouldn’t say all of it. It’s I could break 50%, 60%. That’s a huge impact because even the 50% that you can know it’s a 10 they we’ll be going to the right place and not struggling into the system.

Saul Marquez: Yeah that makes a lot of sense Cristian. So you guys did a fantastic job. You got an ice contract with one of the largest insurers there. Things are definitely working out. I love to hear if you could share a time when you guys had a setback and what you learned from that setback that’s made you guys better.

Cristian Pascual: Well as a good style guide we make many mistakes because we try everything. I would say in the earlier times we tried many things. One of them I can mention is to go to the B2C. So trying to have incomes from the patients out there and I think that this is not the best approach and our impression is that people is looking yes solutions to their health problems but they want to approach big reliable corporations that they can provide an end to end solution. And well this is our learning in the B2C. I don’t mean that anyone can make it. I’m sure that there will be people out there that can do the job in the B2C we could and but do we learn we shift it and we are the boat to the B2B world now looking for these big corporations to to be our clients.

Saul Marquez: Love it. Yeah it’s definitely one of those industries where B2B tends to make the most sense given them that’s where the money is come from for the most part. Glad you guys realize that and yet you pivoted what would you say since that is one of your proudest experiences that you guys have had to date?

Cristian Pascual: Well I would say that maybe one of our biggest achievements is the buddy nation the clinical validation. We just received an award to New York where the nose health awards for that validation. And I think it’s a step forward in how we think that digital health needs to go which is also to have concerns in the validation from the medical community and well we do a lot of efforts on that. And it’s hard to go through. But yeah I would highlight these as one of our main achievements.

Saul Marquez: Yeah that’s huge the validation matters a lot. So as you guys have gotten these validations you continue to expand. What would you say an exciting project that you’re looking to tackle here soon is.

Cristian Pascual: Well we we really want to have a massive impact in improving access to healthcare worldwide. So we are targeting the world. We have projects now in many countries. Of course our aim is to improve the outcomes of our solution but we want to have a global reach. So today our solution is available in 10 languages and will be available more soon. So we want to help these global reach.

Saul Marquez: Love it. You guys definitely are playing with the end in mind. And that’s exciting. So Cristian, let’s pretend you and I are building a medical leadership course on what it takes to be successful in the business of healthcare. It’s the one on one of Cristian. And so I’ve got five questions for you. We’re gonna d lightning round style so I’ll ask you answer. We’ll go through them pretty quickly and then we’ll finish this round with a book you recommend to the listeners. Ready?

Cristian Pascual: Yeah.

Saul Marquez: All right. What’s the best way to improve healthcare outcomes?

Cristian Pascual: To provide something scalable.

Saul Marquez: What is the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Cristian Pascual: To think that in healthcare things will happen fast. It will take a lot of time.

Saul Marquez: I love that one. How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

Cristian Pascual: Which ends even faster.

Saul Marquez: What’s one area of focus that drives everything in your organization?

Cristian Pascual: To improve our performance.

Saul Marquez: In this last one Cristian, it has two parts. Number one is what is your number one health habit and what is your number one success habit?

Cristian Pascual: Well health it is a practice sports every day if I can. Sorry what was the second one?

Saul Marquez: Your number one success habit?

Cristian Pascual: Well resilience I mean it takes hard work.

Saul Marquez: I love it. That’s a great one. And sport why do you play mostly?

Cristian Pascual: Well it’s a little bit tricky to explain to you because it’s very local. It’s a kind of tennis walls. It’s called padel but it’s a only played in Argentina, Mexico, and Spain.

Saul Marquez: Wow. That’s pretty cool. So it’s kind of like squash or something.

Cristian Pascual: Well it is…

Saul Marquez: Handball?

Cristian Pascual: A squash yes but what if similar size of a tennis court and played outside. So it’s a little…

Saul Marquez: Oh outside.

Cristian Pascual: I know. So it’s like a tennis but you play with walls.

Saul Marquez: Huh. Very cool.

Cristian Pascual: And always two against two.

Saul Marquez: Always two against two so there’s always four opponent there’s always four people on the court.

Cristian Pascual: Right.

Saul Marquez: Interesting. Hey well if when I get out to Barcelona again I’ll definitely have to look you up and we’ll get out there for around you’ll probably kick my butt but at least I get a good sport.

Cristian Pascual: You can give a try. You will enjoy it.

Saul Marquez: That’s awesome.

Cristian Pascual: Of course you have to visit Barcelona Health Hub. It’s really a unique place for digital health. And well we are starting now but really with nice traction and a lot of people joining know the space. Well I think you will hear of it in the near future.

Saul Marquez: Love it. We’ll definitely take a look at that Cristian. And so what book would you recommend to the listeners?

Cristian Pascual: Well I’m now into Factfulness from Hans Rosling and really enjoying it.

Saul Marquez: Really Factfulness. Okay that’s a good one. I haven’t read it. So what’s it about?

Cristian Pascual: Well it’s about the reality of the world. But based on facts not in what we think it is happening and is written by a really well known physician. So that is interesting point of view also. I’m really enjoying.

Saul Marquez: And it’s really in line with your your attempts and your focus to really drive validation focus technology.

Cristian Pascual: Yeah you’re right.

Saul Marquez: I love that. Cristian, this is this is definitely some good stuff. I mean I think you guys are doing some phenomenal work for the listeners. We’ll provide a full transcript of today’s interview go to outcomesrocket.health and in the search bar type in mediktor and you’ll be able to find all of this there. Cristian before we conclude I love if you could just share a closing thought and then the best place for the listeners could learn more about you and what you guys are up to.

Cristian Pascual: Well I think that it’s a really incredible time for innovation in healthcare based in technology. There are great opportunities out there. It’s a really nice space. But you will need to persist because it takes a lot of time to make it happen. But I think it’s the time. So we are enjoying. I would recommend anyone the ones to innovating healthcare to go for it.

Saul Marquez: Love it. A great message Cristian and if the listeners wanted to get in touch or follow your work what’s the best place for them to go?

Cristian Pascual: You can go to mediktor.com and you can give a try to the symptom checker and learn more about what we do.

Saul Marquez: Outstanding. Cristian, thank you so much again and really looking forward to staying in touch.

Cristian Pascual: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.com for the show notes, resources, inspiration, and so much more.

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