Digital Health Champions: Mediktor, making healthcare accessible
Lowering the barriers to access to healthcare and changing it for the better, worldwide. This is the vision behind Mediktor. The service uses artificial intelligence to assess symptoms and support both patient and clinical decision making – a symptom checker of the most recent generation. CEO Cristian Pascual presented the results of two clinical trials of the service at the Health 2.0 Conference in Barcelona and grants us an insight into the story behind Mediktor.
Could you briefly introduce yourself? Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Cristian Pascual, CEO at Mediktor. I am a serial entrepreneur and Business Angel and investing in several innovative business and start-ups. I have worked in management for 19 years.
Why Digital Health and what was your pathway into the field? What is the story behind Mediktor?
Mediktor goes back to Oscar García-Esquirol, Co-Founder of Mediktor, a physician.
One day he wanted to open a restaurant. I told him I thought this was a bad idea, that he had to think about innovating in his field, healthcare, and that I saw a big opportunity mixing digital solutions with healthcare. Sometime later he showed me an app called Akinator. It’s a game where a genius tries to find out the person you are thinking of by asking questions. He told me that the logic behind this was similar to his thinking when assessing patients at an emergency department. This is how we started creating a software that thinks like a physician.
There are many symptom checkers on the market. What is the unique appeal of Mediktor and how do you isolate yourself from competitors?
Many other symptom checkers are in fact quite old. Our service is much more accurate.
We use the latest technology, natural language recognition, machine learning techniques and artificial intelligence. The result is higher accuracy and a tool easy to use.
More than that, we are the first symptom checker in the world with accuracy clinically validated. We’re the first to conduct clinical trials to demonstrate the accuracy, and the results are very good: 91,3%.
What was your biggest professional challenge so far?
I have had many professional challenges working in multinational companies but I think the biggest one is to rise a Start-up from zero.
What was your biggest professional / career success so far?
I cannot think of just one success, I think that we have a little success and small failures every day. The big success is to keep on working hard every day to bring our company further.
What drives you to continually advance your company?
The dream of changing healthcare for the better worldwide. We work to lower the barriers of access to it.
What are your top 3 key experiences from establishing a Digital Health company?
- In healthcare, everything happens slower.
- There is still a lot to be done.
- Doctors are the center of the system, do not forget this.
Are there any milestones in the near future that one can look forward to?
We are now targeting the US market. We recently opened an office in New York and our main goal now is to introduce our solution to the US.
Which Digital Health development so far do you consider the most remarkable?
I think that telemedicine has a great impact and will change the way healthcare is understood.
What is a game-changing product or service in the area of Digital Health?
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge in the field of Digital Health?
That healthcare is in the hands of big organizations that are slow movers.
How is Digital Health going to change our lives and society in 5‚ 10 and 25 years?
Digital Health will change healthcare in less than 5 years, and in 10 years it will be a huge change.
What advice would you give graduates who want to join the Digital Health industry or a Digital Health start-up?
I see great opportunities in this market. It’s a great idea to join this sector since it is only developing and it will play an important role in the future of Healthcare.
Which concrete problems or challenges within the field of Digital Health are these graduates going to face?
They will need to understand that this industry moves slowly and that the fear to change is very high. It will take time and lots of effort to change the existing system.
What new, relevant perspectives do you think recent graduates will bring to the table of their company?
It’s always great to have a clean and virgin perspective of the market. They sure can bring fresh ideas and new solutions.
Which three qualities should an ideal candidate have?
They have to be a good team player and have the perseverance to achieve the goals.
Cristian Pascual, thank you for the interview and all the best for entering the US market!
Cristian Pascual is an Industrial Engineer and MBA by ESADE and the CARLSON School of Management, with 19 years of experience in management.
As a serial entrepreneur and Business Angel, he has launched and invested in several innovative business and start-ups. He is Co-Founder of Teckel Medical since 2011. From 1998 to 2015 he held different management positions in Europastry, the leading Bread & Pastry manufacturer in Spain and Portugal, helping the company to rise from 30 to more than 400 Millions € of turnover.
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