Longevity Network
  • Jan 17, 2018
  • Entrepreneur Spotlight, Health and Safety Awareness

Entrepreneur of the Week: Shady Hassan, Healthymize

Entrepreneur of the Week: Shady Hassan, Healthymize

Healthymize utilizes passive data collected through voice monitoring of phone calls and smart device interactions to detect patterns that may indicate a flare-up in respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD.

We talked to co-founder and CEO, Shady Hassan, about Healthymize and the opportunity they see in the 50+ market.

Longevity Network: What does Healthymize, the company, do?

Shady Hassan: Healthymize is the winner of the 2017 mHealth Startup Competition and the Israeli Ministry of Health’s 2017 Leading Healthcare Initiative Contest. Our product detects flare ups early in voice-affecting diseases, such as asthma, COPD and mental health disorders. Our personalized, artificial intelligence-based, voice monitoring technology gets patients to treatment faster, cuts costs and reduces suffering.

LN: Can you tell us about your product and how it works? 

SH: Healthymize prevents hospitalization and saves billions using personalized, artificial intelligence (AI) based, patented voice technology that turns smartphones, tablets, smart watches and home virtual assistants into continuous health monitoring devices. By utilizing advanced deep learning algorithms to analyze the human voice during regular calls or interaction with these devices, Healthymize AI based technology monitors voice-affecting diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and mental health disorders. Healthymize detects flare ups early, and can connect seamlessly to cloud telehealth services or appointment schedulers to get the patient treated right away.

Our app analyzes the patient’s voice during regular phone calls, and then uploads the analysis to our cloud platform, where it is continuously monitored. We only upload the analysis and this way we protect the privacy of the patients.

LN: What opportunity did you want to address with the development of your technology?

SH: Late detection of flare ups in chronic diseases leads to increased hospitalizations, stepping up pressure on already overburdened healthcare providers, and driving up costs. The first vertical that we are addressing is COPD. Over 384 million people worldwide are diagnosed with COPD. The overall cost of COPD hospitalizations in the US alone was $36 billion in 2014, estimated to reach $49 billion by 2020. COPD flare ups are frequently detected late, since over 40% of the patients wait 4 or more days before they seek medical attention. Even a 24 hour delay in detecting a flare up doubles the risk of hospitalization. Early detection has been proven to reduce the risk of hospitalization and shorten the recovery period. With Healthymize, every patient can be monitored for early detection and treatment of flare ups.

LN: Who are your primary users? In what ways can your products benefit the 50+ population?

SH: Our primary users are COPD patients who are usually in the 50+ population. We can help them detect flare ups early, getting them to treatment faster, reducing the risk of hospitalization. Catching flare ups early increases the chances of treating the patients at home, sparing them the anguish of hospitalization and more extreme treatment.

LN: How did you assemble your team?

SH: Our team is highly experienced in business, medicine and engineering. I was a physician in internal medicine, working on medical software implementation simultaneously. I met my co-founder, Daniel Aronovich, an expert in signal processing and machine learning algorithms in an entrepreneurship program at the Technion Institute of Technology. We founded Healthymize and Rafi Gidron, a leading entrepreneur and investor in the Israeli high tech scene, joined as our pre-seed investor, COB and co-founder. Next we found Shlomo Schwarcz, our VP Software, who has vast experience as a software engineer and developer. We met Maura Rosenfeld, our COO with years of experience in health care business development and start up management, through the Presentense entrepreneurship program.

LN: How has Healthymize, the company differed from what you envisioned it would be (if at all)?

SH: It’s more fun than I could have imagined!

LN: What do you wish you had known before developing your concept?

SH: I wish I had known how to vet potential partners for clinical research and validation more quickly.

LN: What most excites you about the aging and / or health technology market?

SH: We want to bring a good product to market that can really help people. As the baby boomers age, the number of people who will need health care will far outnumber the number of people available to provide it. This is where mobile health applications like ours can make the difference as the health care model goes beyond the walls of the hospital.

LN: What is your best piece of advice for startups who want to include or target the 50+ market?

SH: Talk to your market! Reach out and ask people what they really want. You also need people on your team in that age group. Maura, our COO and our own personal baby boomer, is 50+ and has older parents, so she has insights into these age groups and the aging process that we do not.

LN: Do you have any other products in development?

SH: We will expand our product offering to other diseases, such as asthma and other respiratory diseases, as well as mental health and neurological diseases.

LN: Where do you see Healthymize five years from now?

SH: Healthymize will become the worldwide leader in the monitoring voice-affecting diseases, starting with COPD, and then for other diseases as well, including asthma, mental health and more. Using voice biomarkers for monitoring and diagnosing diseases is a hot area today. The setting is perfect, as voice interaction becomes the norm with smart devices like phones, tablets and home virtual assistants, it is easy to get voice samples from the users. The world is moving forward fast and voice monitoring for health and detection of early disease development signs will become a standard procedure.

LN: Anything else you’d like to share?

SH: We are in the process of raising money and we are looking for real partners to join us on our journey. We also are happy to collaborate with companies in connected health and health care providers. I can be reached at contact@healthymize.com if you would like to hear more.  

Prior to founding Healthymize, Shady received his MD from the Technion, completed a residency in internal medicine and worked as an attending physician in the internal medicine and emergency departments. In addition, he has medical software implementation and clinical trials management experience.

To learn more about Healthymize, visit their website.

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