Google for Startups Announces New AI for Health Growth Academy Cohort


Google For Startups

Google for Startups has unveiled the 24 startups chosen for the 2024 cohort of its Growth Academy: AI for Health program. This initiative aims to empower promising startups across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) that are harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to transform healthcare and medical research.

Several of the chosen startups hail from Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria’s Healthtracka, Kenya’s Thalia Psychotherapy and TibuHealth, and South Africa’s Zoie Health. These companies serve as a beacon of hope for how AI can address pressing healthcare issues in the region. They are making strides in areas like mental health integration, increasing access to outpatient care, and delivering affordable healthcare to underserved communities.

The World Health Organization reports that even before the pandemic, over 116 million people across Africa were estimated to be living with mental health conditions. With a critical shortage of mental health professionals, the situation is alarming – there are fewer than two per 100,000 people. Thalia Psychotherapy’s solution is an AI-powered chatbot that offers initial assessments and therapy sessions, making mental health support more accessible in a region grappling with a lack of specialists.

Another company, TibuHealth, is tackling affordability and accessibility by providing outpatient services through “minute clinics” established within partner pharmacies in high-density neighborhoods.

Dorothy Ooko, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Google, Africa, said: “We are committed to supporting the growth of innovative startups, particularly those that are leveraging AI to address critical healthcare challenges. The Growth Academy: AI for Health program is a testament to this commitment, and we are excited to see the impact these startups will have on the future of healthcare.”

The three-month program will provide participants with intensive training, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Startups will benefit from workshops on best practices for AI, leadership development, responsible innovation, product design, and customer acquisition. Additionally, Google experts from Research, Health, Verily, Fitbit, and DeepMind will offer one-on-one mentorship sessions and technical project support.

Below are the participating startups, representing 13 countries from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and how they’re using AI models and technology to improve patient care and advance medical research:

  • Aide (United Kingdom) is a digital service that helps patients and clinicians better understand and manage chronic disease, specifically comorbidity.

  • AmplifAI (Saudi Arabia) combines AI driven thermography and computer vision to create a standardised and objective assessment for diabetic foot ulcers.

  • Biorce (Portugal) is developing solutions to enhance clinical trials through the power of AI, having created Jarvis, a clinical AI assistant.

  • C the Signs (United Kingdom) is an AI cancer prediction platform that helps identify patients at risk of cancer at its earliest and most curable stages.

  • Callyope (France) develops speech-based remote patient monitoring solutions that help caretakers assess treatment efficacy and detect relapses in serious mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

  • (Netherlands) works to reverse diabetes type 2 by precision nutrition, providing best in class digital therapeutic based on real-time glucometry.

  • Ephion Health (Spain) develops digital biomarkers to ensure accurate disease monitoring and therapy assessment, through wearables data, clinical reports and AI for precise patient assessment.

  • Exakt Health (Germany) is a certified medical app for physiotherapy and evidence-based training with hyper-personalised treatment plans.

  • FiveLives (France) is a digital brain health platform for people aged 50+ to take control of their cognitive health, through combining clinically-validated brain health assessment and an engaging coaching program.

  • Healthtracka (Nigeria) is decentralising access to healthcare in Africa through remote medical diagnostics, connecting users with a seamless way to access at-home lab tests, receive clear results and doctors consultations.

  • HearMe (Poland) supports employees’ mental health through anonymous and secure 1:1 sessions with mental health professionals.

  • Juniver (United Kingdom) delivers on-demand help for eating disorders, with AI-powered interventions for urges, evidence-based education, personalised tools, peer support and telemedicine.

  • Mindgram (Poland) is a platform offering a holistic solution providing employees and their relatives with psychological and self-development support around the clock.

  • Motherbeing (Egypt) is a digital solution dedicated to Arab women’s sexual and reproductive health. The platform connects users with doctors, experts, personalised health education and an AI-powered health assistant.

  • Noah Labs (Germany) develops a voice-based machine learning software for the early detection of decompensated heart failure.

  • Nui (Germany) is an app providing family caregivers with support through an intelligent chatbot that provides guidance to find answers to the most pressing questions.

  • O7 Therapy (Egypt) bridges the treatment gap with cutting-edge tech and top-tier mental health professionals. The O7 Therapy app offers instant, anonymous support via encrypted Chat, Audio and Video Sessions.

  • Powerful Medical (Slovakia) revolutionises cardiovascular diagnostics with its AI-driven platform, enabling healthcare professionals across the EU and beyond to diagnose and manage 39 cardiovascular conditions.

  • Research Grid (United Kingdom) is an automation engine enabling faster, more successful clinical trials by engineering smart software that safely automates back office admin across the full lifecycle.

  • Rofim (France) specialises in developing telemedicine software. The Rofim platform is a telemedicine platform designed to connect patients with healthcare professionals, enable diagnosis and improve access to care.

  • SYCAI Medical (Spain) develops medical device software with the aim of preventing the appearance of cancer in the abdomen non-invasively.

  • Thalia Psychotherapy (Kenya) is a mental health startup focused on integrating mental health services into primary healthcare systems.

  • TibuHealth (Kenya) delivers affordable outpatient services via “minute clinics” in partner pharmacies in high-density neighbourhoods.

  • Zoie Health (South Africa) is a digital health platform focused on providing underserved, high-need populations with affordable, accessible healthcare.

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