29 November 2018
Investing in Myia
We’re pleased to announce our partnership with Myia — Zetta’s first collaboration to apply AI to healthcare problems.
As technology investors, we’ve researched the healthcare space for decades, but only in recent years saw tractable ways to meaningfully apply AI to healthcare problems. This shift is credited to the availability of sufficient data to train predictive systems focused on healthcare IT and diagnostics.
When speaking to healthcare providers (researchers, clinicians, and administrators) we’ve found resistance to trust black box technology to make critical health decisions. Their argument is similar to one we’ve made when writing about the notion of convexity in product payoffs. Medical technologies that generate predictions are risky, because if they get it wrong, something very bad happens — a concave payoff — for example, a system that autonomously diagnoses diseases. We look for ideas that can provide pure upside — a convex payoff — to their users. Such a product might generate predictions that suggest how to optimize the use of supplies, prioritize a patient waiting list, create new ways to think about a condition, or aid medical staff to be more efficient. While we’ve considered hundreds of startups solving problems in health care, in Myia, we’ve found that rare opportunity: innovative technology, applied to an important problem in health care, delivered in a manner the market is ready to accept.
Myia’s core technology is an intelligent system that helps cardiologists treat chronic heart failure. It’s a condition that affects 6M Americans, costing $38B per year and taking up 43% of all Medicare spending. Myia’s product collects data from a multitude of readily available devices (e.g. a mattress pad, scale, and cell phone), analyzes the latent variables in that data then makes a prediction about a patient’s condition. The cardiologist then uses that prediction to prioritize who they contact and treat first, making sure a patient is seen before symptoms worsen. Doctor’s can monitor a patient’s progress remotely, adjusting their medication protocol where needed, all without a costly office visit. Myia’s predictive tool enables clinicians to reduce the need for invasive treatments while significantly improving patient outcomes.
Beyond chronic heart failure, Myia plans to apply its technology to a number of conditions — to become the leader in remote patient monitoring.
We met the team at Myia by way of a long-time friendship with Farzad Azimpur, their Chief Medical Officer and formerly the Global Director of Health at IDEO. Simon, Myia’s CEO, previously worked on healthcare projects at BCG with Andre, the team’s regulatory expert. They’ve built a team which includes cardiologists, technologists, machine learning researchers, product design experts, hardware logistics specialists, and regulatory experts. Together, Myia is driven to create products providers truly want to use.
We’re delighted to partner with Myia’s incredible team, bringing innovative technology solutions to a meaningful problem.