Biofourmis, a data analytics startup based in Singapore, has recently secured US$1 million in angel funding led by SpesNet and Eden Strategy. Founded in 2015, the startup has been actively working with the healthcare sector to offer predictive, precise and meaningful insights into one’s health.
“Biofourmis uses cognitive technologies to learn an individual’s physiology. We have a world-class team focussed on building personalised health models leveraging physiological data gathered in real-time, so that you get personalised and actionable health insights anywhere and anytime, giving you a sense of control,” says Kuldeep Singh Rajput, Founder and MD at Biofourmis, over an email interview with e27.
According to Rajput, who is also a PhD Research Scholar at the National University of Singapore (NUS) focussing on building bioelectronics medicines, the company’s vision is to enable predictive insights for a proactive healthy world. Or in simpler terms, learning users’ behaviour to help them achieve a healthy lifestyle.
“Healthcare is personalised and the only way to make it more personal is leveraging on the next version of medicine and cutting edge-technologies using personalised health analytics,” he said.
Rajput mentioned that clinicians and scientists had revolutionised medicine with their quantitative approach over a century ago and that we are now on the verge of the next transformation, “I call it a ‘quantitative medicine version 2′, where we will be able to detect a slight change in someone’s health before there are even any symptoms.”
People-centric healthcare: Personalising an individual’s health with Biovitals
Based on this quantitative approach, Rajput built Biovitals, a health analytics IoT platform that captures and learns about a person’s vital statistics using physiological sensors.
There is a huge rise in lifestyle diseases (specifically cardiovascular diseases) worldwide and ageing population is a big issue in developed markets. The healthcare industry is facing various challenges like overburdened medical staff due to hospital readmissions and rise in incoming patients, low uptake of new medical solutions and explosion of data.
“If you look at the technology trend, wearable devices and biosensors are proliferating and people/clinicians are leveraging on such new technologies to monitor patients remotely. However, there is a tsunami of data being collected by an individual/patient (approximately ~100,000 TB of data during a person’s lifetime) and available technologies use traditional population-based approach to analyse the data, which is mostly inaccurate and generate false alarms!” says Rajput.
He went on to say that people are not motivated to comply to these technologies as there is no engagement. To enable behavioural modification, Biofourmis needs to make healthcare data understandable and actionable to people, and thus, Biovitals was born.
Biovitals’s engine supports a variety of remote monitoring applications, enabling it to work smarter and more efficient.
Rajput claims the product is capable of Data Discovery, personalised health models, predictive analytics, patient risk-stratification, real-time contextual insights, personalised AI wellness coach, data visualisation and more.
“Today meteorologists combine satellite images with data collected from all sorts of sensors, run through sophisticated computer programmes to predict the perfect storm or a natural disaster. Soon doctors will be able to combine key vitals like HR, RR, ECG, BP and other biometric to determine when someone is getting sick,” he says.
Rajput further explains that when you combine biometric data — lab reports, health records, sensors, etcetera — together, holistically, you’ll get a much clearer picture of what is happening rather than looking at it in isolation.
Predicting adverse medical events before it occurs
All the data from a patient is fed into the cognitive engine, and it will learn to detect the subtle but meaningful changes to that patient’s physiology – in order to predict adverse medical events before it occurs.
“We’re throwing out population-based matrix and instead developing a personalised baseline that quantifies your unique physiology. The reason we are doing that is because, we want to compare you to you – to see those subtle changes that are most meaningful to you and your physician,” he said.
Rajput further claims that the technology actually solves the biggest problem in healthcare, “You discharge a patient from the hospital but you are still financially at risk.”
“Our technology helps prevent you from hospital readmissions. This personalised platform can be used for various applications, ranging from remote monitoring of chronically ill patients, or post-operative care, to preventive application.”
Biofourmis aims to benefit everyone in the whole healthcare ecosystem through its Biovital.
“We are currently working with top hospital chains in Singapore, Europe and South Africa, monitoring more than 500 people. We are also backed by a very strong clinical team of doctors from reputed hospitals like MGH, Stanford, and SingHealth,” he concludes.