Business Class: Startup Madison Develops Conversational AI Technology for Healthcare Use | Business news

Nick Myers recalls that when he was about 8 years old, he had to struggle with a painful diagnosis of leukemia and the treatment that followed.

The current CEO and co-founder of the Madison-based startup RedFox AI, with an office in the East Side, has had problems taking oral medications. Hi, the only alternative was the massive injections his parents had to give him, he said. The process sometimes required taking a medical professional over the phone, which sometimes meant minutes to hours of waiting for Myer’s parents to get on the line.

This experience is fueling Myers’ ambitions now that RedFox AI is actively developing technology using conversational artificial intelligence to help people pass specific medical tests, such as cancer screening. And Myers envisions a future in which the AI ​​digital guide not only instructs the user but also offers him emotional support.

RedFox’s artificial intelligence was launched in 2019, Myers said, originally focusing on harnessing the skills of Amazon’s virtual technology assistant Alex as the backbone of creating voice applications. But after the COVID-19 pandemic caused health turmoil, Myers and the RedFox AI team, with less than five employees, changed their focus. In the midst of the health crisis, the team observed millions of people turning to diagnostic tests as a way to find out if they had contracted the disease.

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Then, in August 2021, RedFox introduced its artificial intelligence conversational technology, which has so far attracted the attention of health care companies and organizations at the local level as well as in the United States. The startup has not yet received the first round of investment financing, Myers said, but expects it to change soon. RedFox has grown without external sources since its inception, he said.

“Nick Myers and his team have created an AI conversation platform that represents the coming wave,” said Wisconsin Technology Council President Tom Still, who saw the technology demo in 2019. “(Software) is a prime example of customized conversational AI that can be ‘trained “For specific uses. This is a natural development of voice AI technology with possible use in healthcare, which is the goal of RedFox, but also other business sectors. “

RedFox chief technology officer and co-founder Brett Brooks downloaded software on his phone and computer monitor on Wednesday and showed how the technology should work. The user asks the AI ​​a question about a medical test, in this case COVID-19, and answers a voice similar to Siri or Alex from Apple. This technology will then provide instructions for performing the test on COVID-19 and will assist the user in resolving any issues that may arise during administration.

Visually, AI looks like a text conversation between two parties. It is also web-based, Brooks said, allowing the user to use the technology with any interface. There was some code on his work computer that allowed him to tweak the software if needed.

Myers said the mobile app may be available on the go.

The startup is already in talks with companies such as biomedical giant Exact Sciences based in Madison, the maker of the Cologuard test, which allows people to screen colon cancer at home, as well as Rockwell Automation based in Milwaukee and other companies that bring their technologies. on the market.

However, official agreements have not yet been signed, Myers said.

Power station?

Artificial Intelligence RedFox is likely to play a role in what the Washington, D.C. think tank Washington-based thinker said last fall is Madison’s potential to become artificial intelligence. Educational institutions like UW-Madison only reinforce this notion, according to a Brookings report.

Brookings used seven metrics to assess the research capabilities and commercial activities of 385 metropolitan areas in the United States. Metrics place each area in one of five categories.

The report offered Madison as a research center (third category), but suggested that in order to keep pace with the country’s growing artificial intelligence industry, local business leaders should establish more business research partnerships with UW-Madison, support entrepreneurship and encourage local work. retention and attractiveness.

“Significant money is flowing into the region to support near-exclusive contracts or research and development initiatives,” said Mark Muro, a senior colleague and co-author of the Brookings report, last fall. “That’s very important in itself.” At the same time, as federal research conducted at UW-Madison also builds a talent base of qualified researchers and graduate students, there is room for future AI expansion.

Digest

Madison-based electronic health record company DeliverHealth has acquired Presidio Health, a San Francisco-based healthcare technology company, over the past few weeks for an undisclosed amount of money. Presidio Health

  • DeliverHealth provides software that helps read medical records, and DeliverHealth aims to simplify healthcare workflows not only for EHR but also for patient engagement and revenue tracking technology.
  • The
Madison Economic Partnership

is piloting a vanpooling program for the eight districts. MadREP is a partner

  • to help people without adequate transport options to get to work. The program will provide a $ 500 grant per month for up to three delivery groups, according to MadREP. The organization plans to announce some companies that use the program in the coming weeks.
  • An organization that supports the growth of women and minority-run businesses based in Madison

Through its Evergreen Fund, it has invested $ 50,000 in a company that has created a “toolkit” to help people plan development projects.

  • is a company run by women and veterans based in Milwaukee.
  • The

from the Center for Technology Commercialization and from the Center for Technology Commercialization

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
  • , opened the 13th round of grant funding, which can be applied for by state entrepreneurs. The deadline is July 21. The fund was launched in 2014 and awarded grants to 82 companies totaling $ 2.8 million.
  • Grand opening of the foundations for
Urban League of Greater Madison’s
  • Construction of the Black Business Hub on the south side of town is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on April 8 at 2222 South Park St.

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