How one Canadian Start-up is using AI to Improve the Quality of Life in Chronic Disease Patients

Published By Serban Georgescu

Canadian start-up and CTA Boston alumnus, Bio Conscious, is combining expertise in healthcare and AI to make huge strides in prediction and quality of life for chronic disease patients.

In the medical industry, even the best innovations can take time and effort to get the attention of busy providers and researchers. But, driven by a passion for both healthcare and AI, Bio Conscious, knew from its start that it could develop a better way to improve the efficiencies of chronic disease detection and prevention practices. That’s why its CEO, Amir Hayeri, sought out the Consulate General of Canada in Boston to participate in the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA).

Hayeri comes from a family of medical professionals, but had always been passionate about AI, and saw the importance it would hold for the future of health care. When Bio Conscious was getting started in Vancouver in 2015, most available healthcare tools focused on treatment rather than prevention. It was clear that modern medicine hadn’t kept up with modern technology. The company caught the attention of a few large digital health corporations early on, but this did not provide the support or momentum they were looking for. While knowledgeable in their space, they didn’t know where to turn next in terms of building a business and navigating the U.S. market, Hayeri reflected. That is what most excited him about the CTA program: an introduction to a robust network, as well as a trusted partner in the Consulate to help take the business to the next level.

“Our mindset shifted from a startup and specialist mentality to a serious medical business,” Hayeri said. Hayeri explained even the process of applying for the program was valuable because it forced him to think about the company’s messaging, predicated market value and other key processes differently. Once enrolled in the CTA in 2019, mentors helped (and continue to) validate and optimize the business in a way that made sense for a U.S. audience.

Now, using the power of intelligent algorithms, Bio Conscious is changing the way the world understands and manages chronic conditions. Leveraging the power of AI, they are focusing on disease prevention by being proactive instead of reactive.

The flagship product of Bio Conscious is Diabits, a tool that helps diabetes patients predict changes in blood glucose levels. This allows patients to anticipate changes, make the right adjustments, and, most importantly, avoid life-threatening situations like hypoglycemia. Ultimately, staying ahead of changes can help patients stay in range longer and enjoy more freedom and flexibility, resulting in big quality of life improvements. The Endobits solution provides the same data to providers monitoring patients. Historically, monitoring functions for physicians and their staff would consist of going through stacks of patient files to call and check in, not necessarily knowing their history since their last visit or which patients were higher priority. The system now flags patients in real time if they just had a complication or are predicted to have one. This helps providers be more efficient, while improving care for patients.

In addition to mentors, the Consulate was able to make introductions to key connections. “When I go into a room with a Consulate representative it increases the element of trust right off the bat,” Hayeri said. Even after the CTA, the Consulate continues to provide those connections and mentorship through new client referrals and reviewing new business materials.

Though COVID put a strain on some of the company’s clinical trial plans, they are resuming partnerships with clinics across Massachusetts. COVID has also accelerated the need for remote patient monitoring from a “nice-to-have” to a necessity, allowing for some necessary opportunities in the ability for providers to make remote monitoring a priority and profitable use of their time. Hayeri predicts this will be a huge improvement for practices as well as quality patient care, especially in chronic conditions.

Like most AI and machine learning, the more data the Bio Conscious solution has, the better it gets at predicting future events. This is providing the ability to predict and monitor multiple conditions related to glucose such as hypertension and Alzheimer’s. This allows Bio Conscious to help healthcare providers catch illnesses early and improve patient care across North America.