Bayer’s investment arm has invested $90 million in Ada Health, a startup that has built an AI-based chatbot, as the two companies battle the prospect of a broader partnership.
Dr. Jurgen Eckhart, head of Leaps by Bayer, said in a news release that the investment was part of a broader strategy to invest in technologies that “drive digital transformation in healthcare”.
Other investors in the round included Samsung Catalyst Fund, Vitruvian Partners, Inteligo Bank, F4 and Mutschler Ventures.
Ada Health started in 2016 with a symptom-checker app that closely resembles some of its chatbot competitors, such as Babylon and Boy Health. The idea is similar: to help patients navigate to the right care in a system where seeing a physician can take weeks — or longer.
But the Berlin-based startup wants to set itself apart from the rest through its studies, which include Published in a BMJ Open, which compared the accuracy of several chatbots to that of general practitioners in evaluating clinical vignettes. Although Ada’s app covers a wider range of ages and conditions, at the end of the day, The doctors were the most accurate.
To date, the company says its app has garnered over 23 million assessments.
With the new funds, Ada plans to build its business in the US, as well as the technology behind its symptom checker. Competitor Babylon Recently announced similar scheme, recently purchased two California-based physician practices.
Meanwhile, another competitor, K Health, is also stepping up its game, Recently started a joint venture with Anthem Building AI-based technologies for consumers, employers and insurers.
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