Israeli medical tech start-up Sharkbiit.ai won first place in the Merage Foundation’s 45+ contest, where they were given a prize of $100,000 to be used for initial project financing, as well as automatic acceptance into the Merage Institute Innovation Bridge Program in California.
“We didn’t take it for granted that we would win,” said Omer Holzinger, co-founder and CTO at Sharkbiit.ai. “The prize money is obviously a big push for a company as early as ours.”
The Merage 45+ competition was established by Merage Institute founder, chairman and CEO Paul Merage, in order to assist both women at any age and Israeli entrepreneurs above the age of 45, granting them exposure, recognition and access to necessary funding. The contest invites entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to a unique program, with a $100,000 grant for the leading start-up and a road show in the US.
“We are pleased to see the seriousness, and growing number of entrepreneurs over the age of 45, and women of all ages with rich backgrounds taking the next step in their careers and turning to the start-up field,” said Merage.
Sharkbiit.ai uses AI algorithms to process patients’ routine dental CT scans, allowing for early identification and diagnosis of general diseases, explained Dr. Jenny Chernobelsky, co-founder and CEO of Sharkbiit.ai. CT scans can be used to identify abnormalities and more, but until now they haven’t been used to their full potential. “We can help the field of general medicine and patients uncover these conditions,” she said.
Sharkbiit.ai utilizes its technology to give an early alert to patients, family doctors and insurance companies. Ideally, the company will allow for companies and individuals across the board to save on both money and damages caused by several such conditions.
In order to properly train Sharkbiit.ai’s algorithm so that it can catch and diagnose medical conditions accurately, a large amount of medical data will need to be fed into the system. That’s information that will need to be volunteered by the system’s users, the patients themselves.
In order to reward patients for sharing their data with the company (which encrypts the data using standard medical data security procedures), Sharkbiit.ai intends to offer a crypto token that can be given to your dental care provider in order to pay for care.
Put succinctly, “The more information you’re willing to share with our algorithm to help train it, the more value you’ll get,” said Holzinger.
By offering a token that can be exchanged for care, Sharkbiit.ai is essentially offering a discount on that service.
Said Chernobelsky, “Our goal with this project is to provide affordable dental care for everyone.”