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Google Spotlights 24 Startups Using AI to Transform Healthcare


Google for Startups has unveiled the 24 startups selected for the 2024 edition of the Growth Academy: AI for Health initiative. The program aims to support promising businesses in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) that are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize medical research and healthcare delivery.

Among the selected startups are Kenya’s Thalia Psychotherapy and TibuHealth, Nigeria’s Healthtracka, and South Africa’s Zoie Health. These companies showcase AI’s potential in addressing healthcare challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa, from integrating mental health services to providing accessible outpatient care in underserved communities.

The World Health Organization estimates that over 116 million people in Africa were living with mental health conditions even before the pandemic, with a critical shortage of mental health professionals. Thalia Psychotherapy’s AI-powered chatbot offers initial assessments and therapy sessions, increasing access to mental health support. TibuHealth, on the other hand, delivers affordable outpatient services through “minute clinics” in partner pharmacies in high-density neighborhoods.

Dorothy Ooko, Head of Communications and Public Affairs at Google Africa, expressed the company’s commitment to supporting innovative startups, particularly those leveraging AI to address critical healthcare challenges.

Over the course of three months, participants will undergo rigorous training, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Workshops will cover AI best practices, leadership development, responsible innovation, product design, and customer acquisition. Additionally, Google experts from various divisions, including Research, Health, Verily, Fitbit, and DeepMind, will provide personalized mentorship and technical support.

The selected startups hail from 13 countries across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and are employing AI to enhance patient care and medical research. From managing chronic diseases to assessing diabetic foot ulcers, predicting early-stage cancer, monitoring mental health through speech analysis, and developing digital biomarkers, these startups are pushing the boundaries of healthcare innovation.

Other notable startups in the cohort include from the Netherlands, which uses precision nutrition for diabetes management, and Ephion Health from Spain, which focuses on developing digital biomarkers. FiveLives from France concentrates on brain health for seniors, while HearMe from Poland supports employee mental health.

The Growth Academy: AI for Health program underscores Google’s commitment to fostering the growth of innovative startups and leveraging AI to address critical healthcare challenges globally.



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