Dr. Karim Galil was tired. He was tired of losing patients to cancer. He was tired of messy medical records. And he was tired of trying to stay on top of the avalanche of clinical trials touting one answer or the other. Losing both patience and too many patients, Galil decided to create an organized and artificially intelligent system to match those under his care with thebest diagnostic and therapy techniques available.
He called his new system Mendel.ai after Gregor Mendel, the parent of modern genetics science, and has just created$ 2 million in seed funding from DCM Ventures, Bootstrap Labs and Launch Capitalto get the project off the ground.
Mendel.ai is similar in many ways to the U.K.-based BenevolentBio, which is focused on skimming through scientific papers to find the most recent in cutting-edge medical research. But rather than utilizing keyword data, Mendal.ai utilizes analgorithm that understands the unstructured, natural language content within medical documents pulled from clinicaltrials.gov ,and then compares it to a patients medical record. The search process returns a fully personalized match and evaluates the patients eligibility for each indicated treatment within minutes, according to Galil.
The startup could prove useful for physicians whoincreasingly find it difficult to keep up on the exhaustive sum of clinical data.
Patients are also overwhelmed at the prospect of combing through mountains of clinical trial research. A lung cancer patient, for example, might find 500 potential trials on clinicaltrials.gov, each of which has a unique, exhaustive listing of eligibility criteria that must be read and assessed, says Galil. As this pond of trials changes each week, it is humanly impossible to keep track of better than good matches.
Mendel.ai seeks to reduce the time it takes and thus save more lives. The company is now integrating with the Comprehensive Blood& Cancer Center( CBCC) in Bakersfield, Calif, which will allow the centers doctors to quickly match their patients within existing clinical trials in a matter of minutes, according to Galil.
The plan going forward is to workwith hospitals and cancer genomics companies like the CBCC to improve Mendel.ai and introduce the system. A more immediate goal, Galil tells, would be challenging IBMs Watson against his system to watch which one can match up the patients better.
This is the difference between someone dying and someone living. Its not a gag, Galil told TechCrunch.
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