Medix reinventing how people access and consume healthcare

Sigal Atzmon created a unified platform to make patient care accessible, personalised, and affordable.

How Sigal Atzmon created a unified platform to make patient care accessible, personalised, and affordable that combines AI with human interaction

The one thing that surrounds us is change. And this change, through myriad forms, can have the most dramatic impact on our lives.

You can’t avoid it. It will find you; it will test you, and at times, you may be pushed to reassess and chart a new course of action.

Sigal Atzmon, Global CEO and Founder Medix fits the example of such a change.

Born to Israeli parents and raised in Belgium, Sigal was always fascinated by medicine, and wanted to become a doctor. Instead, she went to study Economics and Law in Geneva, Switzerland. Having excelled in numbers, her career took her on the financial services route where she held diverse executive roles, including managing a portfolio of over US $4.5 billion.

Life-changing moment!
After the birth of her third child, Sigal had to go for a mammogram test. In the waiting room, her mind was restless as she went through intense emotions. If diagnosed with cancer, her life could change forever.

Fortunately, the test result was negative.

“This personal encounter with the healthcare world got me thinking. If I had tested positive, how would I choose the right oncologist, what line of treatment would have been the best, and how could I avoid a recurrence?” Sigal says.

In addition, the desire to be a part of the healthcare system had never left her. And this time the desire engulfed her.

In mid-2006, she quit her high-paying job and started rigorous research on how does the troika of patient, payer, and provider work. She spent days together speaking with people in the healthcare ecosystem, trying to understand patient concerns and finding treatment gaps.

“Analysing this in detail made me realise that none of the players were aligned together,” Sigal says.

She explains that the payers prefer minimum claims with maximum profits. The provider wants to deliver the best possible treatment, in minimum time and maximum income. And the patient wants the best possible treatment at the lowest cost possible.

“There is nothing wrong here. Their intentions are good. However, there are conflicting interests between them,” Sigal says.

The other question was whether patients know that they have made the right decision. If someone develops cancer, the oncologist suggests a course of treatment. How does the patient believe or find that this is the right option. And what if there is a second view that is contrary to the first.

Patient care: Human and digitally enhanced
Sigal launched Medix, a data and technology driven medical management company with the aim to transform healthcare services.

The platform guides customers in the areas of disease prevention to diagnosis to rehabilitation. It provides tools to patients helping them to make evidence-based quality driven medical decisions, and provide continuity of care—before treatment, during treatment and post treatment till complete recovery.

“We don’t have any clinic or hospital. Medix is not a commercial platform but a quality driven network to make healthcare accessible, personalised, and affordable. For instance, if patients want to choose a doctor by themselves, we allow them to do so through our database,” Sigal says.

Today, it has a client base of millions of customers, spread across more than 90 countries with around 300 doctors and 5000 specialists in over 2,000 hospitals.

Through push notifications and alerts patients can get tailored insights pertaining to their medical condition. It has a web-based Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) where patients can upload their reports like an X-ray report or MRI scan and share it with any healthcare professional in the world.

“Healthcare for years has been driven by hospitals. This has changed today. Virtual healthcare is the only way for India to provide quality health access to everyone,” Sigal says.

AI: Raising health standards, optimising healthcare delivery
Medix has also created an artificial intelligence or AI-driven health risk assessment (HRA) tool. To avail the HRA findings one needs to fill in an extensive and detailed questionnaire. Blood test or other reports can also be attached with this form. The AI system scans though this log of unstructured data, looks at family medical history etc., and then turns the findings into a structured form to predict patterns, risks, etc.

“It is a self-mirroring tool. For example, before someone develops a critical illness their c-reactive protein (CRP) levels start to increase. Initially they will start going up within the normal range. Now if one sees an upgoing trend it means that the body is cooking something. We look at these trends and our AI-based models can predict if a person is at risk of developing a critical illness. We have measured the results of this model and the outcome has been phenomenal,” Sigal says.

In 18% of the total cases globally, Medix has prevented patients from undergoing pointless major treatments, procedures, and surgeries managed globally. Its platform has been able to rectify the diagnosis results in 20% of cases managed and changed the recommended course of treatment in 43% of cases.

Use of such predictive risk models enable to identify patients at risk of expensive and potentially avoidable events such as emergency hospitalisation, etc.

In India, Medix has entered partnerships with organisations to improve the overall care experience. It recently tied up with Tata AIA and MPower (an initiative of Aditya Birla Education Trust).

With Tata AIA, it will offer users access to local and global network of accredited medical specialists during serious illnesses. Its partnership with MPower offers a unified advanced tech solution platform that will ease access to mental health services in India.

“We will continue to navigate the healthcare system in a very different, simplified and personalised way,” Sigal says.

(This feature is the first in the series leading to the 3rd Edition of “The Economic Times and Femina” FEM-TECH: Inspiring Women Leaders in Technology event to be held on 3rd March 2023. Stay tuned for more such insights)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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