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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 February 2019

Dubai start-up Medicus closes Dh11.5m funding round

Investment will fuel company’s global expansion in diagnostics interpretation

Medical technology companies are working to improve the efficiency of the healthcare sector by using sophisticated digital tools to enhance diagnostics. Fatima Al Marzooqi/The National
Medical technology companies are working to improve the efficiency of the healthcare sector by using sophisticated digital tools to enhance diagnostics. Fatima Al Marzooqi/The National

Medicus, a health technology start-up founded in Dubai, raised €2.75 million (Dh11.5m) in the first tranche of a funding round set to close in the coming months, it said.

The second tranche of its Series A financing is expected to amount to a further €2.25m, the company said on Monday.

Medicus aims to use artificial intelligence to interpret complicated, numbers-based medical diagnostic reports, and translate them into meaningful information for patients and doctors.

“Healthcare is in dire need of a user-experience overhaul,” said Dr Baher Al Hakim, chief executive of Medicus. “People these days are used to experiencing things in a much simpler and clear fashion, yet health care is still complex and impenetrable.

“We believe our augmentation [of existing diagnostics processing] can unlock massive value that reverberates across the whole healthcare system.”

Medicus’ clients are diagnostic laboratories and healthcare providers seeking clear, practical insights from medical tests to communicate to patients.

The company was established in Dubai in 2015 and has since expanded to Germany, France and Austria. It has annual revenues of almost €1m (Dh4.30) and its client list includes Al Borg Labs in Saudi Arabia and Roche Diagnostics in France.

Its aim is to transform the healthcare sector, by “simplifying the relations between healthcare providers and patients, and leading to better health outcomes”, according to Dr Al Hakim. “We believe laboratory directors only have a few years to decide how to react to the waves of innovation disrupting their industry.”

The diagnostic laboratory sector, which makes up Medicus’ core client base, generates an estimated 20 billion reports annually, he added. However, the industry operates in highly consolidated markets and struggles to differentiate itself, maintain growth and introduce digitally enabled business models.

The latest funding round will be used to further fuel Medicus’ global expansion and develop its own diagnostic laboratory and insurance products across core markets.

There are also plans to launch services in Italian, Chinese and Spanish in 2019. Medicus currently produces medical insights in Arabic, German, French and English.

Updated: February 4, 2019 06:08 PM

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