Asaf Kleinbort is the founder and CEO of Medorion, the Tel Aviv-based company that is developing an AI-driven platform to help healthcare organizations activate their patients to prevents and better treat pathologies.
Asaf was born in 1978 in Israel and owns M.Sc. in Computer Science from the Weizmann Institute in Israel. During his time in the army -he is Lieutenant Colonel- he met Eviatar and Shai and together they started to work on the Medorion’s idea. The three have founded the company in November 2016 and have already completed the first-round funding with investors from US, Turkey, and Israel. Asaf, married with Michal, is a father of 3 kids and has a passion for sport (especially swimming and biking), traveling and reading.
GoINPHARMA™: Asaf, thank you for sitting down with us today to talk about your company and the idea behind. How did Medorion begin and what has been the journey so far?
Asaf Kleinbort: Before co-founding Medorion, Shai Levi, our VP product led the population health analytics groups at Allscripts. During this time, he witnessed and identified first-hand the challenges clinical officers are facing when trying to improve population health outcomes and close hundreds of thousands of gaps-in-care in their covered population. Shai initiated a discussion about this challenge with me and with Eviatar Khen’s our CTO and third co-founder. Around mid-2016, we figured out that there is a huge opportunity here and that we have enough innovation to start working on it full time.
Since then we’ve raised our first finance round, and started to develop the first version of our platform. We’ve partnered with health systems in the U.S. and Israel at a very early stage to begin validating our concepts and better understand our future customers’ needs better.
We now serve a handful of partners. Since starting to use our platform, our longest running partner increased its patients’ adherence to recall colonoscopy by up to 30%.
GoINPHARMA™: I would like you to describe why it is important to engage with patients and what are the steps to develop awareness on the importance of preventive medicine?
Asaf Kleinbort: ”Patient Engagement” is not a new concept. There is extensive research that supports its significance in lowering cost and improving outcomes. The recent adoption of population health management tools in the industry has generated new opportunities for embedding digital tools in the engagement process. At Medorion, we focus mainly on patients with low engagement levels. Let’s take colorectal cancer screening and specifically colonoscopy as an example. Many patients want to get screened. These patients might need a reminder, a few nudges and maybe some education on the procedure. There are already excellent tools that provide those. However, we focus on the patients with no intent to act. They might unaware of the fact that they are susceptible to cancer. Or maybe, they are aware but they don’t have any sense of urgency, so they will postpone their screening, perhaps forever. The last and maybe the hardest sector we deal with, are those with a negative disposition towards the preventive procedure itself. They don’t want to act. Maybe they have cost concerns, maybe they are afraid of the procedure, and maybe there are concerned by the results of the procedure (they ‘don’t want to know’). These patients need to be activate, and our platform helps exactly there.
GoINPHARMA™: Can we now talk about how the system you developed works? How do you reach out members and make them aware of the importance of colposcopy as preventive measure for cancer and other diseases?
Asaf Kleinbort: The most crucial step in activating patients is to understand their exact barriers and their specific stage in the behaviour change process: Are they aware of the risk? Is the guideline clear to them? Do they consider acting but have some concern(s)? Physicians and other clinical staff can identify these by talking with a patient. Others sometimes use survey tools. Those are excellent methods, but cannot scale. We do it differently. Our platform measure patients’ reaction to online digital content in social networks and web pages. The system analyses the patients’ behaviour, what parts in the page are they reading, which content they liked or shared, which movie they watched. All this data is aggregated into our AI module which builds behavioural profiles. By using these profiles, the system predicts the optimized intervention for given patients, based on their past online behaviour or based on their demographic attributes.
GoINPHARMA™: With the platform you have developed you will have the chance to gather a lot of data about patient behaviours, pathologies symptoms and therapies effects, how will you handle this massive amount of data? (this is meant for investors and colonscopy.cameras makers like Medtronic)
Asaf Kleinbort: The main challenge is to extract actionable insights from this vast amount of data. This is exactly where AI can help. We had built a data model that will translate raw online data on clicks, views, etc. to a meaningful behavioural database, which on top of it our system can learn, and thus improve population health outcomes. Actually, we spend most of the last year building this model, and we continue to perfect it all the time.
GoINPHARMA™: And now I would like we talk about the future: what comes next? Do you want to expand the search engine to other therapeutic sectors?
Asaf Kleinbort: We are now developing the next version of our platform. It will empower our existing and future customers with the ability to activate their patients on a in a self-service manner and will allow us to scale further. We are also working on additional off-the-shelf intervention plans – including additional cancer screening tests, diabetes related screenings, vaccines and plans to cope with prescription abandoners and non-utilizers.
Medorion Ltd. Tel Aviv
About Medorion Ltd.