Tencent, Medopad ally to create AI-fueled medical chatbots

Examples of Medopad apps. (Image: Medopad)

Medopad has teamed up with Chinese tech giant Tencent to develop artificial intelligence-enabled clinical decision support software and medical chatbots. The partnership will combine Tencent’s data assets and AI technology with Medopad’s mobile apps.

London-based Medopad has landed deals with hospitals and pharma companies on the back of its work on apps that support video consultations, aggregate data and otherwise help health care and research. Now, it has teamed up with Tencent to develop AI-powered decision support software, medical chatbots and online consultations with doctors. 

The collaboration gives Medopad access to the nearly 1 billion users of Tencent’s WeChat messaging service, Forbes reports. Details about the Tencent-partnered study beyond that are sketchy. But what is known fits with Medopad’s long-running interest in accessing the scale of data available in China.

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“We wanted to get there simply because of the scale of numbers. We can target 10,000 or 100,000 [people]. I don’t think anyone can access 100,000 outside of China,” Medopad CEO Dan Vahdat told Forbes. “If you have scale you have access to an asset that nobody has. It gives you an edge against other companies in terms of the predictions you can do.”

News of the Tencent collaboration follows a flurry of announcements tied to Medopad’s visit to China last week as part of a trade delegation accompanying Prime Minister Theresa May. That was when Medopad first referred to the Tencent agreement alongside details of a clutch of other relationships with organizations including GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and Ping An Good Doctor.

Medopad also used the trip to China to unveil the first, $28 million close of a planned $120 million financing round. China’s NWS Holdings played a big role in the first close. Medopad plans to bring its haul up to $120 million over the coming months.