PatchAi launches virtual assistant for clinical trial patients

The Italian startup PatchAi has launched an empathic virtual assistant designed to help patients taking part in the clinical trial process.

PatchAi has already closed two funding rounds, raising around 900,000 euros to support the product over the past year.

The service began operating in December and among the first PatchAi clients is Novartis Italia, following early support from the Unicredit Startup Lab, the European Institute of Technology and collaborations with international players such as IBM and HIT – University of Padua.

PatchAi says it has the first cognitive platform offering an empathic virtual assistant, for collection and predictive analysis of patient reported data in clinical trials.

Pending authorisation, the app will be a Class 1 medical device using AI to assess patient needs, implement strategies to achieve and maintain patient engagement.

It can also collect valuable real world data on symptoms, adverse events, therapy adherence and quality of life.

The idea was born in hospital wards where the four founders, Alessandro Monterosso, Filip Ivancic, Kumara Palanivel, and Daniele Farro, experienced the unexpressed needs of patients, communication barriers, and obsolete data collection practices.

The multidisciplinary team with medical, nursing and pharmacology backgrounds began working on the idea at the SDA Bocconi School of Management.

PatchAi also has backing from important players and investors in the digital health sector, including UVCAP, Healthware Ventures, Padda Health and Avalanche Investments.

Its technology was also showcased at the Frontiers Digital Health conference in Berlin in November.

CEO Alessandro Monterosso said: “Our next goal is to invest further in research and product development, continuing to focus on the internationalisation of the market outreach and expansion into the B2C segment. All this so that ‘patient centricity’ does not remain merely a concept but is translated into active patient involvement and improvement of their quality of life during clinical trials”.

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