ObEN’s PAI avatar impresses at Bradfield healthcare event
PUBLISHED: 07:56 25 October 2018
Iliffe Media Ltd
California-based AI firm looking for digital health partnerships
California-based ObEN came to the Bradfield Centre this week, brandishing its innovative avatar – PAI – and looking to invest up to $1million in pilot projects applying personalised AI technology in digital healthcare innovations.
PAI – ‘Personalised Artificial Intelligence’ – is unique in that it is based on a decentralised AI platform for intelligent 3D avatars, and is authenticated and secured on the blockchain, so your data is safe. The PAI avatar is an app which runs on your smartphone. Its use of KYC (Know Your Customer) blockchain technology provides the security consumers require when engaging with the avatar. You can shop on PAI, organise meetings, send messages, and it can speak different languages.
“In the future, everyone will have their own PAI,” said ObEN CEO and co-founder, Pasadena-based Nikhil R Jain, while in Cambridge. “What we’ve done is to introduce AI and the blockchain together, and we want to see more entrepreneurs come up with applications to solve problems in this sector.”
The sort of healthcare capabilities PAI can address include monitoring older people, reminding people about their medication times and engaging in memory and other cognitive tests.
ObEN initiated an introductory event at the Bradfield Centre to broadcast its interest in Cambridge technologists and healthcare practitioners coming forward with ideas. The Bradfield event was packed, 100 people attended, and a slightly startled Mr Jain was apparently rather moved by the reception.
“It was a wonderful event,” he told the Cambridge Independent. “There were so many companies from so many parts of the ecosystem. It was a very insightful occasion into local skills and the Cambridge mindset. The community here is very, very passionate about healthcare and how to make progress. The soft skills on display were exceptional.”
A panel discussion included Mr Jain, Karen Livingstone, national director of the Innovation Exchange and SBRI Healthcare, NHS England; Prof Chris Lowe, director of the Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences; Dr Jan Storgards, director of ARU’s REACTOR; Siddhi Trivedi, founder of Beowulf Proof Works; and Steven Wilson, head of innovation at the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority.
“The idea behind the project is that they want to share technology and are looking at collaborative partnerships,” said Ms Trivedi. “The auditorium was heaving and they probably didn’t expect that, there were people from as far away as Southampton, and so many ideas were put forward they decided they’d have to have a proper review process.”
“The panel discussed included the positive recent experiences of the Eastern Academic Health Science Network and Health Enterprise East in the use of avatars to enhance patient care in the NHS, including geriatric medicine, suicide prevention, mental health and rural healthcare provision,” said Mr Wilson. “The event showed Cambridge at its collaborative very best, with the Combined Authority, university, Science Park, students and industry all there to learn – and to help make ObEN aware of the area’s strengths in R&D across a wide range of complementary fields.”
ObEN, which was founded in 2014, was quick to congratulate everyone involved.
“Nikhil and the entire ObEN team were very impressed with the knowledge and insight at the event,” said senior marketing manager Lisa Wang. “What we enjoyed was that people not only engaged with our technology, but asked many questions that we have not considered or do not have answers to – which is exactly why we are looking to work with universities like Cambridge to tackle some of these use case, technological, and even social questions.”
The review process will look at the plethora of solutions put forward and notice is expected in the next two months regarding which projects ObEN is interested in funding.
But the wider implications for 21st century healthcare are inescapable.
“The synergy of service and technology is key to the success of many healthcare programs,” added Ms Wang, “whether it’s gamifying a healthcare program to provide incentives for participation or creating programs that increase adoption of technology that improves healthcare.”
Watch this space!