Joining the Data Dots in Personalized Healthcare

Interview

Medical director Dr. Richárd Kiss talks about the data-based approach Medipredict takes to bring ‘the long-held promise of personalized medicine to the present’ in Hungary, and perhaps soon internationally.

BBJ: When was Medipredict founded? Is it an entirely Hungarian operation? How has the company’s vision evolved, particularly in response to changes in the healthcare industry and technological advancements?

Richárd Kiss: Medipredict was founded in 2015 by Ernő Duda, an entrepreneur from Szeged and the former founder of the internationally successful Solvo Biotechnology Ltd. The company is based in Budapest, but we have an office in Szeged. Most of our colleagues are Hungarian, but we also work with foreign experts, and some colleagues live in the United States. Our company’s vision has not changed much in broad outline since its foundation, but rather the details have been refined. You could say the evolution of technology and market needs has caught up with our vision. As a result, we are one of the most experienced companies in the new market of personalized health preservation.

BBJ: What sort of services do you provide?

RK: Medipredict provides a complex health service to its clients with the aim of health maintenance. This service is orders of magnitude more complex than the well-known manager screening. We use a wide range of medical tests, from whole-body MR scans to portable smart devices and new-generation methods such as whole genome sequencing or gut microbiome testing. We integrate the results of all these tests to identify individual disease risks and define a personalized prevention plan to address these risks. This is combined with a health coaching service, where we actively support our clients in realizing their health maintenance plan.

BBJ: Who are your primary clients and target audience? Why should somebody choose Medipredict over any of your competitors?

RK: Our potential clients are anyone who wants to maintain their health and is willing to take active steps and make a financial sacrifice to do so. We have clients aged 18 to 85, from healthy-living obsessives through elite athletes to people who just want to ensure they have done everything that is currently scientifically possible to stay healthy. Medipredict has direct competitors only in the United States and Canada, but these companies offer significantly more expensive services and are not as sophisticated in data integration. The key difference with these companies is that they started their development by building their medical infrastructure and buying MRI machines and sequencers. However, these tests are now readily available; the real challenge is data analysis and integration. Therefore, we perform the tests with partner institutions so that we have been able to gain a significant advantage in terms of development in recent years.

Richárd Kiss

BBJ: How does Medipredict’s technology fit into the broader context of digital health and the increasing use of technology in healthcare? What implications does this have for the future of medicine and patient care in Hungary?

RK: Medipredict brings the long-held promise of personalized medicine to the present. Advanced technologies such as next-generation sequencing are being brought forward from the treatment of advanced diseases to the level of prevention. We collect terabytes of data on every client in our studies. Using a digital infrastructure, we are building a flexible system so that any new data source can be integrated. According to our beliefs, these are the fundamentals of a healthcare system that is genuinely caring, really works, and focuses on health rather than on disease.

BBJ: What evidence-based research and data-driven methodologies underpin Medipredict’s technology, and how have they been validated?

RK: Our system combines a manually curated knowledge base, various artificial intelligence algorithms, network theoretic approaches, and a decision support system. We always rely on evidence-based information with appropriate confidence in our analyses, we validate our proprietary artificial intelligence systems in our studies, and a multidisciplinary team always makes the final decisions. At Medipredict, we aim not to replace human expertise with IT tools. Instead, we focus on combining the two, which can open new horizons in health promotion.

BBJ: What is your relationship with Hungary’s public healthcare system and other private providers?

RK: Medipredict is in partnership with other actors in the private healthcare sector, as the real added value of our company lies in data integration, disease prediction, and personalized prevention, with the testing itself being carried out by our partners. Essentially, domestic private healthcare providers are Medipredict’s suppliers, who in turn, in addition to selling their medical tests, can offer their clients through Medipredict an extraordinarily complex and highly specialized service, such as whole-genome sequencing, microbiome testing, or even the current cutting-edge integrated health report.

BBJ: You are based in Budapest. Are there plans to expand to other cities in Hungary or internationally?

RK: Clearly; from the very beginning, Medipredict was built to be able to expand and scale internationally. In Hungary, we are present in Szeged as well as in Budapest, and we will probably also be welcoming clients in other major Hungarian cities soon, such as Győr. At the international level, we will first target countries with a significant solvent demand for high-end healthcare services like ours. We are currently negotiating with partners in Switzerland, Dubai, and the Cayman Islands, so our first foreign move will probably be to one of these countries.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of April 11, 2023.

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