Max Polyakov: new big data is the medicine of the future

Макс Поляков: медицина майбутнього – у нових обсягах даних

Famous investor has told Innovation House into what biomedical projects venture capitalists are ready to pour their cash.

At the initiative of Innovation House, Borsch Ventures and Ukrainian Medical Association of the United Kingdom (UMAUK), Ukraine’s first Biomedical Startups Competition MBioS Challenge was announced. Max Polyakov, International Economics PhD and Managing Partner at Noosphere Ventures investment fund, is one of 12 persons included in the list of jury members.

Especially for Innovation House, he told what biomedical technologies are the things of the future, and into what projects venture capitalists are ready to pour their cash.

What medical and biological technologies are the things of the future

Healthcare innovations are aimed at solving three problems as follows: rapid population ageing, increase in the total number of patients and the need to cut costs for the medical treatment, mostly for the diagnostics.

Widespread digitization has given a big boost to the transformation of the entire healthcare system from reactive to proactive. Whereas, previously the scheme worked in such a way – the patient starts seeking medical advice only when he is not feeling well, then someone collects data confirming the diagnosis made, but now, the devices wearable by the patient allow for patient’s condition monitoring on an ongoing basis, and when the abnormalities are detected – we have dynamic and comprehensive picture of his state. In addition to the above, we are witnessing truly revolutionary breakthroughs in discoveries: scientists and researchers are working on editing the DNA in human embryos; robots conduct surgeries; people are implanted with organs created on 3D printers, etc.

What does Noosphere Ventures invest in

Sure thing, all fields from telemedicine to biopharmaceutical industry deserve attention. But Noosphere Ventures is focusing on one of the most topical, in our view, fields that is gaining its momentum – wearable medical devices. According to CBInsights the market of these devices is projected to grow by 38% by 2020 and will reach $4.5 billion. It is expected that they will help humankind to solve such problems as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, cardiac arrhythmia, sleep apnea, pain of various etymologies, breast cancer, and lots of other diseases as well. Their core value in the current medical revolution lies in the continuous monitoring and significant cost reduction for both diagnostics and follow-up treatment.

In what projects at the interface of technology and medicine we are ready to invest

The influence exerted by high technologies on the development of medicine may be narrowed down to five key processes: algorithmic detection and prevention of diseases, automation of medical services, miniaturization and mobilization of laboratories, individualized medicine and bulk production of human organs.

We believe that new big data will be the basis for the future medicine. Such data will be formed by the patients themselves, thanks to the availability of new diagnostic tools and their initiative to independent measurements. The miniaturization of sensory technology, development of wireless communication and computing technologies allow for the relocation of clinical monitoring and treatment outside the hospitals. These devices are mostly useful to the patients interested in smart and portable devices and to the pharmaceutical and insurance companies as well.

At this very stage we are interested in investments into the products developed based on similar miniature sensory technologies that may be used by the persons themselves at home for the treatment of chronic diseases.

About impressive technological developments

There are industry leaders in every single industry and they are obliged to implement innovations to hold their ground. Technological breakthroughs of those, who are not profiting from their strong brand are much more interesting. One day, Firefly company dealing with space technologies provoked my interest. Even though, according to media outlets, they still have no achievements comparable to SpaceX, their technical developments are impressive.

The portfolio of Noosphere Ventures investment company has three medical projects – Thync, Circle Medical, and KangarooHealth. There is no doubt that we keep a close eye on the finalists of the Vernadsky Challenge – Bioton, HertIn, and Cardiomo. Wherever possible, we try to assist – thus, MUSIC-Med project (finalist of 2017) keeps on developing its prototype in the laboratory of our Noosphere Engineering School.

What do we expect from the MBioS Challenge

We hope that MBioS Challenge will spark the interest to the startups working in the narrow field – medical field, in this case. And, consequently, they may become part of startup ecosystem of high-level professionals in the healthcare industry. Perhaps, in a stepwise fashion, by joining our efforts, we will destroy the associative array “startup – smoothie – coworking” and will replace it with “Research – startup – ROI”.