RamaOnHealthcare July 5, 2024

Better Healthcare Decisions and Care

Today, RamaOnHealthcare is speaking with Kota Kubo, the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Ubie. He founded Ubie with his co-representative Dr. Yoshinori Abe in 2017. The vision is promoting easily accessible good health to everyone, helping patients make better decisions, and finding the right care at every stage. It is one of the few startups with a medical data platform and direct contact to both patients and medical institutions.

Kota Kubo, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Ubie

Kota Kubo, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Ubie

RamaOnHealthcare (ROH): Ubie has been focusing on reaching patients earlier in their healthcare journey. Can you tell us more about why this is important?

Kota Kubo (KK): Shortening the diagnosis time can be significant for patients. An early accurate diagnosis can result in timely treatment and better outcomes, especially with serious, difficult to diagnose conditions, such as cancers or rare diseases. This provides a better quality and longevity of life, healthier outcomes, and slowing or stopping of disease progression. Earlier treatment also means fewer office visits, tests or inappropriate medications, and patients may need less serious treatment or avoid surgical intervention.

The lack of information or misinformation is a major reason to get in front of patients earlier. Approximately 80% of potential patients start their healthcare journey online and can become easily overwhelmed with information and misinformation. Being able to navigate health information websites, even reputable ones, requires a depth of health literacy many do not have. In this situation, AI can be designed to properly guide people and fill the knowledge gaps between healthcare and patients.

The lack of information or misinformation is a major reason to get in front of patients earlier.

…AI can be designed to properly guide people and fill the knowledge gaps between healthcare and patients.

ROH: Health tech is found within so many areas of healthcare, how specifically is Ubie reaching patients earlier?

KK: Much of health tech is focused too late on the patient continuum of care to have the biggest impact. Many solutions look to address the barriers health systems face, such as providing relief for administrative and care burdens, improving scheduling, and recovering revenue. Addressing patients is often retrofitted into these systems.

Today’s patients are more engaged and have the power to find information on their own. Ubie is attuned to this, and has developed targeted, patient-centric experiences to get timely, specific action to the right patient.

We are focused on accelerating time-to-treatment for patients by providing education and activation as early as possible in the patient’s journey. Ubie’s Symptom Checker platform is available online. It is free, easy to use, and provides patients with a place to go for information whenever they need it.

We are focused on accelerating time-to-treatment for patients by providing education and activation as early as possible in the patient’s journey.

Ubie was purpose built to help patients. We use a cutting-edge disease prediction AI module that guides more than 10 million patients every month to seek appropriate medical attention.

…guides more than 10 million patients every month to seek appropriate medical attention.

ROH: How does AI factor into patient discovery and engagement?

KK: AI can address the issues that static health websites and decision trees come with. They rely on the patient knowing what to look for and then understanding how to take appropriate action. This can lead to confusion, frustration, delays in care, worse outcomes, and poor clinical communication.

Ubie’s AI is interactive and experiential – requiring active input to achieve output. Users are engaged in the result because of the investment they’ve put in, and they trust the information more than what they would find themselves.

ROH: How critical is it to engage with patients while they are actively searching for information?

KK: Patients are one of the most important stakeholders of health care and decision-making. Effectively engaging patients is essential to improving outcomes, improving their satisfaction, and reducing costs.

Patients are not often able to fully participate in their own care due to a lack of knowledge, low medical literacy, and a system that limits their input. Patients start their journey at a deficit. They often have a difficult time communicating with and understanding doctors – or feel they don’t have enough time with their doctor to address their questions. They also may not be sure of the right question to ask or where to go for information.

Empowering patients in a heightened state of information seeking (i.e., during diagnosis and treatment selection) is the most impactful time to interact.

Despite innovation, health tech struggles to truly empower patients where they are. Ubie is reaching patients at the earliest point of potential engagement.

Ubie is reaching patients at the earliest point of potential engagement.

ROH: Can you talk a bit about how Ubie connects with patients in a way that activates patients and encourages better outcomes?

KK: First, we generate credibility. We want patients to have a place they trust for reliable, quality information. It’s also very important for physicians to view our platform as highly reliable, accurate, available, and credible. Failure to do so could also diminish the trust between patient and provider.

Ubie shows incredible accuracy thanks to its continuously updated disease prediction abilities. The algorithm is trained on over 50,000 medical papers, is reviewed and guided by a panel of medical experts and is connected to more than 1,500 provider organizations where the algorithm receives real-world feedback and insights.

Ubie shows incredible accuracy thanks to its continuously updated disease prediction abilities.

ROH: You are working with advocacy groups in the United States. Can you explain how this is shaping the way you engage with patients?

KK: Working with advocacy groups gives us the opportunity to interact with patients who have already reached a diagnosis, thereby testing our accuracy, allowing us to fine tune the information we present to patients, and to communicate with easily understandable language that tracks with patient communities.

Earlier this year, we launched a partnership with the Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation (CSRF). We leveraged CSRF’s community of patient advocates to gauge the accuracy of our Symptom Checker and to garner insights that lead to better disease prediction. The goal was to ensure our AI tool acted as an effective screener to help guide undiagnosed patients on the correct path of clinical care. We continue to connect with patient advocacy groups in different disease areas, and plan to have several more partnerships to announce soon.

More about Kota Kubo, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Ubie

Kota Kubo graduated from the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Engineering. In 2013, while enrolled at the University of Tokyo, he began researching and developing software and algorithms that simulate the relationship between doctors, symptoms, and disease names. He worked at M3 Corporation for about three years, working on software development and web marketing in the B2C healthcare field, including Q&A services.

Ubie: https://ubiehealth.com/
Kota Kubo LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kota-kubo-066a1aa7/
Kota Kubo email: k.kubo@dr-ubie.com

 
Topics: Interview / Q&A, Trends
Open AI And Thrive’s AI Health Coach Is A Bold Step Toward Hyper-personalized Healthcare
Why the Case for Value-Based Behavioral Health Care Is Easier in Acute Settings
What 14 pharmacy chiefs will prioritize for the next 6 months
Materialise Acquires Developer of AI Software for Cardiac Procedures
Healthcare execs share predictions for next decade: Four key findings

Share This Article