ELITE 2019 Entrepreneur Laura Shafner of AiCure

Laura Shafner

Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder

AiCure

Creating a New Adherence Solution

Growing up, Laura Shafner was fascinated by the link between human behavior, disease, and social inequities. She witnessed firsthand the role medicine and behavior can play with her father—a Harvard-educated psychiatrist who battled bipolar disorder. She saw the burden of the disease and the harrowing choices patients had to make—between adhering to pharmacotherapies that left them devoid of feeling and forgoing medicine to then suffer the consequences as the disease took its course. She knew there had to be a better way.

But that better way wouldn’t come until after Laura left her job as a government bond analyst at UBS. It was then she started to think about combining the accuracy and the predictive algorithms used in the financial markets with characterizing subtle, and often undetectable, human behavioral patterns. The idea gained further traction as she and her eventual co-founder, Adam Hanina, started to think about the applications of these twin concepts in medicine.

Then, Laura returned to her father’s care, now searching for acute care facilities. The time and effort that went into every nurse visit—as patients were brought medicine, assisted in administration, and assessed physically and mentally—was substantial and costly, but also effective. The data captured during those visits, accurate adherence intake, and physiological and behavioral changes over time, allowed for precise assessments of the patients and prediction of their outcome. The idea of scaling this process through technology to all patients outside the clinic, whether in research or real-world settings, took hold. Finally, AiCure was born.

AiCure uses computer vision and neural networks to ensure patients are receiving treatment. Audio and video data provide additional insights into patient movement, cognition, and expressivity. These data are leveraged by pharma companies, health systems, and payers to ensure data quality in drug development, improve health outcomes, and reduce costs.

Today, AiCure is working in 25 countries with over half of the top 10 pharma companies and several of the largest payers. In 2018 alone, AiCure increased its revenue growth by 120% and bookings by 150%, as well as expanded its client list by more than 30% since 2017.

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